Every year hundreds of people, mostly tourists are victims of Taxi Fraud. There really isn’t a lot of attention to them and that is why they still continue to happen. But don’t just think that these scams and frauds are being committed by the drivers. Over half of the frauds committed are caused by the passengers. One of the popular cases of fraud occurs when taxicabs drivers are supposed to be licensed drivers and many of them are not. They somehow get a hold of a marked taxicab. These marked cabs can be found in salvage yards and even at some auctions. Then these drivers have fake Taxi Driver ID’s and they drive around the city looking for people in need of a cab. They charge an outrageous amount for the fare when they reach their destinations. Most passengers don’t know what to do so they end up paying the fare. They take down the phone number on the cab which is of course either fake or was never removed from when that company originally had the cab in use. When the passenger calls to complain, they either get no answer or the cab company informs the customer that the cab is no longer in their fleet. The customer has no recourse to call the police and sometimes they don’t remember any information and it makes it harder to track them down.
Other frauds include passengers. Sometimes passengers will try to confuse the driver when it comes to paying. They ask for change of a $ 20 and the driver gives them the change and then they ask for change of the change and it gets so confusing that the driver takes the money without really paying attention, especially when the passenger says keep the change. Once the passenger is out of the cab the driver notices the money was shorted. Another popular taxi fraud, involves the Department of Social Services. When recipients are given clearance to use special cabs that are commissioned by the state to drive around people who cannot afford it. The cab driver will pick up the passenger and take them to work or shopping for food or whatever the case may be. Then the passenger gives the driver their name and insurance number and the taxi cab driver will put in a voucher for payment with their company.
While there are most taxi cab drivers that are honest, there are those who are not. The taxi company is not making the money they would on a normal fare until the State reimburses them, often hikes up the amount of what the fare would have been in order to make up some money. These drivers will take the most out of the way routes to justify the hike. Not very legal at all. With people trying to get one over on the other, it is a horrible thing that we have to worry about people committing frauds especially when some people rely on cabs. But there are ways to avoid Taxi frauds from every angle.
Ways to Avoid Taxi Fraud
- One way to fight against taxi fraud is to take cabs that have livery license plates. Most often passengers don’t pay attention to the license plates of the cab. The only thing they notice is the yellow taxi color. Make a note of the plate before you get in. If the cab does not have a livery plate then wait for another cab.
- As a passenger, be aware of the drivers’ license and number. Write down as much information as you can. Take any information from the driver’s license, which has to be displayed to the passenger. If you see no license, exit the cab immediately.
- Most drivers if they are honest, will not care that you are taking in their information. If the driver starts to complain ask them to let you out in a safe place.
- A great way to avoid taxi fare fraud is to call a taxi company before you try to hail one. Find out the fare price ahead of time and see what the fare is. Then ask for the person’s name you spoke to. Then if you take a cab from the company, the fare should be in the ballpark of what the dispatcher told you. If the fare is way to much then you have every right to take the information of the taxi down and file a complaint with the taxi company and with the city.
- For drivers, sometimes passengers will try to confuse you as a way to scam you. Don’t let them, if they start fast-talking and start asking for change upon change for bills. Take your time, pay attention to the money they are giving you. If you do end up a victim of fraud then note the fare and report back to dispatch. They can find out where the fare came from and the company can try to find the name of the person who got into a cab. It is called Theft of Service and you or the company can call the Police.