Tourists Pay $400 For FREE Staten Island Ferry Ride

a ferry boat in the water with a city in the background

I recently read about a tourist scam in New York City where one shady hot dog vendor was  charging tourists up to $30 for a hot dog!

When I read that story I couldn’t believe that anyone would fall for that outrageous pricing… Could tourist scams get much worse? They sure can….

The Staten Island Ferry is used by locals and tourists for different reasons. Those living on SI take the ferry as a way to get to NYC for work and play while tourists take the ferry for the great views (and most likely not to visit the borough itself)…

Everyone pays a bargain basement price to ride the ferry- it’s free unless you just don’t know better…

A couple of tourists paid a con man $400 for Staten lsland Ferry tickets. Imagine $200 per person for a ride which should be free!

Even if you weren’t sure if the ferry was free or not, who would really believe that the ride cost so much money? I could see someone falling for paying $20 or so but $200! I mean come on!

The con man, Gregory Reddick was arrested soon after he was approached by Parks Enforcement Patrolman Jean-Baptist Joseph saw him scamming the tourists on Pier 15.

According to the New York Post, “They’re targeting people who are tourists, because they just don’t know better,” said a source with the city’s Parks Enforcement Patrol.

The Post article also mentions that most tourists complaining of being charged for the ferry paid $25. That seems to be a more believable price to fall for…

To look more official, Reddick was wearing an Authorized Ticket Agent jacket.

The Post mentions that “he has at least five aliases, six Social Security numbers and seven dates of birth — and has spent at least nine years in prison for burglary and credit-card fraud“.

The sad part is that this career criminal has received not much more than “a slap on the wrist”. Reddick was released without bail on misdemeanor charges. Prosecutors are requesting that bail be set at $1,000.

He’s only been charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

This has got to be one of the most ridiculous (and pricey) tourist scams that I have ever heard of.

Find out more from the New York Post here.

10 thoughts on “Tourists Pay $400 For FREE Staten Island Ferry Ride

  1. thehawk75- Gotcha about the NY Post! lol I think you are right in that the victims didn’t even know they were conned. Interesting idea you have that the officer waited for the con to take place. It’s definitely possible… Regardless, I do hope that this guy gets some sort of penalty and this nonsense stops.

    Dixiedrifter- LOL- We do supposedly live in a capitalist country…

  2. Only in America will you read about Idi0ts paying two-hundred dollars to ride a “free” ferry!

  3. thehawk75- Maybe since I rarely ever take the ferry, I’ve never heard of this scam before. If someone was scammed for $20, which is a believable price , I’d probably just laugh. When reading of a con man getting $200 per person, well that to me is something worth writing about.

    1. Wasn’t commenting about writing an article about folks selling fake Staten Island Ferry tickets, was commenting about the NY Post suddenly writing about it — I mean, this is the ‘New York’ Post and this has been going on in ‘New York’ for nearly 20 years… 🙂

      As far as prosecuting the con man here… I can’t get passionate about going after this guy for this alone. To me, a crime needs a ‘victim’, and it seems like the so called victim ‘willingly’ bought these tickets. In fact, reading the article, it seems the ‘victims’ never even knew that were ‘victims’ as per the article:

      “…He allegedly still had the $400 on him, but the two tourists were already gone and the cash could not be returned, a source said…”

      One can pretty much infer that the patrolman waited until the ‘victims’ paid the $400 and more specifically waited until they had left. Then chose to bust Gregory Reddick at that point when any chance of returning the $400 to the ‘victims’ had all but vanished. I guess the $400 was confiscated from Reddick and goes towards the City budget then?

  4. From the NYPost article:

    “This scheme with the Staten Island Ferry is something that recently exploded…”

    Say what?!?

    This scam has been going on ever since they made the ferry free back in the late 90’s! They’ve been hocking these fake tickets for the ferry around battery park, bowling green and in and around down town for the better part of 20 years, and suddenly this is new? Or rather ‘something that recently exploded’ ??

    Yes, the $200 per fake ticket is certainly a new high, but, typically they’ve been selling these things for around $15-$20 for ages.

    They used to sell these fake tickets with NYPD right in sight. Never any consequence. Not sure why the sudden interest in this now.

  5. Brian- Nobody deserves to get ripped off but you have to agree that it is pretty crazy that these tourists fell for the scam.

    Ben- I’m pretty sure a sucker can be picked out of a crowd by these con artists. If not, they’ll probably keep trying until they lure somebody in.

  6. Yes, the tourist was dumb to fall for it. But blaming the victim? Maybe they “asked” for it by dressing like a tourist.

    1. Dressing like a tourist? Define the dress code for a tourist? Do you don on a tribal outfit when you visit Kenya in order to blend in, even though you’re white or Asian? I don’t think so. It doesn’t matter how one dresses when one travels. A con artist doesn’t care what you wear as s/he just wants what’s in the wallet. The lesson here is to research ahead and be cautious. If you’re really that gullible when you’re visiting somewhere, then chances are that you’re gullible in your own city or sadly, in life in general. #CestLaVie #ForReal #LifeFail

  7. Ben- Good point. I just can’t believe how gullible they were to believe the ferry cost $200 per person! However, in the end this con artist should be locked up.

  8. The tourists need to be blamed too. They should’ve done their research beforehand. It’s their own stupidity that cost themselves a dent in a wallet. Hopefully a lesson is learned, although pricy.

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