Alec Baldwin may be a longtime New Yorker, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to some of the city’s most savvy scammers.
The 61-year-old actor took to Instagram on Sunday to share a scam he and his wife, Hilaria, fell for while trying to take their four kids to see the Statue of Liberty. He shared a photo of a $40 ticket from a company called Tours R Us, which has a picture of the famous landmark printed on it and reads “see NY From The Water.”
“So, we head to South Ferry. Me and @hilariabaldwin,” the actor began the post. “Two sharp, savvy NYers. Kids in tow. We buy the tickets for the ‘boat tour’ of the Statue of Liberty.”
The Saturday Night Live regular then recalled finding out that his so-called “boat tour” was not what he and his wife had in mind.
“We are escorted to a shuttle bus. To New Jersey!” he continued. “I kid you not. We paid. Then we read the tickets. NO ONE EVER MENTIONED NEW F***ING JERSEY!!! This is a scam.”
The family did not end up boarding the bus, but the New York Daily News reports that, if they had, they would have been driven to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, via the Holland Tunnel. There, they would have boarded a boat called the Queen of Hearts, which does not let passengers off at any point to see the statue.
According to the Department of Transportation, the tour company the Baldwins bought from, Tours R Us, does not have a permit to sell tickets in Lower Manhattan.
Many scammers are found hawking in South Ferry on a daily basis, selling tickets at elevated prices and often lying about the length of the tours. The Daily News reports that the Baldwins’ tour had been advertised at one hour in length, but would have taken closer to three with all the extra ground transportation.
The outlet also noted only one company, Statue Cruises, is actually licensed to provide boat rides between Battery Park and Liberty and Ellis Islands, and their tickets cost only $18.50 each.
Instead of making the pilgrimage to the Garden State, the Baldwins’ party of six took a ride on the Staten Island Ferry — a free commuter boat which departs from South Ferry and arrives in Staten Island, passing by Lady Liberty en route. Visitors can take another free trip back to Manhattan — which Alec called “the best ride in NY.”
Hilaria and Alec posted a photo and video, respectively, of their ride on the ferry to Instagram later in the week.
According to the Associated Press, Alec’s angry Instagram post inspired the Department of Transportation, the New York Police Department and the Economic Development Corporation to step up their crack downs on NYC ticket scammers. They reported that cease-and-desist letters will be sent to several companies operating buses illegally.
The Associated Press also reported that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made a statement regarding the situation on Tuesday.
“The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of the promise of America,” he 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.”