An Irish tourist has revealed how to avoid being overcharged for a cab ride in Budapest after she was ‘scammed’ on holiday.
Kerry Mitchell, from Dublin, posted a TikTok under her handle @kerryeatsdub, and it has already been seen by more than 177,000 people.
She told viewers: ‘So, last night I got scammed in Budapest. This is just a public service announcement to everyone – and I already knew this, but I still did it.
‘Don’t get a taxi that is not on an app, don’t get a taxi from a rank, especially if you are getting one of the prosecco boat tours’.
An Irish tourist has warned others who are planning a getaway to Budapest, after a taxi scam left her bank card completely drained of money
The tourist recalled that after the tour she and her friends were freezing, drunk and hungry – wanting to get some food as soon as possible, so they opted not to walk.
She explained: ‘I tried to order a Bolt because they use Bolt here mainly and he arrived but he was like a ten minute walk away, so I was like what the f***?
‘And there was a taxi rank there, so we went over and asked if they take card.
‘All of them wouldn’t take card except one. They were like, ‘oh go up to the Mercedes up there’.
‘So we go up to the Merceredes and it is a man, he is so nice, asking us where we’re from, is Budapest much more expensive than Dublin, is it cheaper, blah blah blah.
‘He was making conversation, asking how long we’re here for, all that stuff. I thought he was a nice man, also the ten glasses of prosecco did not help’.
The tourist’s Revolut bank account had been completely drained of cash, which she later confirmed has 110 euros in it – she shared a photo of herself visibly upset after the shocking incident
However, she was cautious and admitted that she was looking at the meter ‘the whole time’ – having previously been warned about getting cabs in Budapest – so was ‘keeping an eye’ on it.
Kerry said: ‘It shouldn’t have been over €20, actually it shouldn’t have been over €10.
‘Anyway, so we get out, I tap my card, don’t think anything of it and then we go for food, go to the bar and I go to buy a drink.
‘I tapped my card and he was like, ‘oh you don’t have any money’.
‘So, it’s nearly a week later, this is actually me when I discovered I had no money. He took everything in my Revolut account’.
The tourist’s Revolut bank account had been completely drained of cash, which she later confirmed has €110 in it – she shared a photo of herself visibly upset after the shocking incident.
However, luckily, she had only transferred €110 into her Revolut account – had there been more cash in there, matters could have been significantly worse.
She explained: ‘I had to cancel it and I went on the live chat. After an hour and a half I’d say of me sobbing in the corner of the bar, I did get my money back, somehow.
‘They managed to cancel the transaction. They told me many times they wouldn’t be able to’.
The tourist had been on a prosecco boat tour in Budapest, before deciding to get a taxi from the local rank
She finished the video off with a stark warning: ‘In conclusion, do not get taxis off the street in Budapest or anywhere really to be honest. Use Bolt if you’re going to Budapest.
‘All this aside, Budapest is 10 out of 10 and I do actually highly recommend’.
However, this TikToker is not the only one to fall to victim to taxi scams in Europe.
One viewer revealed: ‘This happened to me and my boyfriend in Budapest, he tried to charge us over €100 and he tried to lock us in the car.
‘I already had my door unlocked and told him to shove it and he ran up the road after us telling us he was going to find us’.
A second penned: ‘Same happened to me €111 for a two-minute drive’.
Meanwhile, a third added: ‘No I’m not even messing this is exactly what happened to us! Came off the Prosecco cruise and went straight to a ruin bar to see he had charged us €90 for a taxi!’
Someone chimed in with: ‘Exact same thing happened to me and my boyfriend in Budapest, and again the man was really nice and chatty then absolutely ripped us off’.
Commenters shared their experiences with other destinations as well as Budapest, including Prague, Athens, Amsterdam and Rome.
One viewer wrote: ‘Prague taxi drivers are the absolute worst I’ve ever had. Such an easy city to get around by tram but late at night you’ve no choice but to use taxis’.
Others added: ‘Happened to us in Athens’ and ‘Yeah, beware of the overly friendly, chatty, guys – especially in Rome’.
The warning comes after an experienced travel blogger was charged six times the going rate for a taxi ride from Paris’s Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) to the city centre.
Melissa Hie, known online as girleatworld.net, recently blogged about an ‘intimidating’ situation she found herself in with a fake Parisian taxi driver who quoted €360 (£312/$387) for a ride.
After refusing to pay the obscene amount, she said the driver became ‘aggressive’ and followed her into her hotel – only backing down when she paid him €80 (£69/$85).