A campaign is under way to warn partygoers in parts of Tyneside about unlicensed taxi drivers.
Gateshead Council said there is an increase in bogus cabs over the festive period, as more people rely on taxis after nights out.
It highlights concerns over safety, lack of insurance and overcharging.
Anyone taking a cab is advised to check it has a licence plate and meter, and the driver has a local authority identification card.
Councillor Ian Mearns, deputy leader of Gateshead Council, said: "It might seem an easy option to get home, but there are a number of things you have to ask yourself before you get into something you suspect may not be a proper vehicle.
"Is the driver properly licensed? Is the vehicle properly insured? For a paying passenger it wouldn't be, so if there's an accident or if something bad happens, you haven't got any cover.
"I think there's a real worry that they could rip you off. You are not just being taken for a ride here, it could be something much worse, particularly if you are a woman."