Points Summary

Scam City: Cabo San Lucas Mexico


Mexico is well known to be the land of scams for gringos (visitors). I’ve heard horror stories of people filling up gas in Mexico and being overcharged. When driving in Mexico, you might be pulled over by a police officer for a minor infraction and be required to pay an on the spot fine or go to Mexican jail. Thankfully, none of this has happened to me.

Introduction to Cabo 
The Westin Los Cabos Resort & Spa Hotel Review
Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort Hotel Review
The Sights and Sounds of Cabo San Lucas Mexico
The Sights and Sounds of Nightlife in Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Is Cabo San Lucas Mexico Safe for Tourists?
Scam City: Cabo San Lucas Mexico
The Various Eats in Cabo San Lucas Mexico
Los Cabos International Airport VIP Lounge

Throughout my three days in Cabo, I did not see a single police officer in the highway or even in the streets of Cabo San Lucas. I found it kind of odd, but Cabo was definitely created and catered exclusively for the tourist.

When I landed in SJD Los Cabos International Airport, I went to the Payless rental car center and found out that it was closed.

I was very disappointed as my flight was delayed by an hour. I’m not sure what time it closed, but it seemed like Europcar and Alamo shared the counter space as well. Well, there goes my $9 rental car. If you rent a car, please make sure to call ahead and see what time the counter closes. I was definitely scammed on my $9 nonrefundable car rental.

Since I didn’t get a rental car, I went outside to scope out some taxis from the Taxi Cab Mafia.

One guy came up to me and said a taxi would cost $70 USD one-way. It was a 20 minute ride to the hotel and I was definitely not going to pay $70 USD. I went back into the arrivals hall and found a shared shuttle van that was $14 per person.

One of the things I observed while shopping in Cabo is that the preferred currency is actually US Dollars. There are signs that explicitly say that if you pay with US Dollars, you will get US Dollars back in change. I was wary of the sign that said Amigo: We take your Mexican Pesos.

If you do pay in Mexican pesos, please be sure to count your change as there are scammers that will give you the incorrect change to gringos.

You should be wary when shopping at the Mexican Pharmacy. I’ve heard some of the pills are placebos and some might be worse than generics. You should also be cautious about purchasing Viagra or Cialis as those are the major counterfeit drugs in Mexico.

If you don’t have a rental car and are staying in the hotel corridor zone, be prepared to be scammed by a taxi. Yes, it will cost you $50 one-way to get back to the airport and $30 one-way to get downtown. That adds up and you will regret not renting a car. I know I regretted it.

There’s another well-known scam when dining in a restaurant. When having a lovely dinner date with your girlfriend, a mariachi band might start playing and will demand tips from everyone in your table. You can avoid this by saying “no gracias” when they come to your table. Watch as the mariachi band go to other tables and you can still hear the music for free.

I did get taken by the fortune telling bird scam. Basically a guy comes up to you and says “Would you like your fortune be read by a bird?” I normally say no, but I wanted to watch as it happened. I can’t embed Instagram videos, but here is the link to the video:


Basically, the bird comes out of the cage and picks up one of the papers which has your fortune. This is a total scam and the bird keeper will want a tip from you.


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