Crime rates surge during holidays, especially for theft, robbery, and transportation-related scams. But with all the parties and shopping galore, avoiding convenient transportation is not an option. Thankfully we’ve put together some tips on how to avoid taxi scams from none other than the Philippine National Police and some local tech reviews.
1. Wait at taxi stands
Sure it takes time and a lot of patience, but taxi stands in malls and hotels usually have guards that take note of the passengers’ names and the taxis’ plate numbers. In case you forget to text the plate number to your housemates or have no means to do so, you know someone else has got your back.
2. Book a cab
If you can’t afford to wait in line during the holiday rush, at least you can now afford to book a taxi to pick you up anywhere in Metro Manila. For just a small booking fee added to the regular taxi meter rate, you can order a taxi, get the drivers’ details (name, photo, plate number, car model), and track the taxi in real time using your mobile phone. Easy Taxi, the world’s largest taxi booking application, partnered with reputable taxi fleets to provide safe and efficient transportation in the country. Recent deal with Smart Mobile allowed the company to offer P0 booking fee. If anything bad happens, your trip is tracked and recorded by the 24/7 customer service team. Download the mobile application for free at www.easytaxi.com.
3. Choose your cab
Information is your weapon, so be updated on which taxi fleets have bad reputation. Choose those from recognized companies like MGE, R&E, ABC, Ryo Aki, Akkin, or Twasco. Aside from the company name also check if the taxi’s plate number is the same with that of the body number.
4. Be on the backseat
The farther you are from the driver, the better in case a self-defense situation arises. On the backseat you are also farther away from the dashboard where nauseating perfumes are usually displayed.
5. Check a few things inside the cab
Inside the cab make sure to check three things: 1) if the doors can be locked from the inside, 2) if the meter has a “certified and checked” sticker and is working, and 3) if no one is hiding at the back or under the seats.
6. Take the safe, familiar route
To avoid overcharging and more serious crimes, say no to “shortcuts” and insist that the driver take the route familiar to you, preferably highways and well-lit areas. You should have an idea on how and how much it will take to get to your destination. If you’re not sure, ask around.
7. Save or memorize emergency numbers
Memorize or save these emergency numbers in your phone:
- LTFRB - 0921 448 7777 or 4262 515
- PNP – Dial 1-1-7 or text 0917 847 5757
Dialing these numbers is the last thing you want to do, so if you could take the most important step to significantly minimize the risks of scams, it would be: Choosing taxis from companies that ensure safety through their reliable monitoring and tracking systems. Have a safe holiday!