New York City is famous for its food carts, and while most carts operate on the up-and-up, some carts in tourist-heavy areas like to try and scam a little extra money off the top for standard items. Here's how it works:
- The food truck vendor (the scammer) identifies foreign tourists (the target) that have limited English, and perhaps a confusion on currency exchange rates.
- The scammer will hide their legally-mandated price list in order to keep the real price of the food items hidden from view.
- The scammer will take the order, then charge way too much for the item.
- The clueless target will pay for the item, unaware that they are being overcharged.
This happens all the time in tourist heavy places like Times Square and Battery Park. A few years, back, a hot dog vendor was busted charging $30 for a hot dog and drink. You can easily identify a shady vendor if they have an obscured, or missing price list.
If you see this scam happening, flag down a cop or call 311 to report the vendor, and see if you can help the tourists from getting overcharged by warning them before they pay for the items.
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