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Prague Taxi Card Scam

According to reports from some Prague tourists, local police authorities and card issuing associations, Prague taxi drivers are trying a new card trick to rip off tourists.

Prague Taxi Drivers

When a passenger pays by card, the driver inserts the card into the terminal and asks the passenger to enter the PIN. Then the driver returns the card – though not the same one  – and keeps the original card to take money from an ATM. Passengers returning at night to their hotel may be drunk or unfocused, and do not recognise the fact that the driver returned a different card to them. Another common trick amongst dishonest drivers is that taxi driver enters the wrong amount, especially if he realises that the customer is not well-focused or is drunk. For example, instead of entering 800 CZK he enters 8000 CZK, and asks the passenger to confirm the transaction by PIN. Then driver then tells the customer he is unable to provide a receipt because the terminal is broken, and by the time the customer realises from his bank statement that he paid too much, it is too late. The last trick with the card is that the driver makes two transactions and does not give the receipt to the customer, claiming that there is some problem with the terminal.

It is therefore wise not to pay by card, or if you have no other choice and you must pay by card be very careful. If possible do not let the card out of your hands, but instead insert it yourself into the terminal, or at least watch your card all the time.  

Paying Taxi by Card

source Czech  Press, DEC 2010

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3 comments

  1. I have been coming to Prague for the last five years and have always used Prague Airport Transfers to and from the airport. I use the same company and have never been overcharged. I do not ever hail a taxi on the street and always book online. I have heard horrendous stories of taxis overcharging, drivers taking tourists for an extended ride both in kilometres and in cash, locking a passenger in the car, driving around etc.

  2. I took a five minute taxi to my hostel (would have walked but I was lost and very unfamiliar) and also unfamiliar with the currency an pricing down here. When he told me the price I thought he had misspoken – a five minute taxi cost me 980 koruna. I literally have no money left for my stay here (2 days).
    Sincerely, Sad Camper.

  3. Hi. Just wanted to add my story. I arrived in Prague last night and got a train into the city. Seeing as I had no map, I decided I’d take a taxi for the small remaining journey. The problem was, I’m just passing through and wasn’t actually aware they don’t use the Euro here. So I had no idea how to assess the rate on the meter. I’d just changed 50 Euro, but the amount on the meter was so high I assumed I must have been mistaken how much local currency I’d received and didn’t check until we reached the destination, when the figure was 1485 CZK (after about 10 minutes’ drive). The taxi driver was so friendly and likeable I completely trusted him. When I saw that my 50 Euro didn’t cover the fare, I said “Is that right?” And he affirmed that it was. I said “But I just changed 50 Euro!” and he said “It looks like you didn’t get enough for it.” Stupid me, I though the money exchange guy ripped me off! He offered to take me for free (so generous) to the nearest ATM, which he did. On the way I asked him what the exchange rate was, but suddenly his English wasn’t good enough to understand me any more. It was only later when I had dinner and saw how Euros compared to CZKs on the bill that the penny dropped as to what just happened. Absolutely stupid of me. And I was giving the guy travel tips about South America!
    Cheers,
    Pierz

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