The more people that visit a city, the number of scams and scammers go up exponentially. Now, when I talk about scams here, I’m not talking about pickpockets or purse-snatchers, although there are those people out there as well. Here’s a list of six scams you need to watch out for when visiting New York City.
It’s no surprise that there are plenty of people in New York City whose job is to get you to part with a few of your vacation dollars. These scams aren’t criminal or illegal; instead, I’m talking about the people whose job it is to get you to spend your money with them or their company. Now, this is a scam because what they’re selling either isn’t what they promised or they’re selling something at a much higher price than you’d pay for it if you did it yourself.
Sure you got what they offered, even if it wasn’t what you thought it would be or finding out that you massively overpaid for what you received. Therefore, making these activities scams.
These people do this for a living. Their job is to be convincing. Making you believe you’re buying something you want and paying a fair price. Some of them are really good at it. So good that even New Yorkers can fall victim to them if they let their guard down.
One reminder of this is the story about how Alec Baldwin fell for one of the most common scams out there – tickets for a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty.
There are several operators who offer New York scenic boat tours offering views of the city and the Statue of Liberty. It’s understandable that when Alec went to Battery Park with his wife and family that he’d get
hassled approached by one of the many vendors selling tickets. Unfortunately, he missed some of the telltale signs that the person was not working with the official tour company or not even a boat that leaves from New York.
The “Free Shuttle Included” and Liberty Park, NJ should have been dead giveaways but he admits that he didn’t read the tickets until the transaction was finished.
Instead of getting on a boat in Manhattan, the Baldwins were put on a bus and driven to Liberty State Park in New Jersey where they boarded a tour boat for their trip to “See NY from the water.”
Now we had the same issue when we took the subway to South Ferry Terminal as we had to walk through a wall of ticket vendors.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t seemingly hundreds of people in the area, going to everyone they see that looks like they’re not local, and try to sell them a ticket on the boat to see the Statue of Liberty. Of course, they’re selling tickets to one of the many tourist boats that’ll take you on a trip around the harbor and a look at Lady Liberty.
We knew we were going to the place where Alec Baldwin now recommends:
Take the SI Ferry.
It’s the best ride in NY.
Besides having arguably the best view of the Statue of Liberty from the water, it’s also FREE so don’t let anyone sell you a ticket outside the terminal.
Now, it’s no fun to get scammed, particularly the moment when you realize that it happened. You feel taken advantage of and stupid for falling for their scheme. I’m sure that the $240 that Alec Baldwin paid isn’t going to cause him major financial hardship but for an everyday visitor to NYC, that could be a big hit to their vacation budget.
Anyway, it looks like Alec was able to get over his anger and managed to make the best of the situation, which is really all you can do at that point.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary