Taxi drivers who take fake taxis are routinely arrested, but the process can be extremely complicated.
If the driver of a cab goes to a tourist hotel, it is a crime, even if he has no criminal record.
However, if he takes a cab to a real hotel, a police officer will likely not take a taxi to him because of the “false premise” of the transaction.
So how do the drivers get away with this?
“When I was in college, I had a taxi driver who drove around in his car, and he was actually trying to make a profit,” said Anthony Ritter, a senior at North Carolina State University and the founder of the taxi-driving app TaxiLiner.
“He did not have a criminal record, and his driver license was valid.”
Ritter says the taxi driver’s false premise was that the hotel was going to charge $5 per ride.
“He had no reason to think that they would be charging more,” he said.
But the driver would then tell his cab driver friend that he would charge $15 per ride and have to wait outside the hotel for a couple of hours to get in.
The friend was suspicious, but Ritter said he agreed to take the driver’s cab.
Eventually, the hotel manager came and asked him to pay $5 for the ride.
The driver told the hotel he had a friend who had the same problem.
Ritter was able to prove the hotel did not charge more because the driver was driving around the hotel with the hotel’s driver.
The story goes that he knew the hotel had a policy of not charging more than $5 because it was a scam.
“That would have been a lie,” Ritter told NBC News.
“So I figured he was telling the truth, and the story was that he had his friend get arrested for false premise.”
So how did Ritter get away?
The driver, according to Ritter and other taxi drivers interviewed for this story, will usually tell his driver friend “to give me $5,” but he will usually not.
Ritcher says he has had people who have been arrested and charged with a crime.
“It can be very frustrating, especially when you’re dealing with a company that you know is reputable and trusted,” he told NBC.RITTER: You get the guy who was charged, he’s in jail and you get a phone call telling you they’re going to take your money.
And he tells you, “No, no, no.
I didn’t take it, I just got it from the police.”