Timeshare Salesmen

Timeshare salesmen are EVERYWHERE. Timeshares are properties (such as hotel rooms, houses, or villas) that you sign a contract with to have joint ownership for a certain period, usually 10 years. During those 10 years, you're given certain weeks of the year where that property "belongs" to you and you can visit it. You'll end up paying some abnormal amount of fees, in the tens of thousands of dollars for each year until your contract is up. It's not worth having, especially if you can't afford it.

The moment you step foot out of the airport customs in Cancun, you'll be hit with an influx of people trying to sell you some sort of activity, transportation, or timeshare. Timeshare salesmen will lure you in with common tactics that involve:

They will often say you can get these free rewards by attending a 90-minute seminar about some vacation destination or beachfront property. They will often say "you don't need to buy anything" and to "just attend the 90-minute seminar, get your free gift, and leave." This is always a lie. They will never give you anything free, or they will make you "spin the wheel for a reward" and you'll land on something stupid. 

The moment you give them any time of day, you will likely fall for their scam. They are super hard sells. You need to absolutely ignore them, don't talk to them, walk or even run past them, don't let them touch you, have absolutely nothing to do with them.

A good reddit thread to reference: Secrets the Vine offer at airport legit or scam? : cancun ( 

The Currency Exchange Scam

This one is very tough to catch if you're not experienced in it. It's commonly done by tourist-heavy retail stores (such as Plaza La Fiesta) and big car rental companies (like Hertz, Avis, etc...). 

A lot of tourists rely on retailers converting their Pesos to Dollars to transact in Cancun. This causes a large vulnerability to tourists to be scammed when they're not paying attention or cannot process the logic within the minutes or seconds required to pay a certain bill. 

Using Plaza La Fiesta as an example, when you walk in, they will have some crazy exchange rate which you would think is very good. If the average exchange rate from $1 USD is $20MXN, Plaza La Fiesta will advertise to you that their exchange rate is "The Best in Cancun" as a $1 USD to $28 MXN exchange rate. This indeed does look like a great exchange rate because you seem to be getting more bang for your buck! 

What you will fall for, is that they will market all products to you originally in USD, and then convert that USD using their own exchange rate and will charge you in Pesos rather than USD. If you pick up a Cancun souvenir that's marked and advertised as $10 USD, the true value in Pesos will be $200 MXN ($10 USD x $20 MXN = $200 MXN). Plaza La Fiesta will get this $10 USD item, convert it using their own exchange rate of $28 MXN, and charge $280 MXN on your card ($10 USD x $28 MXN = $280 MXN). When you look at your bank statement, you will see that your bank has converted $280 MXN using the average $20 MXN rate and will have charged you $14 USD ($280 MXN / $20 MXN = $14 USD).

At this point, you have been scammed and have paid 40% above the price of what was advertised to you. 

(Video Explanation Coming June 2023)

The Cancun Airport "Hall of Scams"

I'm going to keep this one short and simple. You should never, absolutely under any circumstances, talk to any salesmen while you're inside of the Cancun Airport post-customs. Any tour, transportation, hotel, timeshare salesmen you speak to will be giving you outrageous prices that will milk you for your money. 

If you're going to be lost at the airport, go be lost outside next to Margaritaville (and even that Margaritaville is daylight robbery with their prices).

Other Scams:

Fake Police Scams: Be wary of people who claim to be police officers and ask to see your passport, wallet, or other valuable items. This is a common scam to steal your possessions. Always ask for identification and don't hand over your valuables.

Money Exchange Scams: Be careful when exchanging currency, as some exchange bureaus may offer you a lower rate than the current exchange rate and charge high fees. Research the current exchange rate before exchanging your currency and only use reputable exchange bureaus.

Taxi Scams: Make sure to use a reputable taxi service and don't accept rides from unlicensed taxi drivers. Some drivers may take a longer route to your destination to increase the fare, or charge you more than the agreed price.

Street Vendor Scams: Be cautious when buying goods from street vendors, as some may sell counterfeit or low-quality products at high prices.

ATM Scams: Be careful when using ATMs, as some may be rigged with skimming devices to steal your card information. Always cover the keypad when entering your PIN and use ATMs located inside secure locations, such as banks or shopping malls.