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Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport

netherlands
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2 posts
11 reviews
16 helpful votes
Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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I would like to contribute my story also to learn for others. I was traveling with my son of 16 years old and I'm an experienced traelller. When we arrived in Delhi last Sunday night it was 02:00 am. We went outside the airport and immediately we had some people behind us for taxis. We went straight to the taxi booth outside and booked a taxi to Paharganj area where we already had a prebooked hotel. One guy showed us the way to the taxi. He didn't take a taxi Faridah was already standing there, which alerts me a bit and than he joined the driver! Another alert. But honestly I was tired and went along as it seemed official with the note from the booth. In the taxi the guy from the booth starts talking about festivals etc. another alert. When we arrived in the area of Paharganj we arrived at blocked streets and I insisted that he would bring me to the hotel anyhow. But he drove us to an official office which could help us with different hotel, which I kindly refused. Than he wanted us to sell train tickets but I told him I bought them already via clear trip. He wanted to see the tickets but I refused. Then he said the only way to get in is by rickshaw. I didn't agree but according to him there was no other way. I got a bit upset to guy from the booth and then we drove away. But we were brought to a rickshaw driver and he could drive us into the area. Before I realized the taxi driver took off with booth guy and we were left alone in the darkness of Delhi with a rickshaw driver who only spoke a few words,of of English. Mind it was already 03:00 am in the morning and we had a 8 hour flight from Amsterdam behind us, so we were exhausted and they knew. The rickshaw driver brought us to the area again and again we were blocked. A guy appeared and he said that due to the festival the whole area was blocked and that it was dangerous to go out on the street in Delhi because of robbers and so on. The rickshaw driver wanted to have a stop there but I threatened him to drive onwards tot the lighted streets again. I told him to drive us to any other hotel. But he said he couldn't help us in his few words of English. He drove us to another official tourist office where e man waited happy to help us. I told him very agitated that I don't want any help or hotel or train ticket but someone to bring me to the prebooked hotel. Of course he couldn't help because of the roadblocks. I said no problem and took my telephone and said I call the police, please give me the address. Then he got agitated and said I had to leave immediately. I told him that I wiould not and would stay in the office till the morning. I said I would not and otherwise would hang outside. I realized only later that this was not what he wanted because more scams were going on at the same time and he didn't want us to meet others. In fact we saw at least 2 other rickshaws with tourists driving to the same road blocks. So this guy from the tourist office went outside with me and immediately called for a rickshaw driver in the area. This guy again tried to bring us to the closed area. I told him not to do so an stop it and bring us to a hotel. He asked the budget and I said 1000 rupees or so. Of course this wasn't possible and he tried to convince us that the price was much higher. I told him that he should just bring us to a hotel and stop the hassling. We were brought to a cheaper hotel..When we entered the hotel was surprised and that relaxed me. We were now in a hotel and they seemed not part of the scam otherwise they would have been awake! They offered me a room from the standard rate and I negotiated it down to 2000 rupees. Which is a shame but at least not too much. I knew that we were close to the original hotel but all I wanted now was safety! Next morning I found out that our original hotel was only 5 minutes drive from here and there were only a few blocked roads in the area. Everything could be reached! I think in hindsight we were lucky! The experience only costed us a good night of sleep and 2000 rupees.

My advice: when one arrives in Delhi airport go to a taxi booth inside, not outside. Beter inside so you can quitely talk with them. This is impossible outside! Take care of the exchange scam mentioned in other stories! Ask for the booths' telephone number and ring this on the spot to make sure you have the right number, tell them you have also the number of the police also. Ask them for festival, roadblocks or any other stond stort and that you will call them and the police in case there is. Let them escort you to an official taxi waiting outside and make sure that no one accompanies you! This could work!

Good Luck,

Arthur

Gurugram (Gurgaon...
Level Contributor
59 posts
18 reviews
14 helpful votes
1. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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Sad to hear what all happened with you & your son. I always prefer to take a Meru or an Easy cab from their booth outside the arrival gate. Though this can be little expensive as compared to the prepaid taxis, but not much plus you get a good air conditioned vehicle with gps tracking.

I personally have used both the taxis & the difference is hardly $1-2 from the prepaid ones.

Hope you have a good stay.

New Delhi, India
Destination Expert
for New Delhi
Level Contributor
6,274 posts
10 reviews
13 helpful votes
2. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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You were strong & lucky so that you can manage to escape from them. I always suggest to book arrival transfer with hotels or any travel agent if flight arrives late night.Prepaid or another type of taxi cost Rs. 400.00 Airport to city hotel but sometimes this experience can cost US$ 400.

Please remember small Hotels / guest houses offers very cheap/ complimentary arrival transfers that is also a trap to sell expensive tours later. Avoid very cheap things.

Hari Mangal

Jaipur, India
Level Contributor
4,457 posts
8 reviews
2 helpful votes
3. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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Sorry to hear such incidents, better to launch an FIR in the nearest police station so that these kind of things won't happen again.

Lowestoft, United...
Destination Expert
for Varkala Town, India
Level Contributor
13,625 posts
161 reviews
112 helpful votes
4. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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These things should be reported. as these scamsters need sorting out. I would never allow anyone else in the car. They can jump in all they like but out they will go just as fast. Make a fuss, get out of the car and shout, they will soon disappear.

Switzerland
Level Contributor
722 posts
81 reviews
85 helpful votes
5. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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The access to Paharganj from New Delhi Railway station side is indeed blocked. A taxi needs to enter from Ramakrishna Ashram side. But, no taxi will ever find your Paharganj hotel, except if you can guide the driver, and that is nearly impossible at night.

As Hari Mangal suggested above, ALWAYS AT NIGHT get an airport pick-up from the hotel. You were lucky indeed that nothing bad happened to you.

Barcelona, Spain
1 post
6. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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Hi Arthur,

I just want to add, that the exact same thing happened to us although we bought a taxi ticket inside the terminal, so we always should be really careful. I guess the best thing to do is make your hotel pick you up at the terminal, especially when arriving at night.

Cheers,

Frida

New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
7,635 posts
108 reviews
133 helpful votes
7. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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Yes ! When you are arriving late at night, it's better to ask for pick up from your hotel.

Don't take taxies from your travel agents, they will take their commission and will thus be expensive. Hotel pickup is cheaper. Another alternative is to download Ola or Uber Apps on your smartphone and use them to book a taxi.

New Delhi, India
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7,635 posts
108 reviews
133 helpful votes
8. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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And as CUnow posted, there are 100s of hotels in Paharganj, there are some hotels in the main market itself but many of them are situated in small alleys and taxi drivers do not know the location of all the hotels.... If you are arriving late and if you are new to India, ask for a hotel pick up.

New Delhi, India
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310 posts
66 reviews
208 helpful votes
9. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport
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While you were in the same area around your prebooked hotel, why didn't you call the hotel? This might have saved you from all the trouble.

For late night arrivals, pick up from the hotel is always the safest bet. It may cost a little extra money but would save the traveller from falling into any such kind of trouble.

Edited: 6 years ago
10. Re: Prepaid taxi scam at Delhi airport

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