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Watch out for tourist scams in Cabo

  • Watch out for tourist scams in Cabo

    Posted by CaboDream on July 27, 2022 at 1:17 pm

    Authorities in Los Cabos are reminding tourists to be vigilant in resisting offers from fraudulent tour guides, particularly those offering boat tours around the area.

    During this peak summer vacation season, it has been reported that there have been a number of ‘coyotes’ showing up in private boats, aggresively approaching tourists and offering boat trips to destinations such as Isla Espiritu Santo, Balandra Beach and the Bay of La Paz – sometimes at extremely high prices and at other times extremely low prices in a scam.

    “These ‘coyotes’ are operating without any legal permits and lack any formal training”, according to local permitted tour operators and they are asking for the authorities to intervene as these operators without any permits are increasing in reponse to an increased demand for tourist activities this year.

    In some cases, tourists are offered what appear to be much cheaper options for tours only to find out later when they show up at the dock there is no boat, no tour and the scammer fled with their money.

    The issue has recently come to light via foreign visitors posting on social media but only in a very few cases have victims been able to recover their money.

    The most recent report of coyotes was noted in a survey conducted among tourist operators on the La Paz boardwalk, where they said that last week a fraudulent guide offered a group of five tourists a trip to Isla Espíritu Santo, but ran away with 10,000 pesos.

    Another issue this season has involved unlicensed sport-fishing boats offering their services to tourists for a much lower cost. A few pulled the “take your money and run’ scam while others who did take the tourists out did do on very old, oversold/overcrowded vessels in poor condition and without a permit, lacking any first-aid gear, life jackets or radios in case they needed to call for help.

    Authorities emphasized that tourists should be aware of any supposed tours or tour operators that look suspicious or are overly aggressive and instead seek out certified tour guides. Be sure to avoid tour guides who demand the money upfront for a tour that will launch from a different location / dock or at a later time.

    On a positive note, the head of the Business Coordinating Council of Los Cabos, Julio Castillo, commented that progress has been made to control and secure the main tourist area of Los Cabos in recent weeks, including the marina area, which is where most of the coyotes were detected.

    He explained that in the first half of the year, the Comprehensive Port Administration received between 10 to 15 complaints each month regarding fraudulent tour guides and scams.

    Since June however, only one complaint has been made and after which authorities were able to locate the scammer and the money was returned to their victim.

    Authorities are keen to spread awareness as the number of tourist in Los Cabos continues to grow, with up to 7 million expected this year including more than one million US tourists who have booked an upcoming winter vacation in the region.


    Miraflores replied 1 week, 2 days ago 8 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Blitzer

    July 27, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    I think most tourists learn to avoid the scammers by the waves of timeshare salesmen at the airport who bombard them. 😂

  • SawDogger

    July 27, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    A tourist scam in Cabo??? Oh say it isn’t so!!! 😉

  • Miraflores

    July 27, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    When they get too aggressive and insist on paying all the money up front just walk away. The same scam happens in La Paz and Loreto too.

  • Guacamole

    July 27, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    A couple of buddies and I got taken on the sport fishing scam. We drove down to Cabo on a student’s budget back in the 90’s and when offered a great deal on a half day fishing charter – 50 dollars each, all included – we all jumped on it. We ended up way too many people on a small older boat that was taking on water with fishing gear that looked to be something my great-grandfather might have used. Lunch was a small burrito with a coke. The boat did not move – set anchor on one spot the entire morning and only two guys out of 12 or 13 caught anything worth keeping. Needless to say, nobody was complaining when the captain told us to pull our lines in – we were heading back to the dock. We still laugh about that and looks like not much has changed.

    • nashsimpson

      July 28, 2022 at 7:56 am

      At least you were only out 50 bucks and you actually did get to go out on the water and fish. I have been thru a couple of raw deals like that up here north of the border over the years. Sounds like a lot of tourists these days are getting ripped off for a lot more $$$ with nothing in return.

  • nashsimpson

    July 28, 2022 at 7:49 am

    Exactly why these days we are focusing more on the much less populated tourist destinations.

    • Guacamole

      July 28, 2022 at 8:43 am

      We love going to some of the more remote locations too but Cabo has a vibe to it like no other place we have ever been and we keep coming back after all these years. Every big tourist destination in the world has scammers and Cabo is no different, you just need to be aware of what is going on so as to avoid becoming their next victim. These scammers are actually pretty easy to spot but they always find their mark on the tourist that is always wanting to score a better deal than anyone else.

      • BajaGringo

        July 28, 2022 at 12:22 pm

        BINGO! I agree that most of these scammers are pretty easy to filter out but they prey on that basic human instinct of always looking for a better deal. What’s the old saying? It’s easier to scam someone than to convince them they’ve been scammed…

  • mx-rider

    July 29, 2022 at 9:46 am

    The Cabo police know exactly who these scammers as well as the drug dealers who work down there are. It’s law enforcement for the lowest bidder.

    • Miraflores

      July 29, 2022 at 10:47 am

      Oh, of course you are correct. Welcome to Mexico.