What happened to full-service gas stations
Baracoa: Warning: fraud at gas station in Baracoa - Baracoa forum, questions, topics
On the one hand, I would like to warn travelers who drive to Baracoa by rental car and, on the other hand, I would like to encourage others to whom something similar has happened to me to contact the police. I can also provide the telephone number as a private message.
There are several gas stations in Baracoa. The one I'm writing about is on the outskirts of Baracoa in the direction of Guantanamo.
Although "self service" is at the gas station, a young man (estimated age 20-23) came running up to me and asked "full?" In English. I said no and said that I can fill up for 20 CUC. Then he literally ripped the 20 CUC out of my hand and wanted to go straight to the tap. I said, surprised, that he had to go to the checkout first. Then he ran to the cash desk and came back without giving me a receipt. At that moment he wore a white cap and vest like all gas station workers, but I don't remember that he was already wearing these clothes when I came. He ran to the most distant gas pump where my car was parked and only added gasoline for a suspiciously brief period (a few seconds). Meanwhile he distracted me by talking about the tires and "car wash". Due to the suspicious behavior and the short filling time, I immediately checked the fuel gauge. It looked like before - as if he hadn't put any gasoline in it. The guy was already running away when I shouted loudly that I was being ripped off. Immediately he and another guy (who actually can't know) called back that I would have paid with only 20 Cuban pesos (moneta nacional), which is less than 1 CUC. At first I believed this. I glanced briefly at the "especiales" pump, which showed 20 CUC (and was even more confused), but the display must have been 20 CUC previously by a customer. Since everything happened very quickly and such sophisticated scams are far from my own thinking, at that moment I was unable to draw the conclusion that he was getting me the wrong, cheaper gasoline from the pump next to the one for "94 especiales" must have given when he filled gasoline for allegedly only 20 Pesos moneta nacional. Misled by the lie that I had given him 20 Pesos moneta nacional, I handed him another 20 CUC, again got no receipt ... and this time he filled the tank. Nevertheless, he distracted me again by pointing to car parts (in the opposite direction of the gas pump) and "talking" to me.
After I drove away, I realized that the car was "pulling" worse than before. It was only then that it occurred to me that this guy must have given me the wrong, cheaper gasoline from the pump next to "94 especiale" twice. Theoretically, it would even be possible that this gas station in Baracoa did not have any "94 especiales" at all at that time (in Guantanamo this was also the case at some gas stations).
I then counted my CUC (which I had also done the evening before) and found that I had 50 CUC less (40 CUC of which was given to the guy at the gas station). Ultimately, he not "only" cheated me of 20 CUC, but also accepted that he would break the engine by giving me the wrong gasoline.
The perpetrator had black hair with one blonde strand on the right and one on the left (maybe not anymore; he can have simply cut the strands out), is about 1.70 to 1.75 m tall, has brown skin. He did not act alone as there were others who helped him distract me and support his lie that I had given him 20 pesos moneta nacional.
For several reasons it is unclear whether he actually works at the gas station or is only in contact with the real workers there. He was wearing a white cap and white vest (work clothes) when he came out of the checkout room, but I remember not before. In Cuba, to unlock the tooth tap, you need a permit that only workers have, but in Cuba there is another trick: thieves buy gasoline, don't put everything in their own tank, take money from people they supposedly help, and then just give them the rest of the gasoline they left over.
I did not file a complaint because I do not speak Spanish, but my rental company informally called the police. Apparently something similar has already happened to another tourist in Baracoa.
I would be interested to know whether other travelers have had similar experiences here in the forum. Of course it's not about the 20 CUC; rather, I want to help ensure that other tourists do not fall for the same crook.
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