Beware Of These Popular Tourist Scams in Mexico City
I love traveling to different parts of Mexico, and like in and other part of the world, popular scams in Mexico City do occur on a daily basis. Crooks and scams artists are just waiting to prey on people, particularly on tourists, who are unfortunately easy prey for them.
Below, are a few of the more popular and sometimes very dangerous scams that take place and visitors should definitely be aware of.
Over 12 million tourists a year visit Mexico City.
Tourist Scams To Be Aware Of in Mexico City
The Very Dangerous Kidnap Express
Tourist Scams in Mexico City #1
This, without a doubt, is the number one scam in the city and one that is extremely dangerous! This is a gang related scam and one that all visitors should be extremely aware of when visiting Mexico City. I was shocked to hear of this and now take extra precautions not just in Mexico, but any foreign country I may be traveling to.
This scam involves extortion and kidnapping and is carried out by fake taxi drivers in real taxi cabs.
Briefly, it is important to use caution when catching an un-booked cab on the street, particularly in the evening hours and when traveling alone. What you may think is a cab driver behind the wheel, is actually a criminal or gang affiliate working in a borrowed cab.
Official taxi drivers will rent out their cabs to kidnappers in the evening hours to earn extra cash.
Once you step in their cab, they may rob you, force you at gunpoint to an ATM and have you withdraw cash and in severe cases, have even killed innocent victims.
If you should end up a victim, do not resist, give them what they want and you will not be hurt. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, if you become a victim of crime, do not resist, give them what they want and in most cases you will not be harmed. Criminals only want you money and/or valuables.
Use common sense when traveling alone, particularly at night and do not grab any cab off the street. Grab a taxi from a hotel, cab stand or other reputable well established business. Trust your instincts and never enter a cab with a driver behind the wheel you do not feel comfortable with.
Ask the driver for his taxi license, business card or other form of identification if you are suspicious, before entering the cab.
The Airport Taxi Scam
Tourist Scams in Mexico City #2
One other common and relatively minor scam involves taxi cabs at the airport. Taxi drivers will try to lure you into a van taxi, ones that hold multiple persons.
They will then take you as a single fare, quickly leaving the airport with just you and calling it Executive Service. This usually involves an extra eight or ten dollars out of pocket, depending on the taxi driver scamming you.
Not a big deal, but if you hop into the cab without discussing details with the driver before he leaves, you are on your own.
Welcome to Mexico City!:)
Taxis In Mexico – Recommendations
Below, I have added a link to an award winning website for Mexico travel, to their page on taking Taxis in Mexico. If offers much more detailed information and recommendations on taking a taxi in the Country.
Pick Pocket Theives In Popular Parks & Attractions
Tourist Scams in Mexico City #3
This goes without saying most anywhere, pickpocket thief’s work everywhere in the world, particularly in and around heavily populated cities and tourist attractions. They often work in pairs and prey on those tourists who do not take the extra steps to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of this type of theft.
It still amazes me to see travelers walking around with wallets sticking out of their back pockets, women carrying open unzipped hand bags hanging loosely over their shoulders. If you do this, then you are just asking to lose your valuables.
When I travel, I carry a light Velcro zipped wallet in my front pocket when out walking about. When we are in transit, I usually have my wife carry it in her zipped handbag. I only carry what I will need and not any extra cards or money that is unnecessary.
Men – Do not carry your wallet in your back pocket.
Women – Carry a well zipped handbag and keep it close to your body in crowded areas.
Most Common Scams At Major Tourist Attractions
Tourist Scams in Mexico City #4
Scam artists are everywhere at one of Mexico City’s most popular tourist attraction called Teotihuacan – Place of the Gods. This historic site consists of the Ruins of Teotihuacan dating back 2000 years. It is a major attraction just outside of Mexico City, drawing millions of tourists.
Of course with this, again as most anywhere, you will find a host of scammers just waiting to empty your pocketbook.
Here you will find scammers selling fake jewelry, trinkets, artifacts claiming to be from back in the day and much more. So the moral of this story is … if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t!
Unless you don’t really mind buying fake jewelry or souvenirs then go right ahead. Just keep in mind, if you are buying from vendors on the street or at this tourist venues and the item is inexpensive, then it’s most likely … fake!
These are just a few of the more common scams that you may come across in Mexico City. A fabulous place to visit and using common sense and discretion will help make your visit to the city exciting and memorable.
Safe and Healthy Travels! 🙂
Did You Know …
“Mexico is home to a very rare rabbit (volcano rabbit) who live near Mexican volcanoes.”
🙂 Don’t Forget It … Be Sure To Pin It! 🙂