Scammer Convinces Tourists To Pay $409 For Free Staten Island Ferry Tickets

It costs a lot of money driving into New York City through the Hudson River tunnels or over the George Washington Bridge, and subways and cabs certainly aren’t free. So you can’t fault tourists who assume they have to pay to ride the free Staten Island Ferry — but more than $200 per ticket?

CBS2 in NYC reports that a Virginia couple were scammed out of $409 for two tickets on the ferry that connects lower Manhattan to Staten Island.

The man was posing as a ticket agent in Battery Park, which adjoins the ferry terminal. Not only did he regularly scam people into paying for their free rides, he also conned some folks out of entrance fees to the public park.

He claims to have raked in upwards of a few thousand dollars in a day, according to CBS2.

Some critics say the city isn’t doing enough to crack down on this sort of very public bad behavior.

“What’s really sad is that the city and the parks department have known about this for many years,” says Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates. “We have an open air scalpers market. These people have no licenses.”

This news comes on the heels of reports of a hot dog vendor working near the Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan who was trying to charge $20-30 for a simple hot dog.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.