5 Gas Station Scams to Watch Out for in Mexico (Video)

Gas station scams are not uncommon in Mexico and they seem to happen more frequently to unsuspecting tourists. In this video, Qroo Paul explains the five most common scams and how to avoid them.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

9 Comments on "5 Gas Station Scams to Watch Out for in Mexico (Video)"

  1. Always look at your gas gauge before and after buying gas. Unless I´m on a trip where I fill-up several times, I only buy 500 pesos and pay with a debit card. Never had a problem.

  2. Julia Cummins | September 7, 2021 at 7:41 pm |

    I so want to move to Mexico…but my husband will not. You make my dreams feel like I have a chance.

  3. Another scam that I became aware of recently, is the old half bill one. It´s easy to pull off if your change is multiple bills, say you give them a 500 bill and your change includes a 200, a 100 ,a 50 and maybe some coins. they will arrange the three bills so that you can see one end of all three but the 50 has been torn in half. If he gets away with it twice he makes 50 extra pesos. Look at your change!

  4. I’d like to point out that the vast majority of gas station workers here are hardworking and honest people. The owners of the station don’t tolerate that kind of behaviour so scammers do not last long. Also in 15 years visiting and 3 years living here full time, I’ve never had an issue buying gas. I always have them fill it up, they show that the pump is set to zero, I pay with a credit card and they bring the machine to me, I give them a 10 peso tip and everybody is happy – I also get a text message from my credit card company when the charge goes though.

    The more common scam is the gas station itself that sets the pumps to deliver less than what’s charged

  5. No mi gusta that trick where my gas gauge needle doesn’t move after they’ve supposedly pumped 300 pesos into the tank… It’s Especially difficult when I’m in a rental car and don’t know how much gas the tank holds. Is it NORMAL that the needle only moves a little after pumping 300 pesos??? Hmm…

  6. One time they stoled our gas cap and offered us a new one for $20 dollars

  7. Excellent info Paul. We have lived in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca for the past 7 years. We have never been scammed at a gas station there which is not to say that it couldn’t happen. But on the other hand, after watching and listening to you, we will be much more vigilant and from now on and try to pay only in cash when buying gas. Thank you for your excellent videos. I have yet to watch one of yours wherein I failed to learn something or even a lot – even after living in or visiting Mexico for nigh on to 37 years.

  8. cjbillingergmailcom | September 9, 2021 at 2:05 pm |

    Another scam that ,in the old says, when they always checked your oil was to say you needed a quart, they would put the funnel in the oil hole and pretend to pour the quart in to it. In the mean time the quart they were using was already empty. They would charge you for a quart of Oil and use the same quart again on the next car.

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