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Puerto Vallarta Authorities Urge Tourists To Beware Of This Scam

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Puerto Vallarta is considered one of the safest areas of Mexico, with report after report confirming the positive stats concerning people’s perception of safety and criminality acts in the city. 

People enjoying a beach in Puerto Vallarta

Despite this, due to the high number of tourists flocking to this area during the high season, some scams are now being detected by the local authorities.  

Recently, people have complained about a scam concerning the rental housing market. In particular, about fake property rentals targeting tourists. 

But what should tourists know about this recent scam and how can they prevent themselves from becoming victims of this fraud? 

Everything tourists should know about rental scams

Unidentified people at Playa Las Animas in Mexico

According to local news, criminals in Puerto Vallarta are now advertising the rental of holiday houses for the high season. 

These scammers are asking people to pay a deposit in advance to then suddenly disappear, never giving them access to the property. 

These sorts of scams usually take place on social networks. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are extremely dangerous as these websites do not check the authenticity of the owners of their property.

Unlike these, Airbnb tends to be way more reliable, with people working for this platform often carrying out authenticity checks. 

A group of men enter the beachfront town of Las Animas, located just south of Puerto Vallarta

In most cases, the accommodation being advertised either does not exist or does not belong to the person who posted the advertisement. 

People have recently reached out to a local news platform, known as CPS Noticias-Tribuna de la Bahía, to denounce this scam. 

One person, in particular, wrote a letter reporting a person who promised the rental of a house but suddenly disappeared after receiving a deposit. 

Photo of Los Muertos Beach Pier pier in the Zona Romantica area.

In his letter, the person wrote: “I want to report a person who is dedicated to scamming people. He is putting up a house that I think is in La Aurora for rent.” 

According to the letter, after people interested in renting this accommodation deposit the money, the scammer suddenly disappears, blocking them from all his social media pages. “He says that he lives across the street in Aramara, and Aurora has the house,” added the witness. 

According to local news, this local scammer has already robbed a person of 4,000 pesos. “I think there are already several people who have been scammed with that house, so I just (ask) you to share (this) message because many people are believing in that house.”

aerial of puerto vallarta hotels

In light of this alarming news, how can foreigners and locals in need of accommodation in Puerto Vallarta protect themselves from these sorts of scams?  

How can tourists protect themselves from rental scams? 

Tourists heading to Puerto Vallarta should never send money for deposits before confirming the existence of a property. 

This can be done either through a visit to the holiday house or through the presentation of documents connected to the property, such as a water or electricity bill. 

Puerto Vallarta, Colorful shops, cafes, hotels and souvenir booths line the seaside promenade boardwalk at Los Muertos Olas Altas beach

It is also important to remember that renting from renowned websites, such as, is usually way safer. 

Last but not least, tourists should avoid purchasing bookings from third-party websites and instead always make their purchases from the official platforms when it comes to hotels and resorts. 

Is Puerto Vallarta safe? 

In light of this, tourists heading to Puerto Vallarta soon may now be wondering whether this area is safe. The truth is that despite this recent scam, this city remains among the safest in Mexico

police along boardwalk

This is because most of the people living here work in the tourism industry. If Puerto Vallarta’s safety levels were ever to drop, fewer tourists would choose this destination for their holidays, leading to an economic crisis for the vast majority of the people living here. 

This is why local authorities have made it their priority to constantly work on improving safety levels in the area. 

For instance, the local government recently decided to increase police patrols due to the arrival of huge crowds of tourists for the high season. 

church of our lady of guadalupe aerial with ocean puerto vallarta

Luckily, apart from a bit of alertness needed to avoid local scams during the high season, tourists choosing Puerto Vallarta for their holidays can generally relax and enjoy a well-deserved holiday without constantly having to worry about their valuable belongings and local scams. 

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