Drugged And Robbed In Medellin Colombia: A Word of Caution for Tourists

Medellin, a city nestled in the hills of Colombia’s Antioquia province, is a beautiful destination adorned with lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and a rich history. Its transformation from being one of the most dangerous cities in the world to Colombia’s most popular tourist spot has been nothing short of remarkable. However, it is essential for visitors to remain vigilant while soaking up the city’s charms as there have been thousands of reported incidents of tourists getting drugged and robbed in Medellin Colombia.


I Got Pickpocketed In Medellin Colombia

I made a video that I will post at the bottom of this post about how I was pickpocketed in Medellin Colombia. The first time I went to Medellin I remember seeing a girl with a group of her guy friends in the Poblado area of Medellin. She was asking them if they had seen her phone, while she was dealing with a vendor. I was walking by and overheard what was going on. They stopped the vendor to question him. I was thinking to myself that she was drunk and misplaced her phone.


Fast forward to my second trip to Medellin Colombia. A friend of mine wanted to tag along on my trip so we took the journey. I remember some of the street kids were begging for money during the daytime. I gave one of them the equivalent of around $5 dollars. The week went on and my friend and I were out there having a great time. One night around 1 am the street kids showed up as we were walking back to the Nightlife from the apartments. The kids were back haggling us at the same time girls I knew were trying to talk to us and Multiple vendors were trying to sell me stuff. This was all going on at the same time.


I went to pat my pocket for my phone and noticed that it was not in my pocket. I asked my friend if seen my phone, he was like nah. Does this story sound familiar? When I told you earlier about the girl asking her friends about her phone lol.  I knew I couldn’t have left it in the apartment. Immediately I turned my attention to the kids. I looked at the one that I had given money to days before. He looked at me and said something to his friend and then he directed his eyes to a vendor that was crossing the street. He was holding a tray and I remember just telling him no.


I took off in a sprint and caught the guy as he was crossing the street about to disperse into the crowd of people. I grabbed him and asked in English if he had my phone. I guess he could see the seriousness in my eyes because at that point it was going to escalate. That is when he said oh oh and began speaking in Spanish about how he found it on the floor. He pulled it out of his pants he had it hidden away.


All the Colombians started screaming for me to beat him. As I just found out he was a thief and took my phone. I decided to walk away grateful that I was able to retrieve my phone and don’t think it would have been wise to escalate the situation any further. I still had a few more days of the trip left and didn’t want him returning with his gang lol. I learned a very valuable lesson from the situation. The first one is that anyone can be pickpocketed and me giving that little kid money days prior helped me find out which person took my phone. Good karma ended up coming right back to me.


The Dangers of Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, the city of eternal spring, is known for its pleasant weather, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. However, like any other major city worldwide, it also harbors a darker side that tourists must be aware of before embarking on their journey. In recent years, there have been increasing reports of druggings and robberies targeting unsuspecting visitors, casting a shadow over the city’s vibrant tourism scene.


Tourists often fall victim to a deceptive scheme where they are befriended by seemingly warm and friendly locals or fellow travelers. These newfound ‘friends’ offer them a drink, typically laced with a drug that leaves the victim unconscious or severely disoriented. Upon regaining consciousness, they find their belongings missing, and their memories of the incident hazy at best. This modus operandi, while not exclusive to Medellin, has become a cause for concern among international travelers.


The drugs used in these incidents are highly potent and can render a person incapacitated within minutes. Scopolamine, also known as ‘the devil’s breath,’ is commonly employed due to its ability to erase memory and reduce willpower, making victims compliant and vulnerable to exploitation. The aftermath of such incidents often leaves the victims traumatized, with their perception of the city irrevocably tainted.


These incidents primarily occur in areas bustling with nightlife, where tourists are more likely to let their guard down. They are often targeted due to their unfamiliarity with the city and perceived wealth. The robbers swiftly disappear into the crowd after executing their heinous act, leaving little chance of recovery or justice for the victims.


You also need to watch out for crimes like financial fraud. Never use your debit card to pay for things in restaurants and other stores. They have experts that steal your debit card and credit card information. When staying in hotels and Airbnb you should always be using a Travel VPN Router. This can protect your data from being sold to criminal gangs. I actually had my Spotify hacked by someone in Colombia. I suspect it had to be by one of the Airbnb hosts where I stayed. Spotify was probably the only app that I would long into at the Airbnb, and that was to play music for my guests.


Despite these unsettling occurrences, it is essential to remember that they represent a fraction of experiences in Medellin. Most locals are genuinely warm and welcoming, and countless tourists enjoy their stay without encountering any problems. However, awareness of these potential dangers is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. By staying vigilant, avoiding accepting drinks from strangers, and keeping personal belongings secure, tourists can significantly reduce their risk of falling prey to such incidents.


Staying Safe in Medellin

Despite these incidents, it doesn’t mean that you should strike Medellin off your travel list. Instead, being aware and taking precautions can significantly minimize the risks.


List Of Things You Should Do In Medellin


  1. Watch Your Drink: Never leave your drink unattended, and be cautious if someone you’ve just met offers you one. It’s better to buy your drinks.
  2. Stay in Public Areas: Stick to well-lit, crowded areas, especially at night. Avoid venturing into less populous zones, particularly if you’re alone.
  3. Be Wary of Strangers: While the majority of locals are warm and welcoming, be cautious when approached by overly friendly strangers, especially those insistent on buying you drinks or inviting you to secluded spots. Also, I always watch out for people who speak English. It’s easy for you to fall victim once you let your guard down.
  4. Secure Your Belongings: Keep your valuables secure and avoid displaying expensive items that might attract unwanted attention.
  5. Travel in Groups: There’s safety in numbers. If possible, explore the city with a group, especially during the evenings.
  6. Do NOT Use Tinder: Most of the guys getting drugged and robbed are meeting women that they find on the Tinder Dating Dating App. I actually wrote a blog post about why you should not use Tinder for dating abroad.
  7. Never Wear Jewelry: You Should Never Wear Jewelry In ANY Colombia City. Regardless if it is fake or not. You are asking to Robbed.
  8. Do NOT Throw Money: Throwing money in the clubs is another way to get targeted. No one will have any empathy for you when they come to rob you.


Tinder in Medellin Colombia Is Dangerous

Using Tinder in Medellin, Colombia might not be the best idea for several reasons. First, there has been a rising trend of scams on the platform targeting unsuspecting users. These scams often involve individuals who create a seemingly genuine connection with their match, only to exploit their trust later. They use the guise of romance to lure victims into situations where they are drugged, robbed, and manipulated.


A more alarming issue is the use of the application for more sinister crimes. There have been reports of users being lured to meet their matches, only to be drugged and held captive while their bank accounts were drained. This underlines the potential risks of meeting strangers from online platforms in unfamiliar locations, particularly when traveling abroad.


Furthermore, the prevalent sex industry, language barriers, and risk of fraud make dating in Medellin challenging for foreigners. Many users are surprised to find that what they thought was a romantic connection was actually a professional transaction. The language barrier compounds these difficulties, making it harder for non-Spanish speakers to discern genuine profiles from misleading ones.


Lastly, the threat of “catfishing” – where individuals create fake identities on dating platforms – is significant in Medellin. This deceptive practice can lead to emotional harm and financial loss. Both locals and foreigners alike should be aware of these issues and exercise caution when interacting with others online. While Tinder may be a popular tool for meeting new people, it’s crucial to remain aware of these potential risks when using the app in Medellin, Colombia.


Never Wear Jewelry In Medellin Colombia

When visiting Medellin, Colombia, a popular tourist destination known for its rich culture and beautiful landscapes, it’s advisable to avoid wearing jewelry, whether it’s genuine or not. This advice stems from the fact that wearing any form of jewelry can attract unwanted attention, making you a potential target for thieves who may not distinguish between real and fake items. Many tourists have reported incidents where they were targeted because they were perceived as wealthy due to their visible accessories.


Secondly, wearing jewelry can create a false impression of wealth, even if the items are not genuine. In a city where socio-economic disparities are still prevalent, displaying signs of affluence can lead to resentment or even aggression. It’s essential to be mindful of the local context and avoid flaunting wealth in public places.


Thirdly, the presence of jewelry can complicate encounters with local authorities. Police officers in Medellin, like in many parts of the world, maybe more inclined to suspect those wearing flashy accessories of being involved in illicit activities. To avoid unnecessary misunderstandings or complications, it’s best to keep your appearance low-key.


Furthermore, wearing jewelry can limit your ability to blend in with the locals. One of the joys of traveling is immersing yourself in the local culture, which can be hampered if you stand out as a tourist. Dressing modestly and avoiding overt displays of wealth can help you integrate better with the local community, leading to a more authentic and enjoyable experience.


I personally would not hang around you if you are one of the foreigners who likes to wear jewelry on vacation. The reason being that when they come to rob you and I’m hanging out with you they are going to rob me also. There are so many daily incidences of tourist getting their chains snatched and/or killed over them I don’t even keep up with them anymore.


Lastly, keeping your jewelry at home gives you one less thing to worry about while exploring Medellin. You won’t have to constantly check your belongings or worry about losing something valuable. By leaving your jewelry behind, you can focus on experiencing the city’s beauty, culture, and warm hospitality without unnecessary distractions or concerns.


Tracking You Down On Social Media

A lot of people who love dating apps such as Tinder enjoy clicking on people’s social media profiles such as Instagram. On your social media, you post yourself in the club splurging money on alcohol and in your Airbnb showing off wads of cash. You probably even show the location of your Airbnb or hotel.


You are making it too easy for Criminals to track you down and rob you. I can only hope you are not crazy enough to add them on an even more personal social media site like Facebook where it shows your parents and family members. Giving them more of a reason to kidnap you and hold you for ransom.


The majority of the time I don’t even post on social media sites until I have already departed from the country lol. That’s if I even post anything on there at all. I’m also not telling people when I’m coming or leaving. I don’t add new people on my personal pages unless I have met them and everything seems to be going well. There are a few occasions that I’ve later had to block people from personal social media accounts but sometimes it takes a little time for people to reveal more about their selves.


Conclusion For Being Drugged and Robbed In Medellin

Medellin is a city of contrast – a place where breathtaking beauty and potential dangers coexist. It’s a destination that deserves to be experienced but with a degree of caution. By staying vigilant and following safety guidelines, tourists can enjoy all the wonders this Colombian gem has to offer while ensuring their trip remains a pleasant memory.


Remember, the aim is not to instill fear but to promote awareness and safe travel practices. So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to explore Medellin – safely and responsibly.