We were on our way back from the Tulum ruins and stopped to fill up with gas at the first Pemex station, on the left side of Ave Coba, right before the chedraui supermarket. It is called La Coruna.
We knew about the dangers of getting ripped off, so made sure to look at the pump to make sure it was reset to zero. They asked us to move further forward so the hose would better reach the fill cap. Then the three of us got out and while we were waiting, one of the 2 attendants pointed to the front drivers side tire and offered to fill it up gratis! It wasn’t low so we declined.
Then the attendant pointed to the pump and showed us what we owed. 952 Pesos! Our tank was about a third full already so we thought: no way! We hesitated to pay. Luckily my sister speaks Spanish and asked the attendant about it. He said he filled it up and we should check. Not the point we argued.
After a few minutes arguing, she asked for the manager. The attendant then checked the receipt from the pump and said that the machine had made a mistake. It was only 598 Pesos! How did they fool us?
The tire was the distraction while the other guy manipulated the pump. We were so relieved, we didn’t complain initially, but later we felt obligated to say something, go to the police or warn others somehow. So, we went back a few hours later to ask for the manager who was supposedly not there. The same attendant offered us a 500 Peso bribe not to go into the manager’s office which we declined!
We tried to take his picture, but he kept hiding his face. So beware, thieves are common at this and many gas stations, as is evident from the many posts on trip adviser etc. Some other tricks include saying your credit card doesn’t work and asking for cash, switching your 500 peso note for a 50 and saying you gave them a 50 only, not zeroing out the pump in advance.
What works best I’ve learned is to show them 2, 3 or 4 100 peso notes along with a twenty (their tip if they don’t try to rip you off!), repeat aloud what you are giving them so they acknowledge it. Designate one person to watch the pump the whole time! Or simply avoid the constant hassle of these and other scams and, like us, choose to go somewhere else on vacation.