The only drawback to traveling, apart from the costs, is being a victim of tourist scam artists. It’s outrageous that some unscrupulous individuals thrive by preying on unsuspecting travelers who come to support their local economy in these tourist destinations.
Although Los Cabos is considered one of Mexico’s safest cities, there are nevertheless some shady individuals who wish to defraud both residents and visitors.
Like other cities, Cabo San Lucas, too, has its fair share of con artists.
Here are some of the most common tourist scams in Cabo San Lucas, along with some tips on how to dodge them:
Hustlers at the Los Cabos Airport Arrival Area
Being a new visitor to this country, you will run into a number of individuals who view tourists merely as a means to make a quick buck.
As you exit through the automatic doors after clearing immigration and customs, you’ll encounter a horde of persons posing as tour agents or concierge. They are very convincing, and many of them will try to mislead you, appearing legit by wearing t-shirts with the name or logo of a resort or shuttle.
Simply maintain your composure and smile while ignoring the offers made by these hustlers to get a shuttle, taxi, carry your bags, or provide you a Taurus, among other useful services. If you have a reservation at any resort, just keep going until you reach the exit doors to leave the terminal; there, the real shuttle buses and hotel staff will be waiting for you.
“Good-Natured” Helper at the ATM
Authorities say that con artists in Cabo San Lucas hover near ATMs like vultures. They typically travel in groups of at least two. Here’s how they operate.
At a Cabo San Lucas ATM, someone approaches you and offers to assist you in bypassing local bank fees. The card skimmer in their pocket is what they intend to use to scan your debit or credit card while you enter your PIN so they may later clean out your account. Another variation of this well-known con is when someone approaches you at an ATM and offers assistance in fixing a troublesome card.
Another variation of the fraud is they’ll attempt to lean in to get your pin number first. Once they’ve accomplished that, they’ll proceed with the remaining steps in their plan to steal your card. They’ll try to convince you to return by claiming that the session wasn’t completed or that you failed to remove your card as you exit the ATM. They’ll immediately pick your pocket or switch your cards once you return to check on this matter. If all goes according to plan, they could withdraw all your money without any difficulty.
One often-used scam in Cabo San Lucas is when a resident hands you their camera and requests you to snap their picture. As you hand back their device, they deliberately drop the camera and accuse you of damaging it, and demand payment. Turn down requests for taking anyone’s photo unless you are certain they are not a resident.
Overcharging in Taxis
Ask the driver to start the meter every time you get into a taxi in Cabo San Lucas. It’s also a good idea to plan your route before getting in the cab so you know how long the ride should be. By doing so, you can get an estimate from your taxi driver of how long the trip will take before you get in and compare it to the time that Google Maps or Waze tells you on your phone.
Watch the Ball Distraction
While strolling through the streets of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, you come across a man with three boxes, and he is surrounded by people who are speculating about which box the ball is in. When someone in the group correctly guesses the solution, the man awards him with cash as a prize. They repeat this with a different group member and get the same response. More and more people are drawn by the excitement to this benevolent street performer. You will then be chosen from the crowd and asked to make a guess. While your attention is diverted to where the ball might be, the group members nimbly separate you from your cash.
Bird Dropping Scam
While walking through Cabo San Lucas streets, your natural reaction when someone tosses a piece of white paste on your shoulder is to look up, thinking it’s bird dropping. Suddenly, a “concerned” neighborhood resident offers to assist with cleanup while cursing at the birds for making such an embarrassing mess. They assist with cleaning you, but they also fleece you.
Politely turn down any assistance offered by locals who rush over to help you, unless it’s an emergency. Keep everything you own hidden, preferably with your money and credit cards in an inside pocket.
In general, Cabo San Lucas is secure. But like in any place, caution and common sense are required. Here are some helpful pointers to lessen your likelihood of falling victim to a scam:
- Make an effort to get around Cabo San Lucas during the day. Take a companion if you can.
- Be cautious in locations where pickpockets, petty thieves, and scam artists are known to frequently operate.
- Observe your surroundings carefully. Criminals frequently target visitors in more frequented venues like markets, airports, and cruise ship docks. Do not yield to unsolicited money requests.
- Inquire at the front desk of your hotel about any potentially hazardous spots to avoid.
- Avoid “flashing” your fancy phone, big amounts of cash, or pricey jewelry.
We can assist you in find secure luxury accommodations to guarantee a worry-free and enjoyable Cabo San Lucas vacation.
Call us at 1-800-975-5569 right now to get started. We are here to make sure your trip to Cabo San Lucas is safe in addition to helping you plan a memorable one.