Mexico Battling Tourism Scams in Key Destinations

Mexico is looking to battle scam artists targeting tourists booking travel to key destinations, such as Quintana Roo, Baja California, Nayarit and Jalisco.

According to Reportur.com, the Tourism Commission of the Congress of the Union and the Financial Intelligence Unit of the federal government (FIU) admitted the scams are a concern for Mexico’s tourism industry and need to be addressed immediately.

Tourism Commission President Luis Alegre Salazar said one of the main concerns is fraudulent call centers that target travelers from crucial tourism markets such as the United States and Canada. The scam calls impact the perception of Mexico’s tourism industry and could hurt the economy.

Organizations like the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies and the National Tourism Registry are working hard to stop the fraudulent calls, but they come from ghost companies that have become increasingly harder to detect. As a result, the agencies plan to work on a nationwide tracking system to identify illegal companies and impose punishments for fraud.

Mexico’s Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office said scammers have been using data purchased from “sellers of vacation memberships” to contact travelers with fraudulent offers to buy and resell their ownership stakes at high prices. The scam typically features people having to send a deposit payment before all communication eventually stops.

In the U.S., the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and AARP announced in December a coordinated campaign aimed at educating senior citizen travelers on how to avoid travel scams.

The collaboration aligns with both AHLA’s Search Smarter campaign and the AARP Fraud Watch Network, initiatives designed to help consumers avoid falling victim to scams and fraud.

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