A number of tourists were caught out in Cabo Roig last week by three scammers purporting to be “deaf mutes” and who were collecting on behalf of Handicap International.
Approached by one of the three individuals, unsuspecting tourists were presented with a petition form declaring support for the construction of a National Children’s Centre. Sadly the three men were neither deaf nor dumb nor does the organisation, the charity or the project even exist.
Fortunately, local resident Carl Court, proprietor of the Queen Vic pub, was on hand to ‘wise up’ the unsuspecting tourists and to chase the scammers away who, realising that their source of easy money had just dried up, launched a tirade of oaths and threats at Carl, despite being deaf and dumb.
The petition that was shown to the tourists by the scammer is not official. It is not even a petition. Although it is an official looking paper that is asking for a donation to the building project. It does not matter what is printed on the form, the money goes straight into the scammers pockets.
The petition is in English – which should immediately raise your suspicion. It is only a ruse to swindle you out of your money, in this case the sum being asked for was 20€ per person. If you offer a lesser amount they will point to the part of the form that states “Minimum 20 Euros.”
The scammer will use a paper with different rates depending on how much money they think they can scam you out of. If you refuse or challenge them on the amount, depending on the scammer and how well they think they can pressure you into giving more, some will become extremely belligerent, as was the case toward Mr Court.
The three men were undoubtedly all scammers who were exploiting the sympathetic feelings of visitors, so do be on your guard.
Although this particular episode occurred in Cabo Roig they will undoubtedly be moving around the area, perhaps operating in a different location every evening. And thay are likely to be around for a little while longer, indeed just as long as there are tourists to be conned.
So be on your guard. Don’t enter into conversation with them. Simply walk away and keep your money in your pocket.