Five pointers to protect yourself from taxi scams
With the rise of Uber taking over almost every corner of the globe, one can be sure that less people are using taxis. Of course, even the taxi services have stepped up their game and prioritised quality over other aspects, but that certainly doesn’t mean that there aren’t any scam services to watch out for. Everyone from relatives to friends and even acquaintances have warned us about the dangers of getting caught up in scam services and how to go about avoiding them. One has to be very careful about not falling into the trap.
At first thought, one would think that this is bound to happen mainly in an unfamiliar city, but the truth of the matter is that in certain situations (like a taxi to the airport in Melbourne), even a local person can get taken for a ride. Don’t get me wrong – this is not to state that this is a common occurrence. A majority of all the drivers out there are good hardworking people, but a few dishonest drivers are almost on the verge of spoiling things for everybody concerned with their cunning tactics.
Hence, once you learn to see through the scams, you will be considerably ahead of the game. Here are the top five ways to protect yourself from taxi scams in general :-
- Educate yourself about payment methods and licenses: This is where most people end up getting scammed. Not just states and cities, but if you look closely, even airports will have taxi licensing regulations. Never make the mistake of getting into an unlicensed taxi and check whether the taxi services accept credit card payments as well. Whether you realise it or not, this will be a real help to you in the long run.
- Do a bit of research on routes and fares: Mainly focus on the route from the airport to your hotel or the main part of town to your hotel. Everything else can revolve around both those aspects, so find out about those fares immediately. Plus, certain aspects like luggage and waiting charge are different in various cities, so do your homework well regarding those factors.
- Always keep a certain amount of change with you: This includes all lower denomination bills and a few coins as well. The classic “I don’t have any change” scam does stem from this situation which can easily be avoided by you. It can be hard to get change in certain countries and it is for this reason alone that one must be prepared. Buying small snacks at convenience stores on the way to your destination will definitely ensure that you always have some change on you.
- Be sure to save your receipt: This may sound rather silly at first, but if you are dealing with a fraud service, you will certainly thank yourself one day for doing so. At the end of the day, it will be the only proof you have that you were in a particular driver’s car. Don’t ever forget that. If you pay your fare by credit card, always check your receipt against your monthly statement.
Finally, one also must be careful not to make a sticky situation too ugly, unless it is actually called for. Just remember that the door is right next to you in a cab and whenever you feel like the cabbie is being too stubborn and insistent, just leave. Rest assured that you always have the freedom of doing that whenever you want.
The worst that can happen is that the driver can demand that you pay him more than the original amount due to whatever reasons of his own. If the new amount is not too high than the original, just leave the money on the seat and get out of the car as fast as possible, regardless of whether it is the best taxi service in Melbourne or not. There are many other cabs out there at all times and one does not need to waste time unnecessarily trying to prove a point to someone who isn’t even listening to you in the first place.