In this era of ‘fake news’ there is a proliferation of scams, mainly hitting us in the pocket. Philip Wren warns us to be forearmed against some deceptions that are far more dangerous
A few years ago, four of us travelled to India. Flying overnight we arrived at Delhi Airport in the early hours of the morning India time. After acclimatising and relaxing over a coffee for an hour, we took a taxi to New Delhi Railway Station to catch the 6.00 a.m. train to our destination. On arrival at the station we were met by the usual crowd of people keen to carry our bags. They were also keen to ask our destination. On hearing where we were going they immediately said that the train was cancelled. Then they helpfully directed us to someone on the floor above who would be able to help. This person posing as a railway official assured us that the train was cancelled. To get to our destination we would have to rebook our tickets at a travel agents. The nearest Travel Agent was several blocks away so he helpfully found us a cab.
At the travel agents, the assistant checked the trains for seats and produced a printout showing that all the trains were fully booked that day. The only way we would be able to get to our destination would be by private hire car. Conveniently there was a private hire driver outside the travel agent’s office. The agent arranged, at substantial payment, for us to be driven to our destination. As we were leaving the agent said don’t forget to give the driver a good tip.