Work Abroad but earn in USD

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Staying Safe When Using Taxis / Airport Transit

If you mention to a porteƱo that you plan on taking a taxi somewhere, they'll likely advise you to only use Radio Taxis -- which are taxis that you call by phone first. They always advise against picking up taxis on the street (unless, perhaps, they don't like you). If it is necessary to take a taxi on the street, always try to take a Radio Taxi that you see driving by. What's the reason for this? A common scam is for criminals to set-up fake taxis, pick-up tourists, rob them, and then drop them off in the middle of nowhere.

A New Airport Scam

Today, an Argentine friend of mine told me about a new scam that was just pulled off at the airport. Ezeiza International Airport is about 22 miles southwest of downtown Buenos Aires, so virtually all international visitors are going to have some distance to travel to their actual destination, whatever it may be. There are plenty of ways to get to where you're going from the airport -- taxi, shuttle, private coach, etc.

The criminals in this scam posed as tourists and booked a shuttle along with all the other tourists. They told the driver their stop was very close to the airport. The shuttle driver pulled off the road well before Buenos Aires and the criminals proceeded to rob everyone in the shuttle -- the driver and the tourists. They then siphoned the gas out of the shuttle and left it stranded in the middle of nowhere, well outside Buenos Aires city limits.

So, when you arrive to the airport, you may want to be careful about who you decide to share a shuttle with, if you must use a shuttle. For $20 or $30 USD, you can have your own private driver and coach, arranged in advance, and waiting for your arrival. They'll take you to wherever your destination is in Buenos Aires. Don't gamble with your safety just to save a few bucks.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, just an FYI on your blog.

I'm an American reading your blog and am finding the info a great source of inspiration for making the transition myself.

Keep it up. Maybe later I'll shoot you an e-mail when I get all my cards ready.

All these little blog tid bits are really giving some "perspective" down south.

Thanks.... :-)

4/07/2005 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger said...

Taking a Radio Taxi on the street (without previously calling the comapny) can also be a risk as the criminals have started to fake Radio Taxis as well. Even while waiting for the Radio Taxi you called you could be scammed, as robbers listen in the Radio Taxi's frequency an try to get there before the real taxi gets to you. Some Raido Taxis have started to call back customers to inform the car model and the license of the Taxi they got assigned. My preference will be to use Remises. Remises are private cars that work like taxis but can only be booked by telefone or in they main dispatch office. As they do not usually use Radios they are less likely to be "overheard". Also, in most cases the telephone operator will confirm with you the car model straight away as they are usually dispatched from the main offices (they don't roam in the city as they can't pick up passangers on the street like taxis).

On the Airport issue, again there is no 100% safe choice. Even provate cars have been robbed. Coaches seem more likely to be robbed to me, as they will get a bigger "pot" with a bus than with a private car.

4/08/2005 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger said...

Just so people don't get the wrong idea and think taxi's are dangerous, I should point out that I've traveled around the world and I truly believe Buenos Aires has the safest and most educated taxi drivers in the world.

I've never gotten scammed (Besides getting a conterfeit bill once). I take on average about 15-20 taxis EVERY single day going out on business meetings and looking for property to purchase. I'm talking hundreds of taxi's per month.

Not only that but I have rented to hundreds of people since 2002. None of those people have experienced crime in taxis as well. Don't get caught into thinking it's dangerous. Sure, you must be careful just like any other major city but the taxis are safe here over all. Try taking a taxi in Rio de Janerio or Prague. A nightmare!

5/19/2005 10:14:00 AM  

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