Taxi Scam Istanbul

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Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by tlc2008 » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:16 pm

Please be wary about paying your taxi drivers! We were scammed in Istanbul (and our Turkish friends attest that this has happened to them as well).

What happened? Our fare was about 15YTL. We handed the driver a 50YTL banknote... without us realising, he quickly switched it for a 5 YTL banknote, and handed it back to us, suggesting that we had accidentally given him the wrong bill... (The 50 and 5 notes are similar in color.) Without realising he had done this, we then gave him more money to cover the fare.

I would suggest paying with as close to the exact change as possible and/or avoiding handing over 50 YTL bills.

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by suppiluliuma » Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:12 pm

Dear friends, unfortunately such events happen, even to us, Turks. The best to do is to take the plate nr before getting on. And make sure how much TL note you are giving, and say the amount when handing over.
Another way of scam is to change as false notes. Actually easy to detect, very bad quality papers. Be careful.
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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by javieradan » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:45 am

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by anu_k » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:53 pm

this very same scam happened to me a couple of days ago... except the taxi driver switched a 10YTL note for a 1YTL note in front of my eyes. when he handed it back, i knew straight away what had happened because i knew for sure that i never had a 1YTL note... plus i had been warned about the con.

but what can u do once its happened... your word against his isn't it?

i just took it as a lesson learned... i wasn't going to let it spoil my holiday mood.
from then on i was very careful and handed notes over individually, counting them out as i passed them over.

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by lorien_i » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:01 am

We got around this by never taking a taxi... we were in Turkey for 28 days and only took public transit: trains, buses, shuttle bus or dolmus and two days we rented a car. No rip-offs, no stress!

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by Sanchopanza » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:49 pm

We took taxis only 4 times in Turkey and only got ripped once in Istanbul. Outside of the big city I found taxi drivers to be helpful, interesting and really honest. Had one driver in Ankara who drove all over hell and high water looking for the restaurant, he had no idea where it was, and when we got there (finally) he refused the payment, turned off the meter and made me to understand that there would be no charge. I felt good about the guy and insisted on giving him a "tip" nonetheless of the amount I had been told at the hotel that it should cost. He appeared quite serious about no charge. Had another in Eskesehir who rendered outstanding service. Taxi drivers are notorious for good reason but we were lucky or stupid this trip. Public transit is the most reliable and least expensive but it doesn't always go just where you want to. Exercise due diligence and you should be fine in Turkey.

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by louis.herman » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:48 am

haha, never had a taxi driver scam me, though i had one who covered his eye with his hands and insist i take the wheel and steer as we flew down under the Aquaduct of Valens at 60 kph.

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by Bill_Miyorum » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:57 pm

louis.herman wrote:haha, never had a taxi driver scam me, though i had one who covered his eye with his hands and insist i take the wheel and steer as we flew down under the Aquaduct of Valens at 60 kph.
:shock: I think I'll stick to the no. 83 bus, which goes that way!

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by flitcraft » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:09 am

Taxi scams seem to be an unfortunate fact of life in Istanbul as in many other European cities--Rome, Prague, and Budapest, to name just sme of the most notorious. Here's what I do--I ostentatiously take a photo of the license number of the cab, telling the cabbie, "In case I forget something in your cab, I can trace it back to your car." I've never had any problems since, though I had a cabbie in Rome protest my doing it. I just smiled and said, "Ciao!" and took another cab.

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Re: Taxi Scam Istanbul

Post by AdamF » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:02 pm

Hi all - Just got back from a wonderful 10 day trip to Turkey and wanted to share my taxi scam story. I haven't seen this particular scam posted before, so here it is for your information:

We took a cab using the meter and when we arrived at our destination, the meter, which had previously been reading about 12 lira, switched to a display that read "34 TAK 69". The cabbie then demanded 34 lira. Turns out the license plate of every cab in Istanbul starts with "34" as that's the city code. There's a button on the meter that displays the license plate instead of the fare. He was charging us his license plate.

The story doesn't end there, though, and this is what I found most worth sharing: after arguing with this guy for a few minutes (it got pretty heated), a crowd of people had gathered including another taxi driver. Once the scamming cabbie drove off, the other cabbie ushered us into his cab, explained the scam, told us to go to the tourism police, and apologized on behalf of all Istanbul taxi drivers. He then drove us to our correct destination (turns out the original cabbie hadn't even taken us to the right place) which was about a 15 minute drive and refused to accept any money for it.

So take heart - though there are a lot of bad apples in Istanbul, there are also taxi drivers there who hate the scam system and do whatever they can to prevent it! Also keep in mind that out of 6 taxis we took while in Istanbul, this was the only one we had a problem with. With the exception of that one cabbie, everyone we dealt with in Turkey was honest, friendly, and helpful. It's a wonderful country!

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