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Beware: Taxi Scam

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Chicago, Illinois
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Beware: Taxi Scam

I just returned from Greece, and I just want to make people aware of what seems to be a relatively common scam used by some taxi drivers.

When I arrived in Greece, I decided to take a taxi since I wasn't entirely sure where my hotel was located in relation to Syntagma Square (where the airport bus drops you off). I went to the taxi line and got in the first cab that was in the line.

I was told by Airport Information staff that the ride from the airport into the city would be 35 euros. However, once the driver had my bag in the trunk and we were on the highway and he told me it was actually 40 euros for an "airport station pickup." That was bad enough but it got worse when we got to the hotel. I gave him a 50 euro note, he turned toward his door and held out a 10 euro bill to me and said "you gave me a 10, it looks very similar to the 50." Without thinking twice, I very stupidly gave him another 50 to which he gave me the 10. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to ask for a receipt. When I got to the hotel, I realized what had happened. He had ripped me off terribly. Needless to say, I was extremely angry at myself and the driver.

Please be aware of this problem and don't let it happen to you. I would recommend paying the driver in 10s and 20s to make sure they can't rip you off.

Athens, Greece
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for Athens
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1. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

We have numerous times said here that the airport taxi fare to the center is indeed 35 euros and that's a final price if you the the vehicle from the taxi rank.

He definitely scammed you.

At the same time, the 50 euros trick is indeed used in many countries; it has hapenned to me in Rome, Italy too and i felt sincerely stupid afterwards. Nevertheless it did happen, i was unaware of it and in a new place. . .

Travellers should always be aware of these practices in any country. They can definitely take place

- Taxi fare is flat from the airport to the center and vice versa.

- Indeed having the exact amount in hand is the best way to avoid this.

I sincerely wish authorities here implement a pre-paid fare system. I saw it in JFK in New York and it was brilliant. You go the a booth in the terminal, pay, get a ticket, give the ticket to the driver. Zero interaction or debate about the price. I sincerely wish authorities here implement such a thing.

I am really sorry this hapenned to you. It's not usual, many taxi drivers are honest. Nevertheless it leaves a very bitter taste indeed.

Thank you for informing the forum.

Edited: 09 February 2014, 12:10
Athens, Greece
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2. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

flat fare is 35 euros and 50 after midnight,always take the plate number of the taxi no matter if everthing went ok,go to the reception and ask them to call the police if something went wrong.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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3. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

I have had that note swap trick played on me in a small shop in Greece. Luckily not a €50 note, but it's not the amount, it's the deception that really annoys. If the man in the shop had told me he was desperate for an extra few euros I would have gladly given them to him. As said it can happen anywhere in the world - I was likewise scammed in China for what to me was actually a small amount of money but to the guy who took it must have been a months bonanza! I don't hold a grudge, but it does make you wary.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

Is there a similar flat rate from Pireaus to city center? or from the airport to Pireaus?

I've had my share of unpleasant taxi rides and scams in many places. We have friends we travel with and I think they are often surprised that we opt for public transportation but trains and buses do have their advantages!

Athens, Greece
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5. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

The only flat rate is from and to the airport,taxi fare from Piraeus to Athens center can be from 13 to 18 euros maximum in case of very heavy traffic.Usually taxi drivers waiting outside the port are taking advantage of foreign tourists and they rip them off,but they do it to Greeks too if they can.

New York City, New...
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for Skopelos
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6. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

Welcome back Worldcitizen83:-) Although you got off to a bad start, trusting the rest of your adventure went well:-) I remember in the old days of the drachma, cabbies used to have a small towel/washcloth type of thing they'd drop to cover the meter starting if off at hundred of drachmas more! It was common practice hearing it from many travelers.. never thought it would happen to me.. till one day it did, lol!! Since I was well aware of the scheme, I kept my mouth shut.. till we got to my destination.. started speaking Greek and boy was the cabbie surprised! H obviously thought I was just another tired solo gal arriving off a TWA flight from the States he could take advantage of.. he cursed me out too, lol;-)

Nick.. regarding JFK.. that must have been a transfer van?! We don't use pre-paid vouchers for cabs here.. all official yellow cabs take cash (or cc) directly.. never a middleman/voucher:-) FWIW, you cannot pre-book a cab in NYC as you can in Greece.. only car services! There is a dispatcher at the cab line at the airport who hands you a paper with the cabbie's info and the rate is quoted up front.. it's a flat rate here as well of $52.50 into Manhattan, but with toll and tip, you're usually looking at approx. $65-70 all in;-) Enjoy all!

Worthing, United...
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7. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

This is another reason you should pre-book an airport transfer before you arrive. Everything will be paid online, so only a tip to sort out on arrival. makes life so much easier.

Athens, Greece
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8. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

Its really a disgrace when thieving taxi scum still pull tricks like that. They do deserve to roam the streets of Athens empty desperately looking for a fare. I always try to avoid taking taxis to and from the airport. Although I m Greek and I know how to argue an attempt to rip me off, I just dont want the aggravation. Its not a pleasant way to start or end a trip. The airport bus and metro are very convenient. Check a map and locate your hotel. Chances are it is in walking distance from a metro station or an airport bus stop.

Melbourne, Victoria
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9. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

That's an awful rip off, and I'm sorry it happened to you. If it's any consolation, I have made a note of it and will take your advice about using small denominations to pay taxi drivers when I'm visiting Athens later this year.

Athens, Greece
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10. Re: Beware: Taxi Scam

There are honest taxi drivers too,and many of them,the nasty ones are mostly outside ports and airports,always check the meter to run smoothly,check the note you pay and when you pay say"I give you 20 euros",if you think something is wrong call the police.But always take the taxi's number.Prefer to take a taxi from the street,not outside the port,always ask for a receipt.