Be Aware of Touters at Melbourne Airport

Hi all,

Just wanted to give everyone the heads up regarding the touters at Melbourne Airport.

A few months ago my inlaws (born overseas and came here as adults, very trusting and naive) were approached by a touter at Melbourne Airport asking if they wanted a taxi. The man was well dressed and appeared legitimate. They were charged $120 for a trip that would have been $60 normally because it was a limo service (no meter).

Tonight I saw a man and his mate loitering around the airport exit. They asked a young lady here on holiday if she needed a taxi. I ran and told her that it wasn't legit and she was being ripped off. Anyway, to cut a long story short, things escalated and he came up to me at the baggage carousel and started name calling, swearing and intimidating me. I then left and he followed me to pick up zone outside the Park Royal Hotel to "talk". It was a really scary situation.

I just want to make everyone aware that a legit taxi driver will not approach you at the airport asking if you want a taxi as it is illegal. Please tell your friends and family to only use rideshares or the legit taxi rank at the end of terminal 3. Unfortunately the taxi rank is tiny and signage is poor.


    • +271

      I did call the police.. this happened earlier today. I just wanted to let everyone here know what's occurring to save others from being ripped off by these scammers.

      • +46

        Good job that man! Thank you for sharing this information, it's definitely PSA worthy.

        • +8

          the OzB police dept. Phone no 1800 OzB

          • @RTX9090Ti: need fix youth crime problem for Queensland can hole OZB police dept on it.

          • +1

            @RTX9090Ti: "Hello, OzB police? Yes, it's me again - I'd like to report a missing price in title"

      • +15

        Let airport security know also. They don’t appreciate business being taken away from the airport.

        • -3

          Wow there is airport security?

          • +5

            @Ziggy28: Ikr first ive heard of it
            never had to get my belongings and/or person scanned to get on a plane

        • +1

          there is airport security ?! it must be the same company as my workplace where they all hide in their office and let you deal with the crazies

      • Unfortunately the police won't be able to do anything unless you have a recording of what they said to you. Your best bet is to record any confrontation in the future.

    • +2

      delete this comment

    • +33

      U must be a d bag in real life. The guy tried to warn people doing a good thing.

        • +5

          Feel sorry for you but you do you.

  • +14

    This issue is not a Melbourne airport exclusive. It happens everywhere around the world especially at international airports.

    If people travel overseas and don't do an ounce of research on what to be cautious of then they only have themselves to blame. There's almost no excuse, thanks to the internet, to be naive about the traps of international travel.

    • +113

      Nope there's no excuse for authorities allowing it to occur here, even in a corrupt country like Thailand you don't have to worry about this. I'd say it shows how incompetent the AFP are if they can't manage to keep some low level scammers off the airport precinct and also the Vic Govt for not cancelling their hire car accreditations when caught…

      • +15

        How could Dan do this?

        • +46

          It's not the same thing. It's illegal to approach people at the airport offering taxi services.

          • -7

            @jm7: Which law? I think you’ll find it’s a rule of Melbourne airport.

            AFP would have no jurisdiction until Melbourne Airport asked them to leave and they refused (trespassing).

            Your best course of action is informing Melbourne Airport and asking them what they’re doing about it. Uber/Taxis who pay the airport would put considerable pressure on them to stop this type of action happening.

            • +22

              @Bozman: It's illegal not an airport rule

          • +21

            @jm7: I stand corrected, enforced since 2019 by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV)…

            • +9

              @sumyungguy: You are like ChatGPT, gives wrong answers that need to be corrected, then claims new answer is correct

              • -5

                @Heaps for Cheaps: Which answer was factually wrong? I only posted an opinion.

                • +3


                  This is price segmentation, not really a scam.

                  There. That one. The (incorrect) statement of fact, not an opinion.

                    • +7

                      @sumyungguy: They paid twice the standard rate for a service offered by underhand (actually illegal) methods. If, by your standards, this isn't a scam then please let me do your shopping for you. My service charge and goods mark up are very reasonable, honest.

              • @Heaps for Cheaps: I feel like this was more like the Israeli govt

      • Why on earth would you expect any level of help or competence from the Victorian government or authorities ?

      • +2

        Australia tends to legislate corruption so they could teach Thailand a thing or two about how the game is played.
        Set up a couple of B#llshit watchdog organisations and just to throw the public a bone and business as usual.

      • +13

        Let's make a visit to Australia comparable to a trip to 3rd world countries … great idea

        • +2

          Pretty sure we are on track for that already

          • +1

            @Protractor: But Dictator Dan is gone. It must be back on track to being an awesome US copy now. DEMOCRACY, baby!

            • -4

              @Munki: The paintjob continues via normalising US uniforms melded to Strayan skylines and Yanky voices.


              Pretty soon the sheeples will be bleating with a Yanky accent. Uncle Sam to the rescue.
              They'll sort the touters out, High end crime and all that.
              Poor old Dan, he just wants a round of golf, but the redneck bigots have spat the dummy.
              I think Price is shit scared he might bump into Dan on the fairways.Or worse, have to paly him. Or worse, lose to him.

              • +1

                @Protractor: Should turn his precious golf course into commission housing, let the boomers really lose their minds.

            • +1

              @Munki: I'm sorry but why are people bringing up Dan Andrews in this post?

              • -2

                @markathome: Anything remotely linked to Victoria must have some kind of mention of Dan Andrews. I do it just to rile up the flogs.

    • +29

      Nah mate it is the governments responsibility to ensure that the airport is super safe and free from scamsters. An Airport is the initial landing point of majority of the tourists and if we can't even ensure that point is safe and free from scamsters we shouldn't be having tourists coming in the first place.

      • Aren't airports private corporations. With private contractors.
        Or are they all gov employees nowadays.
        As if the government gives a rats ass about safety of tourists.

        • +5

          Do I work for a government organisation? No. Is my industry, like pretty much all others, expected to conform to certain government defined standards and practices that benefit customers and the general public? Yes.

          If the government didn't care about tourists (safety included) why spend millions advertising Australia to potential tourists overseas?

          • -2

            @banana365: They advertise because tourists come loaded with cash. Otherwise a tourist has same value as an asylum seeker. But either way tourism has a dollar value attached, the tourist individually, zero fs given. Like they showed everyone during covid.

        • Airports are full of government goons. It's a necessity. They absolutely should be enforcing against these fake taxi twats.

    • +13

      Unfortunately not everyone has access to the internet and the ability to research these things, and most people wouldn't be expecting this to happen in Australia. My inlaws didn't actually know they had been scammed.

        • +20

          A lot of older people aren't very tech savvy.

        • +3

          But you’re a part of society and yet you still act like a little obnoxious so and so.

    • +4

      then they only have themselves to blame

      So you mean this is solely travelers' responsibility irrespective of their age and/or language they speak, and airport authorities are there only to count how many planes landed and taken off?

        • +2

          Agree on the shared responsibility, but you don't see any effective efforts initiated from the airport authorities/governing bodies. Not all travelers are tech savvy, especially old ones and that's where simple notice boards/signs in different languages play could play a big role.

          Like, "Beware of touters. It's illegal in Australia to be approached by an individual or group of individuals for Taxi services. Please inquire at service desk for more information or help."

          authorities can also have such information announced in planes, printed on declaration forms etc.

          There are many ways this can be curbed but never ever witnessed it happening. And you can then certainly blame the travelers if they yet fall prey to touters, but not before any substantial initiatives taken from the authorities to curb this.

    • +1

      Yep happened to my in Dubai. I paid 2015 prices in 2006.

    • +7

      It doesn't happen in Singapore, Japan or South Korea. But it happens in Indonesia, India, South Africa, Malaysia and Australia.

      • Bout right then

      • It doesn't happen in Japan and Singapore because their security is great.

        Also App based booking is very popular therefore these taxi scammers are worthless

    • +1

      Yep, I got done at the Istanbul airport, realised I was probably being ripped off when I had the whole mini bus to myself. Lesson learnt.

    • This is especially an issue at airports in developing countries and some airports in USA. I was rather surprised to see there were more and more of them standing around at Melbourne airport when I was there last month.

    • Can't say I've ever seen it at Brisbane International.

      • They know who to target. You probably look like a local so you would never see or be approached by them.

    • +3

      Lmao always victim blaming aren't you. How about condemn the actual scammers for once

      • -4

        Nope. Just saying people need to take on some personal responsibility and not rely on the government to save them all the time, or blame the government if things go wrong.

        • +1

          You're right, but it's pretty messed up if we have to watch our backs at every corner which seems to be more and more the case lately. It doesn't help when people then say it's the victims responsibility. The blame should always be on the scammers. Especially when they're getting more sophisticated, how do we expect certain people like the elderly or the disabled to have the capacity to know every scam in the book or fix every household problem? It's easy enough for people like us who browse the internet 10 hours a day and know how to use it, but that's not everyone. Honestly I had no idea stuff like this happened in Melbourne, and I probably wouldn't have looked up something like this in certain countries either.

          Otherwise where do you draw the line? My female friend got assaulted in the city around 11pm, is it her fault for being on her own that late? Sure, she probably should avoid walking at night, but if it happens, we should never blame the victim.

  • +35

    Thanks for helping that young lady! It takes 1 person to ruin one country or city's reputation.
    I'm pretty sure Melbourne Airport is turning a blind eye to this as they probably make money from parking fees. If they want to fix this it's not that hard for them to improve the signage.

    • +13

      Agree. It's very blatant too. They would definitely be aware of what's going on. Security are turning a blind eye.

      • +2

        Security are probably being bribed.

    • Not just that. We've all seen taken.

  • +3

    the one time where bikies is a legit answer.
    thats what u need! bikies to rough them up

    • +24

      Typical Jerk response, though I am surprised you didn’t call him a white supremacist racist as you do with 80% of all your comments.

      • -1

        80% of my comments eh?

        • +6

          Yeah, my bad.

          99%** of your comments.

    • +24

      No I don't drive taxis, ubers, etc. The reason I said something to the lady and posted this is because it's wrong and I want people to be aware. Hoping by letting others know it will result in something being done and people being more cautious. I know touting is very common around the world but there are laws in Australia to protect travellers that are not being enforced.

    • +5

      "a fool and his money etc."
      You must be extremely poor then, using your rating system, that is.

      • -1

        Cheers, Bliss

      • all for people know rule make all taxi in Aus look bad that not good look for Aus

        • +2

          Apologies in advance if this is a bigoted thing to say but maybe you should write in your mother tongue and get the internet to translate it to English.

    • +8

      You are confirmed as one of those people who immigrated here from a third world country in want of a better life, only for it to be more like home.

      • -1

        You have confirmed that you less than no idea.

    • +2

      This guy is a touter.

    • +2

      Looks like we’ve found the limo driver.

      So we’ll say it again here - no we won’t accept your ride.

      • -1

        Sure. Nice fantasy. OK I'll play along.
        Jason Statham (leading hand) says hello.

  • +5

    been like that for at least as long as i've been travelling there (2009). Like any airport the right answer is "no thanks, i am going to the official taxi rank"

  • +11

    I've seen these guys.

    Problem is is that they position themselves in the middle of the arrival area outside and you usually have to walk past them to get to the taxi rank which is all the way at one of the far ends.

    • +26

      Agree. And the signage is very poor. The girl asked me where the legit taxi rank was and there was absolutely no signage where we were. It's no surprise people get swindled by these guys.

  • +4

    Some historical context from a one time frequent traveller. Back in the day before rideshare existed, limo services at MEL were only able to compete for customers by touting inside the terminal - they weren't allowed to use the taxi ranks. I tried one and used the same driver for quite a few trips. Comfortable vehicle, competitive flat rate, courteous & professional driver who was navigationally competent and didn't converse on his handheld mobile phone for the entire journey. I won't detail the credit card skimming scam that was endemic until manual card processing became redundant. Per @Muzeeb, transfer price gouging is a happening at all airports (except maybe Singapore).

    • +2

      I also used to travel to the same airport frequently for work and used the same limo/private driver. Was cheaper then the taxi rank and was a simple text to organise. I personally never had an issue

    • Only (profanity) need a limo.. Does that extra long car really take you home any differently besides getting in the way of everyone else on the road ?

      Typical American bullshit, everyone is equal but we always put people down and make them servants and lower than us.

      Mexicans are always cleaners, people go in limos to tell everyone else they are better than them, blacks are always drug dealers, etc…

  • +6

    Good on u for helping out

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