It seems like a decade or so ago, it was pretty easy to find a traveller who had a story about the taxi scams of Belgrade. There’s been so much press coverage about the so-called Belgrade taxi mafia (unlicensed taxi drivers) that you wonder who could possibly still fall for them. Apparently, the answer is Annie Nieman who was visiting a friend in Belgrade (found via Vanja Pretrovic’s Blog).
She arrived on a train, and stopped a taxi to take to her friend’s apartment near Cvetkov open market on Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra. The ride should have cost no more than 600 dinars, but the driver charged Nieman €50 (roughly 4,600 dinars). What Nieman didn’t know that it’s common knowledge that you’re not supposed to take a taxi right in front of the train station, bus station, or airport because these drivers are usually not with a trusted company, and often have rigged, too-fast metres.
It’s a scam where the victim is easily tricked because there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with what’s happening. So, once again: Travellers: stop taking taxi with no oval blue license plate with a serial number, and the Belgrade Coat of Arms displayed on the top of the car. Besides being observant, one of the best ways to avoid this is to use a taxi group like Žuti (Yellow), Pink, or Plavi (Blue) Taxi.
You can read Vanja Petrovic’s blog post at the link above, and it’s a worthwhile read, in case you’re planning to take a taxi in Belgrade.