One of the most popular attractions for visitors to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean has to be the eco-tourism adventure theme park Xcaret. For travelers from all over the world, this is their dream destination, a must-see place to visit for their winter holiday vacation travel.
Unfortunately, there have been reports that this dream destination has been turning into a nightmare recently for travelers.
Here’s what tourists visiting the beach resort destinations in the Mexican Caribbean really need to keep an eye out for to protect themselves.
Fake Online Travel Agencies
According to the newspaper Reforma, tourists heading to Cancun for the winter holiday travel season have reported being scammed by fake online travel agencies offering tickets and tours to the very popular eco-tourism theme park Xcaret.
Travelers looking for deals at hotels near the park and special offers on tickets are finding that fake agencies representing themselves as agents for Xcaret are simply pocketing their money instead.
México Destination Club
Reports from the Reforma newspaper cite a company called México Destination Club which is one of the many tour agencies representing themselves as agents for Xcaret approved to offer hotel and ticket packages to international travelers heading to Cancun.
One victim commented to the newspaper that they paid $50,000 Mexican pesos to book a vacation package with the agency which included tickets to enjoy Xcaret. They then called a day later to remark that there was an issue with the credit card, and they needed to process an additional $50,000 Mexican pesos charge to make sure it went through.
The scammed customer tried to follow up with the company after the two charges totaling $100,000 Mexican pesos, or about $5,900 dollars, to no avail with no return phone calls. He then determined that the two booked flights did not exist either.
Fishy Phishing Emails
Travelers need to beware of online agencies sending emails about cheap deals and discount packages to Cancun that include Xcaret.
Victims claim that once they responded to the email, they were immediately contacted via a phone call or WhatsApp messages to offer scammed customers packages and deals that do not exist in the official Xcaret booking system.
They then ask the scammed tourist to provide credit card details or information about debit cards with pin numbers as payment to reserve the tickets, hotel, and airfare. Before they know they have been taken, the card is tapped for thousands of dollars in payments.
Tips for Travelers
Officials with the Reforma newspaper reached out to Xcaret to check on the availability of tickets and packages for the current winter holiday travel season. According to an agent at Xcaret, they have not had tickets available for this current high-demand period for months.
Unfortunately, most travelers being solicited with these packages do not know this.
The old adage that if the deal sounds too good, it probably is, applies in this situation. If an agency claims to have special packages during a very popular travel season at a discount or reasonable pricing, it is probably not true. A quick phone call to Xcaret can confirm this information.
Victims claim that the sales representatives for the online travel agency provided high-pressure sales tactics when contacting them about the special travel deal. If a deal is of such value, high-pressure sales tactics should not be needed to sell the package.
Those scammed by the deal were smart in using a credit card for their purchase, in that those purchases often can be reversed by the credit card company, depending on the rules of the specific card. However, often giving a pin number invalidates that protection.
Tourists looking for special travel deals to visit Cancun and Xcaret should insist on obtaining a physical address for the travel agency location, phone number, and travel agency license number before purchasing.
Xcaret officials added they would be happy to confirm these details to make sure visitors seeking to enjoy a day at their park would not be victims of potential scams.
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