Tijuana is full of scammers in the Zona Norte. Most are obvious and if you pay attention you won’t be affected by this. If you are drunk, stupid, or appear weak you will make yourself a target. So stay alert and pay attention.
Most common scam you are going to run into is the taxi scam. It will start the moment you cross the border into Mexico. It won’t stop until you cross the border out of Mexico.
When you cross into Tijuana you have a choice of walking to the Zona Norte or taking a taxi. There are other options but I’m not going into them. Until you have some experience don’t bother.
There are two types of taxis. The yellow and the taxi libres. The yellow taxis are cocksucking thieves. They hold a monopoly on taxis in Tijuana and get the prime spots. The taxi libres are white cars with orange signage. These are the independent drivers who generally follow the rules.
Regardless of which taxi service you take the price is going to be $5 for the gringo upcharge. I don’t care where you are going in downtown Tijuana the price will be $5.
Yellow taxis are going to fucking try and charge you $10 or more then ask for a tip. Tell them $5 and if they say no walk on. The price will drop quickly and they will then beg for a tip the entire ride. Fuck them. They are already charging too much.
Taxi libres are easier to deal with. If you get one just say $5 and your destination. Most will be very happy with this. If you can always take a taxi libre to avoid the cocksuckers that are yellow drivers.
Count Your Change
Waiters are known as maseros in Tijuana. They are for the most part useless fucks that do nothing but annoy you. If you find a good one keep them around and tip them well.
When you order your drink is brought to you and you pay the masero. Make sure you pay attention what you are paying with. If it’s a large bill hold it up so you both see it. The masero will then wander off and get change.
Your masero will return with your change on the tray. They are notorious for hiding coins under bills. The scam works by putting some coins not covered by the bills and the hidden under the bills. It is customary to give a tip to the masero regardless of how useless they are. So they will assume you will leave them a dollar or the equivalent in pesos. The hidden coins remain under leftover bill.The scam is petty but when you do it enough I guess it adds up or it’s a subtle fuck you.
In addition to the maseros are notorious for “forgetting” to give you your change. The excuse is they got busy. So remember your masero so if the useless fuck pulls this you go and confront him.
Masero’s also have a habit of not giving enough change on larger bills. If you are worried how much something is just ask. That way when you pay and get your change you know how much you should get back.
If you are paranoid about this just get your ass up and walk to the bar and order directly from the bartender. No masero involved.
Watch Your Beer
Ordering a beer or any drink that needs to be opened should be done in front of you. Beers should come capped and the masero will open it in front of you with a bottle opener.
The scam works like this. Masero brings the beer that has already been opened. To disguise this they use a used bottle cap and then pretend to open it in front of you.
Why do they do this? Many bars are 2 for 1 beers. If a customer doesn’t drink it and it’s been opened they will take it back and put it into the beer cooler. The bartender is in on this because they give the beers. The bar sells the beer twice.
This scam only happens in the smaller bars. If you are the adventurous type and go to the low end bars just pay attention. I was caught with this one last trip because I wasn’t paying attention but krico caught it.
Drink For The Lady
Buying a drink for the lady is common as a get to know you tactic or to molest the shit out of them. The masero will ask you and you can say yes or no. If no then the girl moves on.
When you agree the waiter will ask the girl what she wants. The common drink is a small beer or glass of juice if the girl isn’t drinking. Price is the same so if you are the type that has a fit for paying money for juice just stay home.
The scam works like this. Girl orders something exotic like tequila or some other expensive ass drink. You being clueless don’t know any better and pay the inflated price. The girl makes more and you are scammed.
If you have doubts just ask what she ordered before the waiter walks away or be blunt and say it’s beer or juice only. Nothing else.
$1 For The Robe
Technically not a scam but more annoying. In the bigger clubs, if the girl is in whore wear she is going to want to put on a robe to go to the hotel which is next door. Not a far walk but it does cover her. The guy taking her name will hand her a robe and it’s common to give them a $1.
In some bars they don’t wear whore wear. So when you walk out to go to the hotel to do your business there is sometimes a door guy. He’s going to ask for a $1. Feel free to stare at him and say for what? Doing your job? It’s a scam. If he gets aggressive walk the girl back inside and say bye. Trust me. The girl will go ballistic at the guy.
Just Pay Attention
Don’t be afraid of going to Tijuana. Scams happen everywhere. It’s common and normal in any destination.
My goal here was to give you a heads up on the most common Tijuana scams. It gives you an idea of what to look out for.
Stay alert and have fun.