Sometimes it just takes one notable incident for authorities to finally crack down on long-time criminals. In this case, it was the victimization of Alec Baldwin. For many years, scammers in Lower Manhattan have been selling unauthorized “Statue of Liberty cruises” and then sending them off on a bus to New Jersey to view it from afar. Nothing has been done about this until this weekend when Alec Baldwin and his family were scammed (celebrities, they’re just like us!). Now the city is ordering these companies to cease and desist.
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So, we head to South Ferry. Me and @hilariabaldwin Two sharp, savvy NYers. Kids in tow. We buy the tickets for the “boat tour” of the Statue of Liberty. We are escorted to a shuttle bus. To New Jersey! I kid you not. We paid. Then we read the tickets. NO ON EVER MENTIONED NEW F***ING JERSEY!!! This is a scam. Take the SI Ferry. It’s the best ride in NY.
Baldwin said he spent $40 per ticket for himself, his wife, and three children to visit the Statue of Liberty by boat before learning they had actually paid for a long shuttle bus trip to New Jersey.
Anyone can tell that the crackdown isn’t exactly a coincidence, especially if you listen to Alec Baldwin himself. “I think if it’s someone who’s well known, who has a lot of followers in the media…” he said, “I doubt my recommendation is going to move de Blasio’s office in any direction. But if you see someone write something and many, many other people chime in and say, ‘I’ve had the same experience,’ I think that’s what it was.”
In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Tourists and visitors have been taken for a ride, and it’s unacceptable. We won’t let up until illegal and deceitful practices are a thing of the past.”
While a spokesperson for the mayor did not admit a direct correlation between Baldwin and the crackdown, they did say, “Mr. Baldwin brought increased attention to the issue tourists and visitors face every day, and our agency partners are continuing to work together until this problem is a thing of the past.”