One of the reasons that scams related to the tourist industry in Mexico are so common is the overwhelming popularity of the country as a short and long-term vacation spot. The very same things that attract holiday makers also attract fraudsters!
Of course, we, and the tourism trade as a whole, are on your side and want you to beat the scammers. As such we have compiled all you need to know about the kinds of scams you could encounter in Mexico.
Airport transfer scams
If you have already booked your link transportation (the means by which you get from the airport to the hotel), you could be targeted by transfer scammers. These people will try to convince you that they represent the company you have booked with; they will try to usher you into a car, and charge you when you reach your hotel. If you have pre-booked and pre-paid for your transfer, ALWAYS check your confirmation email against the drivers reservation list, and ask to see their ID. Make sure you check all details BEFORE you enter the vehicle.
Rental Scams Affecting Vacations to Mexico
Rentals scams go both ways; there are scammers who will “dine and dash” on a rental, or even claim a finders fee for a renter who does not exists, and there are those people who will “rent” out properties that are unavailable, not theirs, or double book them. Be sure you always use reputable rental agencies!
Timeshare scams are becoming a dying breed in Mexico; the local authorities and federal government alike have pumped up the protections and rights of the consumer, and timeshare providers themselves take care to treat people well.These days the main scam to worry about is the cancellation scam; never trust a cancellation company as they are trying to offer you a service you either do not need, or that they legally cannot provide (depending on whether you’re within the recission period or not).
Credit Card Scams
Credit card scams can affect you both when you book and after you arrive; when booking be aware of insecure sites while purchasing flights and/or arranging accommodation, and also be aware of how you use your credit card while on vacation. Keep your credit card in sight at all times, and keep in mind that many establishments will have wireless terminals to charge credit cards. Where possible use a credit rather than debit card, as credit cards offer a measure of protection from fraudulent activity.
What scams have you encountered on vacation? Let us know in the comments below!