One of the main reasons that scams related to Mexican vacations are so common is the fact that the country is such a mecca for snowbirds and holiday makers of all ages and persuasions. The things that make it such a popular vacation destination are also the things which attract scammers; they know that Mexico offers rich pickings.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they will succeed because local authorities and the vacation industry as a whole are on your side. This is why we have compiled this information for your attention; this is what you need to know about the scams that are most common in Mexico right now, and, of course, what you should do to protect yourself!
Airport transfer scams
Airport transfer, or airport transportation scams, occur when fraudsters intercept people who have already booked link transportation by pretending to be the company they have hired. These scammers will lead their targets to believe that they represent the company they booked with, and trick them into going with them before charging them at their destination.
If you want to avoid this type of scam, you should keep a copy of your confirmation email on your phone, and in paper form if you can, and double check all details if someone approaches you. Make sure you are on their reservation list, too, and do so BEFORE you get into the car. This could save you time and money if you end up getting picked up by a third party who tries to charge you for a transfer you have pre-paid to the appropriate company.
Rental Scams Affecting Vacations to Mexico
Homeowners and vacation owners in Mexico are often approached by people who claim to be able to rent out their properties; these people often take their fee and then run with the money. Of course, there are also those people who rent out properties that are either uninhabitable, double booked, or not theirs to rent in the first place! Whether you are renting out your property, or seeking a rental you can avoid these scams by only using reputable rental companies.
Timeshare scams are slowly becoming less common in Mexico; the Government has done a lot to combat and prevent scams in all areas of the timeshare industry. The main areas of risk, however, are the resale market and cancellation scams. If you are selling or buying a timeshare second hand, take precautions to verify that the buyer is genuine, or that the seller is not passing on a timeshare with next to no time left (or one which is laden with debt). Avoid cancellation companies at all costs.
Credit Card Scams
These scams affect you when you book vacations online; if you make an insecure payment for flights, accommodation, or attractions you could be at risk. Likewise, you should be careful when giving out your credit card information to pay for transactions while on vacation. Keep your card with you at all times! Most establishments in Mexico’s top tourist areas now have wireless terminals which allow you to charge cards. If you are ever in doubt, you should use a credit card rather than a debit card as this offers you some protection.
These tips will help protect yourself from being scammed on your next vacation to Mexico. With knowledge and savviness, you can keep you and your loved ones safe so you can enjoy your time together stress-free.
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