New Delhi tourist office on train station scam

#16 Jan 2nd, 2011, 13:55
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#16
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Originally Posted by narendra.d View Post Never seen/heard any train ticket in any class mention WS?
In the chair classes it mentions WS, or MS and AS, not sure if those are the correct codes, but they mean window seat, middle seat and aisle seat.

Thanks for the warning Emmbrook.
#17 Jan 2nd, 2011, 14:12
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#17
Thanks Steven for the info, been a while since i used CC.
#18 Jan 2nd, 2011, 14:42
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#18
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Originally Posted by narendra.d View Post Never seen/heard any train ticket in any class mention WS? WL, yes.
In 2S class, the window side seat no. has the letters WS beside it in the ticket. May be he meant so...
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#19 Jan 2nd, 2011, 14:43
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#19
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Originally Posted by steven_ber View Post In the chair classes it mentions WS, or MS and AS, not sure if those are the correct codes, but they mean window seat, middle seat and aisle seat.

Thanks for the warning Emmbrook.
Haven't seen MS or AS, but WS is mentioned beside the window side seat no.
#20 Jan 2nd, 2011, 17:08
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#20
... Just leaving behind this handy Indian Railways link again, their Guide to Locate International Tourist Bureau at New Delhi Station: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/ind...u/guideloc.jsp.
#21 Jan 28th, 2011, 07:44
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#21

2nd floor

anyhow, and who ever approaches you, the real booking office is in the second floor of the station and someone will eventually point out the right stairway for you. so, whatever happens on the ground level, forget about it; that's the golden rule.
#22 Jan 28th, 2011, 16:49
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#22
Very funny ... this scam was operating in 1988 on my first visit to India!

India has changed a lot in 23 years, but it seems some things never change.
#23 Mar 10th, 2011, 14:59
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#23
New Delhi railway station has the worst(as in most) scam artists ever, when I initially thought it was at Old Delhi Rail, now I know this is the case. When you take an auto from elsewhere to ND train station, they will often try and ask if you have a booking, and suggest to take you to a 'booking office'. Always say that you already have a booking, and decline these auto-rickshaw drivers. My best suggestion would be take the auto/cab to somewhere near the station, then walk there themselves, to avoid unnecessary scam attempts.

Upon reaching the outskirts of ND train station, people will try and tell you the station is elsewhere, or that you have to make a reservation elsewhere, and in my case, a guy said that we have to proceed to Connaught Place first to to see the our country's embassies, so that we can make the 'right choice' in the purchase of tickets. Remember, be smart.

When I reached the station, towards the right escalators leading to the other platforms, a guy in plain clothes near the security checkpoint spoke to me. He asked if I had tickets, I said I did, and showed him my Cleartrip e-ticket. He said I required a boarding pass, and he could bring me to the office to print one. After being in India for 2 weeks, and taking several trains, I know this was not the case. I laughed him off and said this wasn't my first time in India(when it actually was, haha). Again, know what you are doing and know what you have to do. Be alert, and be smart.

I hope this helps! Always keep your items close by, and do not be taken in by any 'kind words' those people around the train station has for you. After awhile, you should get use to what is a scam and what is not. India is wonderful, but these scam artists mars the beauty of the city.
#24 Mar 11th, 2011, 01:18
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#24
This happens to a lot of people. dont give them the time of day and certainly dont give them any bag to carry!!!!

the train station is the place to go. first. then meet some staffer there. best.
#25 May 19th, 2012, 19:10
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#25

Cool

Can't believe we fell for this age-old scam as well! - have read a lot of threads on India Mike but didn't check the one on scams ahead of time and wish we had. Three days ago we arrived at New Delhi Station at 6.30am for our 7.20am train to Amritsar, booked four days before then at the Foreigners Ticket Bureau in the station. As we were checking the e-board for our platform number, we were approached by a very confident, assertive man purporting to be from Indian Rail who asked to see our tickets, told us the WS for window seat meant we were waitlisted and we had to pay Rs2000 fine to be able to travel. I told him we weren't paying that, he walked us up towards what we knew was the Foreigners Ticket Bureau but (of course) it wasn't open at that time. Another man came down the stairs, seemingly independently, also inspected our tickets and said the same thing. We insisted we weren't paying it but they were quietly aggressive and said angrily, 'No train then!'. We took ourselves down the stairs and tried to pass into the platforms but they were extremely insistent we would be penalised and said we had to talk to the Duty Officer, another man they took me to (my partner waited in on the platform). He seemed kinder and more competent, confirmed the bogus story about the waitlisted tickets, and suggested we go to DTTDC (Delhi Tourism Transport Development Company?) to transfer our tickets into confirmed ones for a later train - leaving, he said, in an hour. We had to take a taxi there, make sure it was a govt taxi, he would help us and it should only cost Rs250 to get there and back - he would 'helpfully' negotiate for us. The taxi driver quoted Rs500, he appeared to bargain him down, garnering our trust. Next thing we know we're at some small random tourism office near the station with a guy ('Jan') saying it is high season, there are no other seats available on trains to Amritsar for days, but he can count our 'wasted' tickets towards the cost of a car + driver or flight to Srinagar (!!). I say I have to discuss changing our itinerary with my other half, we ask the taxi to take us back to our Delhi guesthouse, and bells start ringing when the tourism guy won't give us a card or number to call him on. He suggests going to a nearby cafe, when we get there it isn't open so we tell them to take us to the guesthouse, but they call Jan - we ask them angrily why they're calling him? Another taxi pulls up, we start loading our bags in, and despite our request to go to the guesthouse, in turn it pulls into another tourism office - this one at least marked DTTDC. At this point we truly felt like we were in The Truman Show! They try to sell us car / driver or flight combo, we are seriously pissed off by now, and it is finally revealed that WS is not waitlisted but window seat. Our train was long gone by this stage. Seasoned travellers that we are, with over 30 countries visited or lived in, I still found myself in tears. I think it was the combination of heat, exhaustion (big day of train travel the day before) and that rupture of trust when you're conned. At least when we were taken for a ride in Cuba, it involved dancing and mojitos!

We made it back to the station, and the Foreigners' Tourist Bureau, who helped us with new tickets. They encouraged us to report the encounter to the police at the station, but the police looked bored and said they couldn't see what the criminal or police element was since we didn't pay the Rs2000 requested by the scammers - we lost a morning's travel and some rupees in new tickets. I suggested the Foreigners' Tourist Bureau put a notice up about the scam, and let tourists know that they never sell waitlisted tickets (which they told me when we reported it). I thought I had my head around the RAC, waitlisted, Taktal etc elements of the Indian Rail system, I was duped over WS for window seat. Ah, India!
#26 May 20th, 2012, 23:23
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#26
Out of all the india scams - personally, I find this one the most shocking, partly because it operates with impunity on railway premises. The police guys there must surely know it is going on, and thus it must be suspected that they are also on the take.
I've been approached by these guys before, but knew where I was going, so didn't fall for it. However, even though I knew about it in advance, they are very convincing, and when you are sleep deprived after a long flight or journey, it's all too easy to get screwed.

How about an Indiamike campaign to get this one sorted out?

I'm not sure exactly what form that would take, maybe a bunch of us write letters to the tourism authorities, head of police etc. Maybe anyone on the ground in Delhi could go and take some photos, and give a sworn statement to a lawyer. I would certainly be prepared to do this next time I am in Delhi for more than a few days.

What do you think?
#27 May 23rd, 2012, 13:55
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#27
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Originally Posted by Sarahjacq View Post They encouraged us to report the encounter to the police at the station, but the police looked bored and said they couldn't see what the criminal or police element was since we didn't pay the Rs2000 requested by the scammers - we lost a morning's travel and some rupees in new tickets.
Don't feel too bad, the police in India are also unhelpful when dealing with things that are unambiguously crimes- after my wife's wallet and wedding ring were stolen (2nd day in India) we had to go to three different police stations before one would issue us a police report. Even then, they insisted on writing a report claiming the wallet was "lost," not stolen. (Juking the statistics, I suppose, or waiting for a "tip") We needed the report to replace the Bahncard, ID Card, and drivers license that were in it.

We didn't even bother going to the cops about the physical assault that happened a week later.
#28 May 25th, 2012, 20:03
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#28
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Originally Posted by Justiceiro View Post Don't feel too bad, the police in India are also unhelpful when dealing with things that are unambiguously crimes- after my wife's wallet and wedding ring were stolen (2nd day in India) we had to go to three different police stations before one would issue us a police report. Even then, they insisted on writing a report claiming the wallet was "lost," not stolen. (Juking the statistics, I suppose, or waiting for a "tip") We needed the report to replace the Bahncard, ID Card, and drivers license that were in it.

We didn't even bother going to the cops about the physical assault that happened a week later.
the deal with police is that if it is a crime (like stealing), they have to lodge an FIR - now this gets into statistics & they have to update on a daily basis what action has been taken on outstanding FIRs. on the other hand an incident (like losing) only needs a report - more like a diary entry. in most cases, the other companies "understand" the reluctance of police to give FIR copy & accept that report to reissue cards, etc.
if you have time & energy, going to a senior official or filing RTI might help get an FIR done, but chances of retrieving the actual stolen item is still very very low.

if you are certain it was stolen, you can at least inflate the value of loss. this would ensure that when corrupt policemen try to get their share from the 'typical' gangs operating in that area, there would be some fireworks
#29 May 25th, 2012, 21:17
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#29
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Originally Posted by IndyBoy View Post Out of all the india scams - personally, I find this one the most shocking, partly because it operates with impunity on railway premises. The police guys there must surely know it is going on, and thus it must be suspected that they are also on the take.
I've been approached by these guys before, but knew where I was going, so didn't fall for it. However, even though I knew about it in advance, they are very convincing, and when you are sleep deprived after a long flight or journey, it's all too easy to get screwed.

How about an Indiamike campaign to get this one sorted out?

I'm not sure exactly what form that would take, maybe a bunch of us write letters to the tourism authorities, head of police etc. Maybe anyone on the ground in Delhi could go and take some photos, and give a sworn statement to a lawyer. I would certainly be prepared to do this next time I am in Delhi for more than a few days.

What do you think?

It's an extremely creepy form of stalking & has the potential to shorten and or completely ruin a traveler's Indian experience. These fraudulent rings can't operate without baksheesh fueled insider assistance. The Dal Lake kidnapping scam is a different arm of the same operation. A letter to the right(this guy? ) cabinet minister with a CC to the Indian Rail President might be a good start.

The collective minds of the Indiamike community is absolutely the best 'office' for drafting any successful campaign. The details for this letter are all lurking within the threads of past cheated or nearly cheated members & within the minds/thoughts & descriptions of seasoned Indophiles.

Who's going to start the prose?


Dear Sir:

It is with immediate & growing concern that we, the 1.5 Lakh strong membership of Indiamike.com community are writing to you today. Specifically this pertains to the existence of a fraudulent ring of ticketing thugs that are permitted to freely roam & operate within the premises of the Indian railways properties ........ (carry on folks ...)
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
T. S. Eliot

http://www.derekgrantdigital.com
#30 May 28th, 2012, 15:38
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#30
The suggestion might work but even if the letter would arrive at the minister's desk it will very likely be cascaded down with a "for action" stamp and filed at the lower level. Perhaps an idea would be to approach the head office of Indian Railways (cc Transport Ministry) asking them to post a warning on their website, for example one about the WS tickets. Also, we could post the photos of the fraudulent "tourist offices". A while ago I have posted a photo of a taxi booth outside of ISBT where you are frequently told that no cabs are available and offered one at an outrageous rate, whereas inside the ISBT there is another booth where cabs are available.

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