With more solos and the younger generation looking to enjoy greater worldwide travel, the potential of falling to a localized scam is heightened. While most taxi drivers are largely honest and accommodating, the rare few can utilize hustles that fly close to the legal thin line with the ultimate aim of getting travellers to part with their hard-earned cash.

Here are six scams to avoid falling for:

No Change: A driver may pull this old-age scam, forcing you to part with a big denomination bill. This can come in various guises, from a driver switching your bill for a smaller one and arguing you gave him a small bill, dropping the high fare to one within a 'reasonable' limit, or simply claiming they have no change, leaving you with little option but to hand over a 'rounded up' denomination just to get away. Always try to ensure you have loose change and small bills to offer the correct change and get a ballpark cost of the fare before getting into the taxi.

Over-Charging: Drivers may take advantage of a newly arrived traveller to a strange destination by offering to get them to their destination by quoting an over-the-top price. If a tourist fails to ask at the start of the ride, they could fall for an inflated charge. Get to know through travel forums before you go what taxi costs might be at your arrival point, or ask a driver for the potential cost. Another way is to look for a metered taxi and ensure the meter is on before entering.

The Scenic Route: Travellers who feel they have been duped will usually cite the taxi driver's decision to take the long way around for a short trip simply to earn more money. One way is to have an idea of where you should be travelling to and familiar landmarks to dissuade a driver from trying it on.

Drivers' Questions: While a taxi driver's patter and chat may be entirely innocent, some can be disarming in a way to get your guard down, to see whether you know the country, whether you are travelling alone, the length of stay, simply to weigh up an opportunity to strike and scam. If you feel uncomfortable, then act aggressively and forthright, so the scammer knows you won't tolerate their questioning.

6 Taxi Scams To Avoid (in 2024) - The Wise Traveller - Guy getting into Taxi

Hotel, What Hotel? Some taxi drivers might be working on a commission for a hotel in resorts and cities and may try to convince you that your hotel has closed or changed location. They may also try to give you another option, which is likely to be a dingy backstreet, inflated, or middle-of-nowhere operation. Show them proof you have the hotel's details, and they are waiting for you. Alternatively, get your hotel to arrange a transfer from the airport.

Taxi Touts: Touts offer the earth, and tourists usually end up paying for it. Resist their over-inflated offerings and promises. If you use a taxi driver, get their registered number and agree on a fee from the outset. And insist on avoiding common stops, such as carpet shops or tourist traps, where they may be on commission

Alternatives: If you have researched well, one option is to utilize public transport, such as bus and trains. These can be cheaper and more reliable choices. Even grouping up with other travellers on a bus will give you safety in numbers and leave taxi drivers' extravagant claims and rip-off dreams in the dust.

If taxis are the only option, then ensure that you pick up taxis at designated taxi ranks, read up on tariffs and charges, keep watch on the meter, and never get in a taxi if someone is in the taxi with the driver. Safe and cautious are always the best watchwords when heading to an unfamiliar location.

Andy Probert - The Wise TravellerAndy Probert is an experienced freelance business travel journalist and PR specialist.