Fake silver scam

Tijuana-Mexico-fake-silver-scamSilver is locally mined in Mexico, which means silvery jewellery is relatively cheap to buy, especially for visitors from across the border. And in the streets of popular tourist destinations like Tijuana or Cancun, you can find street vendors with silver bracelets and necklaces promoting their often forged merchandise. In some cities, the street vendors are required by law to carry a vendor license issued by the local police or municipality, showing their name, address and the license to sell genuine silver. They offer the silver jewelry for prices much lower than at the jewelry store, and after a bit of bargaining, the price may go as low as impossible to decline. And just like everywhere in the world: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, the license only helps the scammer to establish a level of trust with the unsuspecting tourist, and they’ll be long gone by the time the victim finds out he’s been ripped off and is able to call the cops.

If you’re no expert in distinguishing real silver from fake sterling silver, then don’t buy it on the streets of Mexico. Instead, pay a reasonable and still relatively low price in a legitimate jewelry store. When being offered silver by a street vendor, make sure to write down his license number in a way that he can see you do it, just to let him know you’ll be able to report it to the police if he tries to rip you off. This will lower your risk of being scammed, as they’re afraid their license will be revoked or they may even end up in jail for ripping off tourists.

In case you do get victimized by one of these silver swindlers, report the scam to the police, including the license number of the scammer. In case you haven’t written it down, give them a detailed description of his looks, and they may know who you’re talking about, as most of them are already known to the cops. And your last resort could be to try to recognize the swindler later when he’s trying to rip off other tourists, but most people would rather forget about the whole situation and take their loss than to spend the rest of their holiday chasing someone who outsmarted them out of a few Dollars.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Tijuana and Mexico Tourist Scams Forum.

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