Gas station scam * worst one – beware

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting ripped off at a gas station in Mexico:

  1. Do your research: Research the average price of gasoline in the area where you will be traveling, so you have an idea of what a fair price should be.

  2. Pay attention to the pump: Make sure the pump is reset to zero before fueling, and keep an eye on the numbers as the fuel is being dispensed. It’s best if you exit the car and physically stand next to the pump to make it crystal clear to the attendant that you are watching him and are aware of the tricks.

  3. Use a credit card: Using a credit card can reduce the risk of being overcharged, as you will be able to dispute any incorrect charges with your bank. If you use cash count it in front of the attendant to make it clear that they know you know exactly how much money your are handing them, and always use exact change. One of the scams is they pretend you have them a lower denomination bill than you did. 

  4. Check the receipts: Make sure you receive a receipt and review it to ensure you have been charged the correct amount.

  5. Use well-lit and busy gas stations: Try to fuel up at well-lit and busy gas stations, as these are generally more reliable and trustworthy.

  6. Be cautious of anyone offering to help you: Be cautious of anyone offering to help you fill up your tank or pump the gas for you. It’s best to do it yourself or have a trusted companion assist you.

  7. Know the conversion rate: Make sure you are aware of the conversion rate between Mexican pesos and your home currency.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of getting ripped off at a gas station in Mexico.


Rental car website scam

Rental car websites sometimes offer cheap daily price that does not include insurance. When you get to Mexico you will find out that insurance isn’t included in what you paid. Sometimes online offers will even say that insurance is covered when really it isn’t. The websites will sell you a type of extra insurance that isn’t essential, then when you go to pick up your car you discover you have to buy another type of insurance that is necessary to drive in Mexico. You end up paying twice for more insurance than you likely want if you fall for this scam. Best to buy your rental car directly in Mexico or direct from the car rental company. Read our recommendations for rental cars 


Petty theft

Here are some tips to help you avoid petty theft while traveling:

  1. Keep valuables in a secure place: Consider carrying important documents, money, and other valuables in a money belt or hidden pouch, or in a hotel safe.

  2. Be mindful of your surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings and avoid distractions. Don’t be too engrossed in your phone or map, especially in busy tourist areas.

  3. Blend in: Try to blend in with the local culture and avoid wearing expensive or flashy jewelry.

  4. Use caution when withdrawing money from ATMs: Avoid using ATMs in isolated or dimly lit areas and be aware of your surroundings when using one.

  5. Keep a low profile: Avoid flaunting your wealth or success and be cautious about sharing personal information with strangers.

  6. Secure your belongings: Always keep your bags and luggage within your sight, and use lockable luggage when possible.

  7. Travel in groups: Traveling in a group can make you a less attractive target for theft.

Remember, always trust your instincts, and if something seems off, take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.


Flag wavers

In Akumal, and at the entrance to other tourist areas, there are guys who try to look official who wave flags and use other tactics to grab your attention. They are trying to sell you tours and parking. They are not official representatives and you don’t have to stop for them. Drive straight past and ignore them.


Airport scammers

There are guys at the airport who will try to get you to pay them for a taxi between terminals. They pray on people who don’t know that there is a free shuttle between terminals and will charge an exorbitant price for a 5 minute taxi ride. If you need to get to another terminal use the free shuttle service provided by the airport and avoid the overpriced taxi ride. Avoid any people that pretend they work for the airport but actually don’t.  Only deal with official airport representatives with a desk. People wandering around trying to appear official are a scam.