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Cheated by Istanbul Taxi Drivers w/ faked currency
This is not a negative specifically for Istanbul because this can happen anywhere on earth. Just that we experienced this recently and want others to be careful.
Our group took 3 taxis back to our hotel from old town area. Taxi one was the best, the price very near what the hotel told us would be. Taxi 2 was 10 TL more than Taxi 1, despite also having a meter. We watched and couldn't really tell what happened. Taxi 3 was the worse. It was not only 10 TL more, but the drive gave a faked 20 TL bill as change.
You can tell if the currency is faked if it has a corner cut off. Another person in our group also got a faked 20 TL bill. So when you are getting change, don't take any paper money with a cut corner.
50 -> 5 TL Trick Istanbul
Came back from istanbul yesterday.
The taxi driver made the 50 -> 5 Tl trick. He changed the notes like a
"magician" - really impressing. Although I'm very suspicious about the
strange way of hospitality of the Istanbulians I noticed it 2 minutes to late :-(
So be very very cautious when using a taxi in Istanbul!!
Lost passport in Taxi returned in4 hours
OK, not a good thing! I dropped my wallet with passport (and over 200 TLY) in the back seat of a taxi in Uskudar, Istanbul. I discovered just as taxi left.
I called Traffic police to report (tel 155) and they said to file report with police (553 11 28) and to call taxi complaints (212-325 1515). Friends called the Taxi complaints and they found the taxi driver (I had receipt) and he found the passport and let us know it would be returned in one hour. He showed up with the wallet and nothing was missing. I have sent over six weeks in Istanbul over the last year, and had only experiences like this. Never problems, as I see in these blogs. I have had friends that experienced over charges (usually on late night taxi trips). But my experiences have only been possitive.
It is a good idea to carry a map, so you can communicate where you want to go, as few taxi drivers speak english (although I've run into a few who spoke German).
- Business Travel
Driving in Istanbul
If your taxi driver decides to reverse into a one way street at speed after dark half a mile, as happened to me. I would recommend you tell him to stop and get out pronto. Despite the Turks in the back telling you "Don't worry, This is Turkey" your life is much more important to you.
OMG, this "note" trick seems to be a usual 1!!
I just came back from Istanbul, where I heard from a Brazillian couple exactly the same story of the 5/50 TL trick!
Seems to be a hobby of "some" taxi drivers there!
Advice is to tell the driver loudly that u r handling him a 50 TL and show it clearly to him b4 he hides it in his pocket!!
Know some Turkish words...
It's not actually a danger but a warning about taxis in Istanbul - most of taxi drivers are really good persons but:
1- Ask the taxi driver to use taxi-meter. Some drivers ask for double or more than the real fair.
2- Have a map of the city with you to avoid being cheeted by drivers, some of them make a short distance so long to get more money.
3- Most importantly, they know almost no english and you would be in trouble to make yourself understood. So knowing some Turkish would help.
4- As any other places you might ask the driver's advice he gives you on a plan or a place but You know it's a risk , specially in Istanbul.
- Road Trip
Not every taxi driver is a bastard...
I took the taxi 6 times but only got ripped off one time! Not that bad ;-)
However that one time was quite memorable. Going from the hotel to the old city cost about 20TL with a taxi from the hotel. If you have the choice, better use them.
On our way back we had to take a taxi from the street. I was already smelling something fishy when the driver was reluctant to drive us back in front of the hotel entrance. I though he didn’t want to be bothered by the gate check (yes, there was a gate check for cars!!)…He first tried to drop us at the Marina nearby while he had perfectly understood we were going to the Sheraton. At the end he drove us a bit closer but still without entering the hotel premises.
He was then asking for 45TL! That’s already the double of the regular price, but still cheap according to Belgian standards. My colleague asked for a receipt which he got and handed over several notes.
The guy was then complaining there was not enough. I suspect, at this stage, he had already flipped a 20 TL note with a 5 one!
Too bad, that’s all my colleague had with him. He took back what was left of his money and I handed over a brand new 50 bank note!
Suddenly the bastard did his trick again: my 50 TL note suddenly turned into a 5TL note!
He tried to rip us twice in a row with the same trick! Amazing!!
I was sure of what I had given and simply got out of the taxi! He hasn’t run after us…
- Business Travel
Careful with taxis by the Tunel late at night
I was on Istiklal Cadessi having dinner and did not realize the Tunel closed at around nine or nine thirty. There were a few taxi drivers near the Tunel entrance and I indicated to them I wanted to go to my hotel, which was near the Grand Bazaar. One guy spoke for the group and said it would cost me 20 liras. It did not seem to me a huge amount, and I did not know how else to get to the hotel, so I said yes. Another driver took me to the hotel and I paid him the 20 liras. He did not use the meter. The next day I discovered the going rate was around nine or ten liras for this ride. So if you are stuck up on Istiklal Cadessi late at night, look for a taxi driver who will use his meter and avoid the ones that congregate near the Tunel entrance!
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Istanbul: Bill Switcheroo continues
My son-in-law was taking a taxi from Ataturk Airport to Galata Tower at 6:00 PM on a rainy evening in November. The ony lira he had on him were two 50's he had taken from ATM at the airport. The meter read 42 TLir, when the taxi arrived at Galata tower, and my son-in-law gave he driver at 50 Tlira note. The driver took it but handed him back a 5 T Lira note and said he had given him only 5. He was hoping that in the rain my son-in-law would not notice. Luckily he knew had not had 5 lira note in his wallet. Stay alert for the switcheroo scam even though the new Lira do not have 6 and 7 zeros on them.
- Budget Travel
- Study Abroad
In four days I saw (I think) at least three ways in which Istanbul taxi drivers try to rip off tourists
1. By claiming "the meter is broken", then offering to take you to wherever you're going for an amount which is about 6 times what it would have cost if it had been metered. In my case that meant 28 Lira instead of about 4.
2. By claiming that there's a tramway on the direct way, so they have to go by another route. OK, I'm sure it's often the truth, but I'm equally sure that it isn't always, and I find it hard to believe that, when it is true, it necessitates a five-kilometre detour
3. By keeping their right hand on the gear-lever, half-hiding the meter, so that at some time, either on the way or (more likely) when you've just arrived (and they can draw your attention away from the meter by pointing to the museum or whatever you wanted to go to), they can "flick" the meter, so that instead of showing, say, 9 lire (as you thought it showed a few seconds earlier), it turns out to show 39. (Real figures, from experience - trip from Hagia Sophia to the Spice Market.)
And possibly also 4. By finding some excuse to drop you about half a mile before where you wanted to go, where it's convenient for the taxi-driver but not (though he says it is) for you.
I decided that there was just no way in which I could fight this (no language, no knowledge, no telephone, etc), and that my wisest course of action was never, if possible, to hail a taxi in the street or to take one from what was or looked like a taxi-rank, but always to ask the hotel or restaurant where I'd been having tea or whatever to telephone for one for me.
- Women's Travel
- Business Travel
Taxi's can be an unwanted thrill
Taxi's generally go by the meter, ensure the meter is on. The taxi that drove myself from Istanbul airport to the sultanahmet area drove like an absolute maniac, seriously, it was insane, be aware the same may happen to you
Istanbul is wonderful exciting city, great food, etc BUT watch out for some Taxi drivers, not all of course
The scam is, you hand them one or two bank notes (TLira), usually you are quite sure that they cover the fare - somehow the driver switches one of the notes for a one TLira note and claims you have not paid the correct fare and can get very aggresive
Also they may claim a note is torn and unuseable, they will try to retain the note whilst asking for another - this happened to me twice, on a short trip in heavy city traffic and a 5K trip to my hotel
If the trip is to hotel, ask the driver to come into the hotel to settle the matter, this usually settles the matter, in your favor
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Taxis in Istanbul
I found out that if you tell the taxi driver beforehand to switch the taximeter on and make a hint that you are acquainted with the city and know the road to where you are going, he does not dare to cheat. Usuall, the taxi drivers at the airport do not cheat.
I had to pay 25 YTL from the airport to Sirkeci, which is quite reasonable.
Make sure that the taxi driver does not switch on the night (gece) rate during daylight (gündüz).
The lost taxi driver
Taxi drivers have all sorts of schemes to make you pay extra money for your ride. Usually, this involves taking a longer route or circling a neighborhood looking for your destination. After a couple taxi drivers got lost trying to find our hotel, we decided to just tell them to drop us off at the Blue Mosque. This was only two blocks away from our hotel, but it was much easier for us to walk that distance than to explain to the taxi driver the directions. And it saved us at least a dollar or two each time took a taxi.
Stay on guard with taxi drivers!
Taxis are easily the single greatest annoyance in this otherwise wonderful city. Apart from drivers who stink with sweat so you can’t breathe and drivers who don’t know the way even with a map held to their nose, you also run a reasonable chance of being cheated. The scam works like this: as you are holding a 50 lira bill in your hand preparing to pay, the taxi driver would snatch it rapidly from you and “return” it in less than a second saying "this is only 5 lira, you need to pay more". And there is nothing you can do to prove you are right. My suggestion is that you try to use small bills only, stay on guard even with the friendliest of drivers, and be careful and attentive when paying. As we experienced this scam twice during the three days we spent in Istanbul, this must be a pretty common thing to happen.
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