Mexico is one of the biggest vacation destinations in the world, and as such it attracts droves of tourists…and, sadly, more than a few fraudsters. They follow the tourists and timeshare/vacation owners, and operate on an opportunistic basis. Not to worry, however; we have all the information you will need to recognize and avoid scammers and fraudulent schemes.
Airport transfer scams
If you have pre-booked your link transport to get you from the airport to the hotel, make sure you double check your confirmation against the reservation list of anyone who approaches you or you could end up paying twice! Check their reservation list and ID before you enter their vehicle!
Rental Scams Affecting Vacations to Mexico
If you use a reputable rental agency (no matter which end of the deal you’re on) you shouldn’t have any issues with rental scammers. For reference, rental scams either take the form of someone trying to levy a finders fee for a third party renter that never appears, or an individual renting out a property that is uninhabitable, that is double booked, or that is not theirs at all.
Mexican timeshare scams have become a dying breed; the country was once plagued by them, but after a concentrated effort from local and federal authorities, and of course the industry itself, there has been a marked decrease. These days the biggest timeshare based scams are cancellation scams which try to take advantage of people looking to be rid of their memberships and timeshares. Avoiding these scams is easy; cancellation businesses are either providing a service you do not need (if you are within the cooling off period), or one that they cannot legally provide (if you are out with the cooling period) so do not trust them at all!
Credit Card Scams
Credit card scams may be the single biggest fraudulent activity in the world, and Mexico is no exception to this. You should be careful about how use your card both online and in Mexico; check that all websites and portals are secure before you enter card details to book accommodation or flights, and be careful about who you give your details to when you pay for tickets to an attraction, show, or tour. Remember that most places have wireless card readers now! Use your credit card where ever possible as this offers some protection against fraud.
So, what’s your experience of scams? Do you have advice for fellow travelers?