Get well Charles, you didn't deserve that.
A "New Yorker" would NEVER fall for that scam and it most certainly DOES NOT happen all the time. That's just another one of those urban NYC myths. I'm sure there are a few a-holes at the airports that may attempt this but if a passenger waited at the officially sanctioned cab line (regulated) at the airport it doesn't happen because the dispatcher prevents it from happening.
Also, it was reported from another source that the cab driver wasn't attempting to scam anyone but was trying to SPLIT a fare (not verified).
As far as safety goes: In this case if the cab had a partition and the front doors were locked and the passenger was in the back seat this could have been prevented unless the passenger was carrying a gun (those partitions are NOT bullet proof).
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