Cuban Cigar Scams {Beware Of Counterfeit Cigars}

Cuban Cigar Scams {Beware Of Counterfeit Cigars}

Post Last Modified – April 09, 2022

How to Spot Fake Cuban Cigars

If you are planning a trip to 🏝 Cuba and love their cigars, then you should Beware Of Counterfeit Cuban Cigar Scams that are very popular throughout the Country.

We’ve traveled to Cuba a few times now from 🍁 Canada and loved our vacations there!

Having written about and following scams that take place in different parts of the world, it made me wonder if the 🚬 Cuban Cigars I brought back for a friend were indeed authentic.

So I decided to dig a little further and yes, just like that real 👜 Gucci purse you may have bought in Thailand, it is quite possible that you purchased a fake cigar.

Lets have a look at how, where and who to buy authentic Cuban cigars from, if you plan on visiting this beautiful Island in the Caribbean.

First, check out this very short 📹 video outlining a few tips to help spot those fake cigars.

Fake Cuban Cigars – YouTube Video


Spotting Cuban Cigar Scams


Buying Cigars Off the Street – Not Recommended

Cuban Cigar Store

As is the case with most purchases abroad, you really are taking a chance by purchasing something from a person directly off the street.

This is also the case when people approach you and they will, trying to sell you real cheap – Cuban cigars!

That is exactly what you are buying!

These are cheap counterfeit cigars, that most likely were made out of the country and sold to unsuspecting tourists. So as the old saying goes for most anything

If its too good to be true, it probably isnt!


These cigars are so real and authentic looking these days, with boxes and cigar bands made to look like the real ones and can fool most everyone.

Except for those individuals that truly know their cigars by smell and taste.

Real Habanos Will Cost You Even in Cuba

Cuban Cigars

For true cigar smokers wanting an authentic Habanos, then be prepared to pay extra for that Gran Cohiba experience.

This is the most famous of the Cuban brand and from what I have been told, the finest of cigar in the world!

My recommendation is not to buy off the street, especially if you are looking for the higher quality brands like the one above or a Monte Cristo and such.

Where to Buy Authentic Cuban Cigars

Fake Cuban Cigars

As it turned out, I was lucky in my purchase of a box of Monte Cristos for my friend. We booked a reputable city tour that made a stop to a – Government Controlled – cigar making factory.

Outside the factory was a Government owned cigar shop, where you can purchase the real thing at very reasonable prices.

As well, you may be approached inside the factory to make a donation for some freshly hand rolled cigars from certain individuals, but no guarantees!

As it turned out, when I returned home and handed over my cigars to my friend, he immediately knew they were the real thing.

From the way they were rolled, the smell, and other identifying marks on the cigar packaging.

Facts About Habanos In Cuba

Avoid fake cuban cigars ad

In Cuba, all cigars are referred to as – Habanos.

This word in the Spanish language refers to something that has been made in Havana Cuba or in most cases, literally Cigars.

All authentic cigars are (government controlled) and this branch of government uses the same name Habanos.

Cigars are collected by this branch from the many factories in Cuba. They are then sent to their distribution center to be exported and also sent to the various government owned cigar shops.

This is a huge and profitable industry in Cuba for the government and they are trying their utmost to banish all counterfeit cigars from entering the country.



I checked afterwards with a reputable cigar outlet in Canada after returning home from our holiday.

They and like any other reputable cigar outlet outside of Cuba, will tell you that there is only one place in Cuba to be sure of not buying fake cigars.

You must purchase from the Government Stores in towns and at the airports.

These people will also be wearing Official Government Uniforms that look military and you can be guaranteed of the real thing, without becoming a victim of – Cuban Cigar Scams!

They strongly suggest never to purchase your cigars elsewhere!

Take A Cigar Factory Tour

Cuba Cigar Factory

Final Thoughts Banner

If visiting Cuba for the first time, I do recommend taking a tour of one of the many authentic cigar factories.

It really is amazing to watch individuals craft these fine cigars by hand, and the work that goes into that fine smoke that many people relish.

These people work hard for very little, but are happy and welcome you openly, to show off their skill and craft in making these world re-known cigars.

Carry some extra change with you and they just might roll a cigar especially for you!

I’ve also listed the Official Cuba Tourism link below to their website for your convenience. The website is filled with excellent information on everything this beautiful Island in the Caribbean has to offer. logo

🏝   Cuba Travel – Tourism

Safe and Healthy Travels!

signature of author and owner Robert Tellier at

✨   Did You Know

“About 75% Of The Population In The Caribbean Is Contained Within The 3 Islands Of Cuba, Dominican Republic & Haiti.”


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