A Chinese student at the University of Illinois was scammed out of $4,240 (25,900 yuan) by a taxi driver at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport who lied to him that there were no more buses headed to Champaign that evening.
The 18 year old student arrived at O’Hare at 6pm on August 20. He was approached by a taxi driver who told him he could drive him to the UI campus in Champaign for the low low price of $1,000 (6,100 yuan).
Apparently unsatisfied with charging a foreign teenager $970 more than the shuttle bus (which was running for another two hours) the cabbie demanded $4,800 for the trip upon arrival in Champaign.
“They take a train — we believe it’s the airport train to remote parking — then get into a dark-colored SUV. He drives him to his residence hall at the Florida Avenue Residence halls in Urbana. The driver then writes down the cost of the trip, which totals $4,800. The student said he didn’t have that much cash so he gave him what he had,” UI police sergeant Tom Geis said. The victim reportedly handed over a total of $4,240.
Julie Misa, director of UI’s International Student and Scholar Service, said school administrators were confused as to why the victim trusted the taxi driver (after all, it’s not like Chinese cabbies are notoriously honest) and why he was carrying such a large amount of cash. She added that the program provides detailed instructions online of how to get from O’Hare airport to campus.
“It’s hard to know why this would have happened,” Misa said.
[Image credit: @beigeinside // Via: DNAinfo, Gawker]