Cancun is one of the most appealing and inviting international destinations in 2023. With ever-growing arrival figures, there seems to be no end in sight to the city’s astonishing popularity. Despite being an overall safe destination for travelers, Cancun is still prone to a number of scams that travelers may encounter while on vacation. In this article, we’ll go over 5 of the most common scams and what you can do to protect yourself.
Be Wary Of These Taxi Scams
Getting a taxi may very well be the first thing most travelers do upon arrival to Cancun. Although they are often the most convenient – and theoretically affordable – option for getting around the city, it’s not always fool-proof. Cancun’s growing feud over Uber is likely to further worsen the issue as authorities attempt to implement new regulations.
One of the most common forms of taxi fraud includes the improper use of the taximeter. Some drivers may forgo its use completely, whereas others may try to hide it. To prevent your next taxi ride from costing more than it should, agree to a fixed price beforehand. Travelers should also keep an eye on pirate taxis which appear to be legitimate taxi firms but are actually privately-owned vehicles.
Double-Check Your Restaurant Bill
Earlier this year, we reported that cases of restaurants automatically charging clients a hefty tip on their final bill had grown sharply across the Mexican Caribbean. While tipping is certainly appreciated, especially when the service and food are remarkable, it is by no means mandatory.
The next time you’re out for dinner in Cancun or other Mexcian Caribbean resort towns, double-check your final bill to make sure no automatic tip is included. A small tip goes a long way, especially for Cancun’s low-earning hospitality staff, but it should always happen on a voluntary basis.
Watch Out For These Common Nightlife Scams
At night, Cancun and other resort destinations like Playa del Carmen turn into vibrant hubs for partygoers. While a night is one of the top things to do when in town, it’s also a risky business for travelers. This particular scame can happen anywhere in the world, even the U.S.
Ill-intentioned bar tenders can target travelers — especially those that have enjoyed a few drinks too many — to charge more than they should by adding additional charges.
Travelers should also watch out for a scam that involves charging clients repeatedly for the same purchase under the excuse that their card has been declined.
Don’t Fall For This Cancun Airport Scam
After waiting in a long line to complete migration and customs checks at Cancun International Airport, travelers are eager to get to their accommodations quickly. Unfortunately, countless tourists fall victim to what’s known as a timeshare scam, whereby travelers are promised free giveaways to lure them into attending a sales presentation, after which they are pressured to purchase expensive services, including fake accommodation.
Travelers are most likely to encounter this form of fraud just after arriving at Cancun International Airport, where sneaky salespeople may offer free rides to a nearby hotel or resort where a sales presentation is given.
It is possible that they may even try to convince you that they are your pre-arranged transportation.
Travelers should always leave the airport completely before looking for their transportation, as they will never be inside the airport waiting. They will always be outside.
Avoid Risky Online Offers
Online travel agency scams are on the rise across the Mexcian Caribbean, affecting both national and international travelers. These scams work by promising visitors either tour experiences or luxury accommodations at ridiculously low prices.
In reality, those too-good-to-be-true offers turn out to be non-existent, even after rendering payment.
Travelers can verify the legality of Mexcian tour agencies by ensuring that they are registered on the national travel agency register. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to book with reputable agencies with good track records and strong online security features such as secure payment methods.
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