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Tourists Warned To Avoid This Tough-To-Spot Scam In Los Cabos

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Taxis are a convenient way for travelers to make their way around the beach resort destination of Los Cabos while enjoying a vacation getaway.

However, it’s also a common way for visitors to the town to get scammed, often without even knowing it.

Unregulated Services

Beautiful urban street in Cabo San Lucas

Getting around town is a breeze in Los Cabos with plenty of transportation options for travelers including popular rideshare services like Uber and of course plenty of taxis.

However, there is another transportation option visitors will want to avoid – unregulated vehicles.

It often works like this: a tourist finds a driver outside a popular hotspot in Los Cabos and accepts an offer for a ride to a tourist zone hotel. The traveler although may notice along the way that the vehicle does not have a taxi meter.

Upon arriving at the hotel, the tourist asks the driver for the price for the ride and finds out it is double, triple, or even more, the price of what it was to get to the club.

Taxi driver waiting in his car in Mexico

They then uncover that they were riding in an unofficial transportation vehicle and the driver is threatening to get the police if they don’t get paid immediately.

The tourist, usually pressured into paying with the threat of the police, pays up and just got scammed.

Officials Take Action

Taxi driver waiting near busy plaza

The Secretary General of the Government, Saúl González Núñez, announced recently that he is taking action on this growing and hard-to-spot scam that is affecting some Los Cabos travelers.

“An issue that concerns us, and that we have been working hand in hand with [taxi drivers] is security, not only the safety of the tourist but also their safety, because the state government also has to protect them [both],” said González Núñez on a recent media report on the issue.

The State of Baja California Sur plans to dispatch more transportation inspectors to Los Cabos to check up on the activity and work with law enforcement to make sure the local taxi service remains safe and secure for travelers on their vacation getaway.

Taxis Near Bus Station

Tips To Avoid the Scam

Tourists in Los Cabos need to make sure that the taxi that is picking them up is an official and licensed transportation provider in the town.

Visitors need to look for official taxi information, a taxi sign, posted rates in the vehicle, and a taxi meter before taking a ride. Travelers should avoid accepting rides from vehicles that do not meet these required regulatory standards.

Uber on the road

An exception is the local rideshare services like Uber. Those vehicles generally do not have these types of markings and equipment.

However, travelers can easily confirm their rideshare vehicle by matching the vehicle make, model, and plate, along with the driver information, before entering the vehicle.

Tourists should confirm all of the details of the vehicle and the driver before hitting the road. Once the car leaves for the destination, it is generally too late.

Women exiting a rideshare vehicle

What Travelers Need to Know

Incidents of this scam are increasing in Los Cabos, and travelers need to be aware of their surroundings and look carefully outside and inside the vehicle to make sure they are not scammed.

It is when travelers lower their guard or are not necessarily paying attention that they are affected by the scam. When it happens, it is generally too late to reverse the result.

Travelers can try to notify Los Cabos municipal law enforcement if they are caught in this scam. However, without confirming the price in advance or riding in a licensed taxi with a regulated meter, there is little law enforcement can do to help the traveler avoid paying the high trip charge.

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