How it works:
- Version 1: rigged meters; covering a meter with a higher preset starting charge with a cloth.
- Version 2: claiming a fare is for each person, not for the whole cab.
- Version 3: showing an “official” looking price list with inflated flat fares; adding hidden fees; jacking up the price at the end.
- Version 4: driving off with your luggage.
- Version 5: sleight of hand swapping to a counterfeit note. If in Shanghai, sleight of hand to swap your Shanghai Public Transport Card to one with no value inside.
- Version 6: collecting full fare for a return trip only to disappear for the return leg.
- Version 7: claiming that there is no more bus or that the bus is full and that you should take a cab.
- Version 8: place is closed scam.
Places to beware:
- Please refer to location tags above
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots (e.g. Beijing: Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven; Xi’an: Shaanxi History Museum).
- Photo: take a photo of the taxi number and driver’s license.
- Rigged meter red flags: tampered/missing meter seal, only fare is displayed, driver clicking a hidden switch, driving slowly at a high speed area to prevent meter from jumping wildly.
- Overcharging: ensure meter is turned on or research a fair price to negotiate with – check online fare estimators, your hotel/hostel staff or taxi booking apps (e.g. DiDi).
- Alternative: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) has 50+ transport options.