I really don't see how your comment applies to this story. No common sense could have saved them from this scam. The story clearly says that taxi drivers are involved with the gangs. Could have been any tourist regardless a high or low profile.
Actually it's common sense for tourist in Guayaquil and Quito not to hail taxis off the street since it is very dangerous even for locals. Most hotels and restaurants have or can hire safe transportation for their patrons. This is actually common knowledge and even at the airport there are warning signs, although there should be some sort of flyer in different languages for those who unfortunately don't research their travel destination.
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