Did you know that taksi actually is the Indonesian word for scam? Well, I’m kidding here, of course. It wouldn’t be too far off the track, though, as taxis are every traveler’s number one occasion for getting scammed. Be it the rigged meter that runs too fast, no meter at all which invites for an arbitrary taxi fare or unwanted detours that make up for a high bill: scams initiated by taxi drivers are the timeless classic in the history of travel scams.
Where does it happen?
Does happen anywhere, but is most likely to happen in Eastern Europe, South East Asia and South America.
How To Avoid It:
Self-confidence is key. Applying these two steps has always worked out for me:
1. Walk up to a taxi driver, state your desired destination look them in the eye and then just continue with a decisive “How Much! – That’s all.No small talk, no “excuse me”, nada. Just straight-up showing them that you mean business.
2. Once they quote you a price of, say, 60 Bath/Pesos/Ruble, make a “counter offer” by just offering them half of whatever price they gave you. Even though at times this may seem ridiculous as they might just give out a fair price keep a stern face in any case. The ones who get offended, feel insulted or get aggravated you can give a miss right away. They would have caused you problems later anyhow. The ones who calmly explain to you that 60 is a fair price are the ones you are looking for.