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Warning - Taxi Scam Tortola

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Just back from a great trip that included a stop in Tortola. We fell victim to a scam there that others should be aware of. There were 6 of us in our group who wanted to take a taxi to Cane Garden Bay for the day. The posted taxi fare is $8 each way. Our taxi driver convinced us that we should pay the $16 round trip fee to him and receive a wristband and expedite the return. The story was that we could show the wristband to ANY taxi diver there and they would bring us right back. No waiting, quick and easy.

 

We are all seasoned travelers and should have known better, but we paid him $16 each and got the wristbands. If you haven’t already seen this coming, there wasn’t a single taxi driver at Cane Garden that wanted to bring us back with the wristbands. Nobody denied knowing about wristbands, they just didn’t accept them or they would try to call someone. With the ship departure time approaching we paid a driver the $8 each to bring us back. He was very nice to us an apologized for the situation, but explained that the drivers don’t accept the wristbands for return trips because they wouldn’t get paid. He said the other tactic is to get people to pay for a round trip with a set pick up time for the return. He said most drivers don’t return at that time. Tortola is a beautiful stop. We have visited several times and really enjoyed ourselves. Please don’t fall victim to this scam. There are lots of cabs waiting to take your $8 and bring you back.

 

P. S. in other forms folks have reported a number of taxi issues in Barbados too. Mostly around drivers changing rates mid ride or trying to drop in alternate destinations if they don't pay more. 

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Thanks for sharing, and I am sorry you had that experience. This is the very first time I have ever heard or read of this in all the years we've been visiting Tortola! Just shows there are bad eggs anywhere...

 

I agree that you should have just paid the one-way fare since that is the normal practice. Many drivers will offer to return for you when you are going to a less busy beach like Brewers, but will not charge you anything until you are back at port. You should never pay roundtrip ahead of time.
Lesson learned as you noted...

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