NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A majestic view of Lady Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry cost two tourists from Virginia $409 — for what should have been a free ride.

The tourists fell for the fake fares sold to them by 54-year-old Gregory Reddick, who was posing as a ticket agent.

According to the criminal complaint, when a parks enforcement patrolman asked Reddick for his ID, the suspect reportedly shoved him, cursed and ran off. Officers apprehended him in Battery Park.

Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates and says the city needs to do a better job of patrolling public parks for scammers and unlicensed solicitors.

“What’s really sad is that the city and the parks department have known about this for many years,” Croft added. “We have an open air scalpers market. These people have no licenses.”

Foreign tourists tell CBS2′ Matt Kozar that it’s easy to get scammed if you’re not careful.

“I could probably fall for it, but I wouldn’t pay that much money for a ticket,” said Madelene Viberd.

Officials say you should ask for licenses before agreeing to buy anything.


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