NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City is promising a crackdown on scammers in Battery Park selling tickets to see the Statue of Liberty after actor Alec Baldwin posted about his first-hand experience with the con-artists.
On his Instagram account, the actor says he paid $40 dollars for tickets for a three hour boat tour to see the Statue of Liberty and instead ended up in Liberty Park, New Jersey.
"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!!! (sic)" Baldwin wrote. "This is a scam."
The Daily News reports the shuttle bus transports passengers from downtown New York to New Jersey, where they get on a boat that offers views of the Statue of Liberty. A message was left with the tour operator that apparently sold Baldwin the tickets.
Baldwin, his wife and their children ultimately ended up taking the Staten Island Ferry, which is free and passes the Statue of Liberty.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced expanded enforcement against companies that mislead tourists and operate buses without permits, primarily in the Battery Park area. He said it was not because of the Baldwin’s experience.
“The ideas we're talking about did not spring up in the last 24 hours I assure you,” the mayor said.
Nonetheless, cease-and-desist letters have been sent to Freedom Cruises and Sphinx Transport.
The city reminds New Yorkers and tourist that one tour company, Statue Cruises, is licensed to take visitors to Liberty Island.
The NYPD is also promising more patrols in the area to assure tourists are not misled.
“The Statue of Liberty is an enduring symbol of the promise of the America,” 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.”
The mayor says the city will put any company out of business if they still don't comply.