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Avoid fraud and scams when driving abroad

17/08/2016

If you are preparing to take your car over to Europe this summer, be on your guard as there is lots of evidence that fraudsters are focusing on British holidaymakers when driving on the Continent.

So whether you’re taking your own car abroad or hiring a car on arrival, Moore4Motors wanted to make you aware of the latest scams in France and Spain. Forewarned is forearmed as they say!

French police scam

Reportedly, there has been a flood of thefts committed by criminals dressed as the police who dupe their victims into pulling you over under the guise of “searching” the vehicle, and then making off with your valuables.

If you are driving at night on a French motorway and an unmarked police car with a flashing light on the roof stops you, there is a real possibility that they are not actual police officers. Tourists are likely to get targeted as fraudsters know that foreigners are less aware of French police procedures.

So if this happens to you and you are in doubt, the French police are advising visitors not to stop. However, if you do decide to stop, keep the doors locked and windows up and ask for ID. The French police would never use unmarked cars for routine checks and would only pull over vehicles in well lit areas. If you decide not to stop, then it is important that you call the French police on 17 or 112 as soon as possible.

Tyre scam in Spain

Picture the scene…You’re driving along and one of your tyres starts to deflate. This could be one of those every day annoying occurrences or something more sinister.

Gangs on motorbikes in Spain are known to be working with local garages to rip-off foreign visitors into paying way over regular prices for a new tyre.

This is how is plays out – as you are driving along, a biker slashes your tyre before pointing out to you that you have a “flat” and offering to call for help. They then get in touch with one of their friends to rescue you and tow your car to the nearest garage. Once at the garage they will replace your tyre and hand over an enormous bill (up to £1,000 in some cases).

ABTA (Travel Association) advise tourists visiting Spain and other countries to be on their guard of un-invited offers of help. They say “Many pose as Good Samaritans, warning you about issues with your car and offer to help.”

To avoid being caught up in this scam, decline the offer of a tow and instead get in touch with a local garage. If you are hiring a vehicle then contact the hire company or your European breakdown provider.

If you are a victim of this or any other scam, tell the local Police by calling 112 or 091.

Moore4motors hope that this article has been of interest to you. If you’d like to get in touch with us we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call on 01562 710533 or use our contact us form.

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