For many people visiting New York City and residents alike, a ride on the yellow NYC taxi is a preferred means of transport throughout the city. However, reported fraud scheme cases of cab drivers adopting unscrupulous tricks can make the experience less fun.
Although these taxi scams from cab drivers will not break your bank balance, the mere thought of being tricked is upsetting nonetheless.
Taxi Scam Cases
As much as a vast majority of cab drivers are honest and quite reliable, taxi scam cases are still widespread all over New York City, with drivers charging surprisingly higher rates on their meters for rides within the city. The cab drivers charge double the fare using out-of-town rates for ferrying passengers within the city.
It has been revealed that a large percentage of taxi drivers hike their fare especially to unaware passengers within the city by turning their meters to suburban fare rates. Many cab drivers steal more than $10,000 from unsuspecting passengers by overcharging them in numerous incidents.
According to a September 2010 incident where more than 50 cab drivers were arrested (the largest take down) for turning their meter to trigger higher fare rates, one of the arrested drivers was accused of increasing his fare 5,127 times earning close to $11,000 from passengers.
However, the highest fraud case accumulated, summed up to a whopping $15, 500 from a single cab driver who overcharged passengers more than 4, 800 times. On a larger scale, more than 59 cab drivers overcharged passengers a total of $235,000 on over 77000 rides.
These are just but a few cases among a series of court prosecutions against some cab drivers who besmirch the reputation of nearly 45,000 cabs across the city by scamming passengers.
Except for certain cases that were considered honest mistakes from cab drivers, taxis that overcharged more than 300 times were charged and faced potential risks of having their licenses revoked by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Following residents’ uproar, a large number of the city’s taxis now have warning systems equipped for alerting passengers whenever they are being overcharged. This move aims to help reduce the cases of cab drivers caught in fraud schemes to steal from innocent visitors and New York residents alike.
Taking Precautionary Measures
Of course, not all cab drivers in New York City will be involved in the fraud scheme. Important to note is the fact that a larger majority of cab drivers are decent folks struggling to make an honest living.
Regardless, you still need to take a few precautions to avoid being overcharged by cab drivers. Here are a couple of tips that will surely help you, especially if you are from out of town:
- Research – to be on the safe side, if you know you’re visiting an unfamiliar place, the best thing you can do is find out the exact fare you’ll be required to pay. Technology has marvelously made things easier because the internet allows you to find rates for certain destinations. Sites like TaxiFinder.com can be a good help for visiting passengers.
- Licensed Taxis – a good recommendation would be using only licensed taxis and drivers to avoid being overcharged by schemers. You need to be able to identify your cab driver and the taxi taking you to your destination as well. This information may be very useful.
For more tips go here.
Traveling to your destination by taxi can be the most convenient means of transport particularly for New York Visitors. It’s also a very fun way of exploring the city. To be sure you’ll be able to enjoy your ride, take caution to avoid being overcharged by taxi drivers.