Cancun is a very safe city, certainly safer than many
cities in the US, Canada and the UK. However, just like any other
tourist resort throughout the World there are a few people who will
try and pull a fast one. While much of this is driven by poor wages
and low living standards for the locals, the timeshare salesman
who parks his Hummer or Porsche Boxster in the hotel car park every
morning can be equally adept at freeing the gullible of their hard
Here's a few things to be wary of that I have personally experienced
or am aware of:
- Timeshare - Every timeshare salesman will say
they are not, timeshare is a dirty word within the industry and
instead they sell vacation clubs, premium memberships or VIP packages.
If you're approached in the street, from a booth, or in a restaurant
and offered a free tour, cheap hire car or a free cash bonus it
is almost certainly a ploy to have you attend a sales presentation.
The OPC's, as they are called, are paid sometimes large sums of
money for each person they get to attend a sales presentation.
Once at the presentation you can be very quickly 'broken down'
by high pressure, aggressive and very experienced sales persons.
Unless you know exactly what you are getting into be very wary.
- Taxis - Always agree a price with the taxi
driver up front, never wait until you've arrived before asking
the price. Make sure you are clear on whether it is in pesos or
in dollars. One person I know asked a cab driver how much to go
downtown,the price was quoted at "50". When he arrived
he was told the price was 50 dollars and not the 50 pesos he was
- Bars - Always count your drinks and examine
your bar tab carefully, you may find extra drinks you have not
consumed added. Keep an eye on your drink, a popular scam is to
take away your half finished drink while you are not paying attention
or dancing etc. You realize you've finished your drink and order
another. Watch out for shot girls, they can be very persuasive
in pouring multiple shots down your throat. It's great entertainment
until you realize it's several dollars for each poor quality alcohol
shot plus a tip. The girls should always have a sign displaying
the price, but this doesn't always happen.
- Restaurants - Check that the tip is not already
included on the bill you receive before tipping further. Very
few restaurants include the tip within the bill, but for the few
that do it can often be hidden and easily missed. Examine your
bill for superfluous items that were 'mistakenly added to the
- Shops - Always check your change, particularly
if using dollars to pay for something and receiving your change
in pesos. Also, if you are buying multiple items where a single
item is scanned and then the cashier inputs the number of items
check that the cashier charges for the correct number. On more
than one occasion I've purchased say 6 beers and 8 or 10 have
been charged for.
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