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The Blue Bill Scam of Mexico

Published August 3, 2022 in Health & Safety , Mexico - 0 Comments

There is a certain scam in Mexico that isn't too common in my personal experience.

I have never experienced it personally until just recently.

It's a scam I've heard about before but just never really regarded it as important as I had never seen it happen until a week ago.

Basically, it's what I call the "blue bill" scam.

An Uber Ride to El Zapote

Not too long ago, I got into an Uber from a place near Metro Olivos to some park north called El Zapote

Anyway, as we were driving up, I noticed how close we were to Estado de Mexico during the ride.

And also how relatively more rural some parts of the city were as we got closer.

Along the way, the Uber driver stopped at a gas station.

After things were done, the driver clearly handed over a 500 peso bill from what I saw.

For those who don't know, they have a blue 500 peso bill in Mexico.

Anyway, as I'm just casually sitting around watching this unfold and waiting for the drive to start again, some commotion happened right in front of me.

The gas station dude who I think helped pump his gas (not sure as I never had my own car in Mexico but I think that's how they do it here) turned around and claimed he only handed him a 20.

In his hands, there was a clear, blue 20 peso bill.

And my trip to El Zapote just got longer.

Long story short, there was commotion between the two.

Some yelling.

Driver is accusing the gas station guy of trying to fuck him over.

That he knows he handed him a 500 (I saw it too).

Eventually, the issue gets resolved after like 20 minutes or whatever it was.

And life went on.

Eventually, I got to the damn park.

The Scam

Honestly, I'm not very familiar with this scam as I've never had it happen to me.

Only heard about it a few times and this was the only time I actually ever saw it in practice.

But the idea is this: The 500 and the 20 peso bill are both blue and can be easily mistaken by someone.

Therefore, when someone gives you a 500, you walk away for a second, immediately turn around with the 500 gone and a 20 in your hand and then claim they didn't give you enough.

You hopefully get confused and think the dude must be telling the truth so you pull out some more money.

That's it.

Not too long ago though, Mexico did introduce a different 20 peso bill that looks different than the blue 20 peso bill.

And not all 500 peso bills are blue.

Anyway, it's not a unique scam.

You got people like this in other countries who claim you didn't give them back the whole change.

What to do in this situation?

Well, when handing someone bigger bills like that, just count out the money as you give it to them.

If you didn't and they claim you handed too little, maybe there's a camera in the area you can turn to hopefully and get access to?

Pretty doubtful of that though. I don't think any camera is going to save you unless maybe you have a camera in your car recording all the time and it happens to record your interaction with the gas station dude or something.

Anyway, just count out the money as you give it to him.

That's it.

Got anything to add?

Drop a comment below.

Enjoy this video here on what the Mexican currency looks like.

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Thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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