A recent report on the results of exit surveys given to visitors found that tourists feel safe when visiting Cabo and crime rates are currently down, but tourists are still being warned about scams and fraud. While overall crime has dropped recently, there were over 1,000 investigations into reports of fraud in 2021. The most common types of fraud committed were found to be those involving bank transactions, and consumer fraud, which are more likely to affect tourists.
There have been numerous instances in which tourists have been defrauded when planning their Los Cabos vacations. Some of these involve lodging reservations, particularly vacation homes through sites like Airbnb. These scams typically consist of someone offering a property that either doesn’t exist, or the individual doesn’t own and taking tourists’ money for them only to find out they do not have a real reservation.
Additionally, fraud involving tourist activities is another common situation visitors to Los Cabos find themselves in. Fake tour operators will take money from tourists for packages that don’t exist or are not what is advertised, for example. And unfortunately, once a consumer hands over money for a fraudulent offer there is little that they can do to try to recoup those funds.
According to the figures relating to fraud in 2021 that were reported by the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System, the months with the most instances of fraud were February and October. In February there were 106 reports of fraud and in October 104. This can likely be attributed to these months being immediately before the busy seasons in Cabo when tourists are planning their vacations.
So far in 2022, there have been less than 800 reports of fraud in Los Cabos, which is fairly low considering that there are only three and a half months left of the year. While that number will likely jump in October, the other months remaining in the year are generally slower in regards to reports of fraud. If the trend continues as it did in 2021 this should compute to a significant drop in overall fraud reports for 2022.
The United States recently issued a warning about traveling to certain areas of Mexico but has not suggested Americans refrain from visiting tourist destinations such as Los Cabos. U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, does suggest taking precautions when visiting the country, though, including when visiting popular tourist destinations. Those suggestions include not going out alone after dark, staying in well-lit areas, and being careful about getting into taxis that may appear not to be legitimate.
In regards to overall instances of crimes committed against adults in Baja California Sur, the state that is home to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, there were fewer crimes in 2021 than in 2020. The number went from 22,739 to 21,756, translating to nearly 1,000 fewer instances of criminal acts in the most recent year that researchers have data for. While it may seem like a lot of crimes, this is data for the entire state and many of these do not affect tourists.
The Mexican government continues to work on reducing crime in tourist destinations like Los Cabos, as they continue to grow in popularity. The important thing is to remain cautious, particularly when paying for services in advance. Many crimes involving fraud can be avoided with just a little due diligence, and your vacation in Los Cabos will be much more enjoyable when you know you are making cautious decisions.