Check out these top tips to avoid taxi scams (Dave Newman)
List 20 July

8 top tips on how to avoid taxi scams

Many ne'er-do-wells will try to rip you off. Peter John, author of Around the World in 80 scams helps you to avoid cab cons

1. Only take licensed taxis Look for official signage. Documentation and ID on the cab.

2. Beware taxis offering sightseeing services You may end up seeing few sights but many shops, where the driver earns commission.

3. Familiarise yourself with the local money And as quickly as possible, so you don't get short-changed; carry small notes and coins.

4. Do some research before you arrive Then you will have an idea of what the taxi ride should cost. Try up-to-date guides and websites such as www.taxiprices.com.

5. Make sure the driver turns the meter on (if there is one) Or agree a price in advance. Be suspicious of taxi drivers who tell you the meter is broken. Try to make sure the meter is on the correct setting (ie, not on nighttime fares, etc).

6. Try to show the driver the route you want to follow on a map It will look like you know where you are going. Have an idea of how long the journey should take. Be wary if your taxi turns off-piste or into an alley for no clear reason.

7. Keep anything you can't afford to lose with you Don't put it in the boot in case of a drive off. Retrieve your bags from the boot before you pay the driver.

8. Finally Don't automatically assume the driver is going to rip you off – nothing annoys people more than an unfounded accusation of dishonesty.

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