Picture by Val Dawson/www.thiswaytoparadise.com
It is unfortunate that drug-related crime has left people worried about their safety and afraid of scams in Mexico. What you need to know is that most of the crime is happening in the northern states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Tampico, Durango, Baja California (Norte), Zacatecas, as well as the states of Michoacan and Guerrero further south, and that much of the rest Mexico is very safe. Even in the areas where the drug wars are taking place, much of the violence is between the drug gangs themselves, and tourists aren’t usually affected. It is very sad that the media continues to portray Mexico as a very dangerous place. If you look at the statistics, you will see that it is a very safe place for visitors.
Just like anywhere though, scams in Mexico do happen. One of the scams in Mexico to be careful of is people who use surveys to ask you questions on the street. The “surveyors” have been known to use tricky ways to get information from tourists and then used that information in cases of identity theft or even worse have used their personal information to tell their family members or friends that their loved one is in trouble and needs help as a way of getting money from them. It’s best to never tell strangers personal information about yourself.
Mexico is also a place that is known for fake police or officials who tell you that you owe a fine for something or even worse tell you that you must go with them to a different place. Never go somewhere with a stranger, even if they seem to be the police, that you weren’t planning to go.
While you should also never accept food or drinks from strangers, Mexico is another place that you should be particular cautious of this. There have been incidents of drugs being put in people’s food or drinks.
Just be cautious and you should stay safe and avoid most of the scams in Mexico. It is a beautiful country and doesn’t deserve most of the bad publicity it’s gotten over the years.