HOLIDAYMAKERS are being warned about a fake taxi driver who is preying on unknowing residents with a scam in which he claims he can arrange transport to Manchester Airport at much lower than average prices.

A council is issuing a warning to help spread the word about this scam, which is leaving residents hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

The taxi driver – completely unlicensed and not listed on the council’s database – is arranging pre-scheduled trips for holidaymakers, claiming he will take them to Manchester Airport for record-low prices.

However, after taking the money up front in cash, the taxi driver does not turn up, and on other occasions, sends an unlicensed driver in his place who asks for the original payment again – a double scam.

South Ribble Borough Council is warning about the scam.

The average price for a taxi fare from South Ribble to Manchester Airport is between £110 and £130 with local South Ribble licensed operators.

However, the reckless scammer is quoting either £75 or £80 for the journey – this should be residents’ first warning sign.

Cllr Sue Jones, cabinet member for Environment at South Ribble Borough Council – whose portfolio includes licensing – said: “This is an absolutely disgraceful scam and a shameful attempt to con residents out of hundreds of pounds of hard-earned cash.

“We’ve had people phoning us to say their holiday plans are in doubt because they’ve lost out on all that money and will miss their flight.

“Our message is clear: be vigilant and always book your taxi with a licensed taxi company that employs fully vetted, licensed drivers.

“If you have in any doubts about a taxi driver, please call the council immediately.”

If you are ever in doubt about a taxi driver or taxi company operating in South Ribble, you can telephone the council on 01772 421 491.