If you are tourist, Beware.
This is not meant to scare you. It is meant to help you stay on your toes and beware that there are people who will take advantage of you and your willingness to help some one who seems to need your help. There have been a lot of people who have walked up to a cash machine and had some one inside who seemed to be having a tough time getting out. Then they will ask you to run your credit card or bank card threw the card reader on the door so the door will unlock and they can get out. Nice, you are being helpful and it only takes a moment of your time. EXCEPT the guy in side the cubicle is the bad guy and the card reader on the door is a phony only there to steal your card numbers to be then sold all over Mexico and within 12 hours your are in debt some $20,000. Yes, I said 20 thousand dollars. If it’s your bankcard they will drain your bank account until its empty and still have your account numbers. This will go on until your close your accounts with your respective bank or Credit Card Company.
Most always, 90% of the time, this is going to happen after normal banking hours. Of course, they could get caught, but being it is after the banks are closed (after 6pm during the week or Sat and Sunday and holidays) you have no recourse other than to wait till the bank opens.
This happened to a friend of mine from New York one Sunday not to many weeks ago. The very next Sunday I was walking by the same bank and what do you suppose I saw on the door with a guy inside who wanted to get out or rather wanted you to be a good guy and help him clone your cards. Well I grabbed the card reader that is attached to the OUTSIDE of the doorframe with double back tape and yelled that this was illegal. Then I ran to a restaurant and had them call the police while I destroyed the card reader and all the card numbers that were on that card reader. My friend only lost $2500 out of his account. Other people I have known have lost more and were then stranded with a card they couldn’t use and no money till someone from home wired them money. So be aware. If it doesn’t look right it probably isn’t. There are always going to variations to the scam, so be vigilant while getting those Pesos. If you do see something suspicious you don’t need to be a hero. Call the police and give them a description of the guy inside the cubicle. The bank will have pictures of every one who uses the bank machine so go in there the next day and tell the time and the place of the activity. At least then they will have a picture of the bad guys.
Don’t let something like this ruin your vacation. Just be aware and tell every one you know about this kind of scam. The more people know about this the less often it will happen.
There have also been some packs and purses stolen on the beaches while people were walking, swimming, or using the bathrooms. So watch your stuff or have someone else watch it for you when doing other things on the beaches. A lady from Vancouver came to the beach for a final swim and lost her bag with her money, passport and tickets in it. They also had the audacity to steal her shoes too. I can’t say this enough be aware so you don’t become a statistic here in beautiful down town Puerto Vallarta.
One other thing …have a color copy of your passport separate from you other thing and some mad money just in case something happens.