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Fake Cozumel tour packages being sold outside terminal area

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Several cases of fraud against tourists have been reported by visitors who say they purchased tour packages that turned out to not exist.

Since last week, six reports have been filed by tourists who say they purchased tour packages for the island of Cozumel, however, when they arrive on the island, they realize no such tour exists. The packages have been sold to tourists outside the maritime terminal, where tickets to the island are sold.

Xóchitl Bernal Quintana, commercial manager of the maritime terminal explained, “We have had complaints from foreign users who visit us, who say they buy the packages and when they arrive on the island they see that there are no such tours.

“We are trying to eliminate the problem, providing the assurance that when buying in a restricted area they have insurance for the product or service they have bought.”

She says that each of the reports say they fell victim to the scam when buying the tour packages outside the terminal, adding that these transactions are not formal businesses.

In an attempt to eliminate those cheating tourists, the maritime terminal will install signs in the access area to prevent street vendors from making fraudulent sales for Cozumel.

The adjustments to the maritime terminal are already in the works to eliminate this problem before the start of the highest season, where officials estimate an influx of 20,000 to 25,000 people per day in the area.

Marisol Buitrón Rangel, subdelegation of the Federal Consumer Attorney (Profeco) in Playa del Carmen, is urging people to avoid buying products and services from street vendors. She says it’s important to buy only from formal establishments and ask for a receipt or invoice.