Staying Safe When Using Taxis / Airport Transit
If you mention to a porteño 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.