A new scam has come to light. I got to read about this in a major Indian newspaper. They reported that 4 single women got sucked in this scam in the city of Bangalore. This is how it goes. As soon as the auto takes off, the driver hands the woman, two 500 Rupee notes in exchange for ten 100 Rupee notes. When the woman takes the notes then the driver suddenly takes the wrong route and asks for an extremely high fare. When you the woman demands the driver to stop, he threatens her with violence. There is nothing much one can do in such a situation. Only sane thing anyone can do is to comply with the driver, pay the fare they want and try get out of it.
Here are some tips to avoid getting into these situations:
- Make a note of the registration number and ask the name of the driver. Take a photo of the registration number on your mobile if have to.
- Never take the money from the driver. Tell them you don’t have change.
- As soon as you feel as if the driver is going to do something wrong start recording with your mobile or camera.
- Try to get an idea of the route if you can which means buying a map of the city you are in.
- If you are travelling alone then let your family or friends know your travel itinerary. This way they will know the places you intend to visit.
- If you feel unsafe get out as soon as the driver stops (for example at a traffic light).
Find the Twitter handle of the city police and tweet to them with appropriate Hastags. Hastags start with symbol #. You can also tweet to “Nitin Jairam Gadkari” the Minister of Road and Highways. There was an incidence when a mother travelling with her five year son on the Indian Railways ran out of milk for her baby and she tweeted about it to the Railway Minister of India. Believe if or not a bottle of warm milk and biscuits was provided to the mother. This means that the tweet was read by the office of the minister.
For instance if you want to tweet, you could do something like this “I am in trouble with this auto rickshaw driver (add location and reg number) in #DelhiPolice @MORTHIndia. HELP ASAP
Please note that majority of auto rickshaw drivers are honest individuals and work hard for their livelihood. But it appears that some bad apples are there to scam you. Just beware.