Taxi Scammers Are Doing Much More Than Taking You For A Ride Taxi Scams, And How To Avoid It Happening To You

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What Are Taxi Scams

Most licensed taxi drivers are honest, hard workers who strive to earn a living. However, the dishonest drivers out there have developed some clever tactics into scamming us from our money. These dishonest drivers overcharge, add additional fees, take longer routes, provide incorrect change, and even steal your belongings, such as your credit card. The best way to avoid falling victim to these kinds of scams is by learning to recognize the common taxi scams.

Along with taxi scams, forgetting stuff is just as common and can be a great surprise to your driver at the end of the day. Thankfully, there are ways around this, and good samaritans may be able to return your belongings before a driver notices what’s been left behind.

Here, you learn everything you need to know from what scams look like, how to avoid them, and how to increase your chances of reuniting with something you left behind before it’s too late.

Taxi scams Black Cars

A Scam You Won’t Forget

You’ve just arrived in New York. You wave your hand calling for a taxi, and within seconds a car with a taxi sign stops before you. Naturally, you get in the taxi and tell the driver where you’d like to go. As you arrive at your destination, the driver tells you that he only accepts cards, he gives his hand out waiting for you to hand him your credit or debit card. Left with no other choice, you trustfully hand him your card and start gathering your things in hope of not leaving anything behind.

He asks you to enter your pin and observes you as you do. Anticipating to get out of the car, he hands you a card and you shove in your purse and grab your things thanking the driver. Little do you know he’s handed you the wrong card and you’ve just fallen victim to fraud. Days go by and you get a call from your bank telling you there’s been suspicious activity on your card. You begin to sweat and panic. Everything starts adding up in your mind and before you know it, it’s too late. A chunk of money is gone from your bank account and you have nobody but yourself to blame.

Fake taxis have become more and more popular. By telling clients they only accept cards and insisting the tap function doesn’t work on the machine, these scammers have managed to memorize your pin, take your card, or even take a discrete picture of it. And just like that, you have become a victim of fraud.

There are tons of stories about this kind of thing happening. And more often than not, drivers get away with it. Over time, scammers have learned different techniques for stealing your money, and they do it when you’re off guard.

Most Common Taxi Scams

Traveling can be tiring, and when we have one thing in mind which is getting to our destination, we forget that there are people out there with bad intentions.

We are very vulnerable in taxis, especially when we’re in a foreign country, we don’t speak the language and we’re unfamiliar with the currency. Tourists have become a walking target for scammers and fake taxi drivers, and they’ll do just about anything to get your money.

One of the most common taxi scams is the broken machine scam. Typically, when arriving at our destination, we waste no time getting out of the car. It’s one of the main reasons we forget things in the car. From water bottles, to phones, keys, and sometimes even backpacks. It’s easy to take advantage of someone anticipating to get out of the car and go on with their day as we are less observative and more careless.

Taxi scams USA

The Intention of Scamming You

In places like New York, rides are priced at a flat rate which is a reassuring sign. I’ve always enjoyed that about the city. But what happens if the meter is broken? It’s not uncommon for a meter to experience malfunctions but this excuse is becoming overused for the simple intention of scamming you. Agreeing on a price before leaving your destination may be a good idea but the driver can always up the price significantly due to uncalculated traffic.
Another very commonly used tactic to scam people are scenic routes. Taxi drivers are pros when determining whether or not you’re a tourist.

From the way you’re dressed to the amount of luggage you have. They won’t hesitate to take a longer route with more traffic congestion. Initiating small talk with them and letting them know you’re very familiar with the area, even if you’re not, may be a way to outsmart them and make them think twice before taking you on a much longer trip than needed.

Another red flag to keep an eye out for is no change. A driver working all day should have enough change for you, but simply telling a customer they are out of change usually results in much higher tips. This sneaky trick usually works, and it’s worked on me more times than I can remember. Again, anticipating to get out of the car and gather your belongings, you’re left with no choice but to give more than you should and go on with your day.

How To Avoid Taxi Scams

A smart way to avoid taxi scams is by tracking your own route and taking note of your experiences. Taxi drivers are much less likely to take you on a significantly longer trip if they are aware you are tracking their every turn through the maps on your phone. If you’re hesitant whether you’re headed in the right direction, ask the driver. Your driver may feel less confident scamming you if you’re fully invested in the ride and where you’re going. Writing down your driver’s name and license number can also help you report a problem if anything does happen.

Fake taxis

Fake taxis, also known as unlicensed taxis are more common than you think. However, there are ways to determine whether or not a taxi is licensed or not such as looking for medallions or certificates proving that the taxi is in fact licensed and legit. Before getting into a taxi, ask the driver if they accept card payments. If they don’t, that can be considered a red flag suggesting. They are not licensed taxi drivers and rather freelance taxi drivers which love to scam tourists.

When asking a taxi driver payment questions, the best thing to do is agree on a price. If you can’t seem to come to an agreement, walk away and find another cab. Scammers will try to pressure you into getting in the car while being vague about pricing and other simple questions you may be asking, such as credit card machines or asking if they have changed for a certain amount of money.

Being wary of the fact that taxi drivers target people at airports and train stations. You need to plan ahead to avoid the unnecessary stress of being taxi scams. If you’re traveling in a different country and are not familiar with the language and currency, do your research and calculate how much you should be paying before handing over your money.

Being Forgetful In A Taxi

If you’ve never forgotten something in a taxi, you’re one of the lucky ones. It happens all too often, especially when you’re rushing to catch a flight. Leaving anything behind is frustrating, especially when it’s something as valuable as a pair of keys or your wallet. I’ve come across forgotten belongings but have never been successful in returning them.

Thankfully, there is a solution that could help avoid this type of issue. The issue of losing something and feeling helpless to track it down. The feeling of finding something and feeling hopeless to return it.

avoid Taxi scammers

FOUND ME for your help

FOUND ME tackles these kinds of problems with a simple QR code that’s adaptive to everything. Meaning you can put a tag on pretty much anything, from wallets to phones, to QR code stickers on wallets. Even the prescription glasses you love so much yet seem to consistently leave behind. By tagging your valuables, a finder can simply scan the code with a camera icon on their phone. They can connect to you, regardless of where you are or what language you speak.

FOUND ME is innovative, and it will translate the finder’s language into yours and vice versa. Most drivers don’t come across forgotten belongings until the end of their shift. So your chances of a good samaritan coming across one of your belongings is very likely.

FOUND ME makes it a positive experience for both finder and owner. But being able to help both return and reunite with a belonging. By labeling your belongings, you’re protecting the things you care about most but seem to subconsciously leave behind. To learn more about FOUND ME and everything it has to offer. Visit and start ensuring the protection of your valuables.

About us

We are all at risk of losing the people pets and valuables that mean the most to us. FOUND ME was created as a global solution to tamper this risk and provide peace of mind. We exist to protect everyone and everything important in our customer’s lives.

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