Category: Story

British Scammers Caught in Spain

There is a scam prevalent in parts of Spain where hotel or restaurant customers claim to have food poisoning caused by the hotel or restaurant. This is fairly easy to claim as no evidence is required for a civil suit seeking damages against the establishment.

According to the Spanish hotel owners association (CEHAT), cases of tourists on all-inclusive packages making false complaints of stomach problems have soared over the past 12 months, with tour operators in Mallorca reporting a 700% rise. Spanish hoteliers say this racket cost them £52m in 2016 across Spain.

CEHAT estimates that the 90% of the claims – usually made through small-claims management companies who target tourists in resorts or after they have returned home – are bogus.

Were food poisoning really so widespread in Spanish hotels, it added, “a worldwide health alert would have been declared and yet the number of cases registered with the health authorities continues to fall because of the increasingly high levels of quality, hygiene and safety put in place by the Spanish hotel industry”.

CEHAT says it will gather the necessary evidence to prosecute anyone involved in the fraud and use Spanish law to target “organised groups in the commission of a crime.

Claims Management Companies

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) said UK holidaymakers on all inclusive trips were being targeted by “unscrupulous” claims management companies.

“They encourage people to submit claims by saying that they are ‘entitled’ to compensation if they’ve been ill on one of these holidays, often coaching people into what to say,” he said.

Abta says anyone approached by a claims company representative in a resort should tell the hotel management. If approached back in the UK through social media or on the phone and encouraged to lie or exaggerate their experiences, people should report them to the police.

The British Fraudsters

Debbie Cameron, 59, and her daughter Laura Joyce,  were taken into custody after a raid on the family villa overlooking the Mediterranean on Tuesday.

The operation was part of a series of raids on properties  and businesses on the island in an investigation into allegations that British holidaymakers have been filing false legal claims for food poisoning.

Mrs Cameron, who describes herself on Facebook as “the happiest networker in the world”, is  well known on the holiday island and has been at the centre of British expat life there for more than 30 years.

She is the daughter of a wealthy businessman, who ran car dealerships in the UK, and made her own fortune in Mallorca as an entrepreneur and lifestyle guru. Her own blog called “Rich Mum”, contains the mantra: “Have Fun. Make Money. Do Good.”

Judicial sources have been quoted in the Spanish media claiming that the British women were suspected of being ringleaders in the alleged fraud, which involves deploying touts at hotels to entice tourists into faking gastric illnesses in return for compensation.

Police sources said the arrests followed months of investigation after complaints from hoteliers, and that a “wealth of material” including computers and documents had been seized and was being analysed.

One local hotel operator alone reported fraud to the tune of four million euros.

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Facebook Scammer is Scammed

Teddy Wayne was bored one weekend and received a friend request on Facebook.

Her name was Claire Anri and she sent photos of herself – a beautiful young woman (turns out the photos were fake as they had been taken from the Facebook page of a personal trainer in New York).

This was an obvious scam but Teddy played along for 3 months – continually making a mess of transferring money to Claire. She wanted money to travel to America and become his wife.

Teddy kept up the dialogue on Facebook and had a lot of fun with the scammer. He found ways to annoy her and test her determination to get money from him.

This section below is one of the funniest.

Teddy: I am afraid you will stop loving me once you have to live with my chronic diarrhoea. Please tell me you will not let it get in the way of our love.

Claire: I wont. I promise you my love

Teddy: thank you. It has gotten worse with the stress from the hurricane but II am only having “episodes” 12 or 13 times a day now. But enough about me. How are YOU?

Claire: 24 and you?

Teddy: 32. I have had the chronic diarrhoea since I was 24, though, so we have something in common!

Claire: what we have in common is love

Teddy: yes. love, and your age being the age when I developed chronic diarrhoea.

Claire: — and I will always be there for you my love. Honey when are you sending me the money I asked you?

Teddy: — I cannot wait. The happiness I receive will overpower this episode of diarrhoea I am currently undergoing.

 — I have sent it already and will give you the MTCN when I see the pics and know that your love for me is true

Claire: don’t let it lost the way you did the last one you sent

Teddy: no, you have been so nice about not leaving me because of my chronic diarrhoea; I am going to add another $1,000 to it, ok?  You are worth it, baby. Where are you now?

Claire: am still in Malaysia and you my husband?

Teddy: still in NYC. My diarrhoea clinic is here so I pretty much have to stay here.

Claire: am sending the pictures now

These scammers are usually male and very determined to get your money – 3 months of being played along was finally enough for the scammer to give up.

The complete story is available at https://theawl.com/my-three-month-facebook-dialogue-with-a-scammer-from-malaysia-pretending-to-be-a-beautiful-woman-d451bb9e0e7d

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A Case of Seller Beware

We all know the saying  “buyer beware,” but sometimes it’s also “seller beware”.

Drew Silvers, sold a Ford Explorer on Craigslist only to end up in court over it. He did win but it’s an odd story.

The Sale

The Explorer was ten years old and had 90,000 miles on the clock.  It had no problems until about a month before posting it on Craigslist when the “check engine” light popped up due to a misfire. Turned out to be the DPFE (emissions device) and it was replaced. I drove the car every day for about a month without problems until someone finally emailed me about it.

The guy offered less than the selling price but I needed to sell the car so I accepted. During this time, I had my paperwork laid out on my coffee table, which included a receipt from the recent DPFE repair, the title to the vehicle, and two copies of an “as-is” bill of sale for us each to sign and keep. My friend counted the buyer’s $3,300 cash, the buyer and I each signed both copies of the bill of sale, and the title. He went on his way for me to never see him again… Or so I thought…

An Unhappy Customer

A couple of days later, I  received a long, irritated ramble about how he was driving “my” car and it started skipping, choking, shaking, and running extremely rough. I sent him an email back and said it didn’t make any sense to me because I had been driving it just fine for about a month before hand.

Emails and constant phone calls continued and he told me to do the “right thing” and take the car back or reimburse him for the money he had spent on it so far, but I didn’t respond to him.

About three months later a letter came in the mail from the magistrate court in my county. He was suing me over the Explorer.

My witness and I headed to magistrate court. The guy made the mistake of changing his case from claiming damages to fraud. That meant the magistrate couldn’t hear the case and she had it transferred to the Supreme Court much to the surprise of the buyer. I assumed the problem was over.

About a month later I received a trial notice in the mail from Clerk of the Superior Court in Atlanta. The buyer had followed through and still had no attorney as his listing was filed under “pro-se”. The date was subsequently changed and the final trial date was set for about a year after selling him the Explorer.

I went to court with my witness. The trial started and went exactly as I had thought and the buyer blamed me for selling him what he called a “fraudulent vehicle”, he called his girlfriend to the witness stand who really had nothing to say. The buyer had taken the Explorer to a Ford dealership and had them itemize everything which was not in new condition on the car and the “repair” total to bring it back to showroom condition was a hair over $10,000, which is the amount he was trying to push on me on top of the criminal charge. When it was my turn I did put the buyer on the witness stand and asked him about the “as-is” bill of sale he had signed, which he denied and said he wouldn’t ever put his name on such a thing. Then I took my copy of the bill of sale as well as the return receipt that he had signed when I changed the court date a few months before. I handed both of those documents to the judge so he could compare and he became even more angry and said “I’m no handwriting expert, but…please step down from the stand and take your seat.”

The judge told the buyer that he had no case, was well aware that the “as-is” bill of sale was legitimate, and it wouldn’t matter anyway because the state of Georgia falls under the “buyer beware” rule. We were then angrily asked to leave the court room as the judge’s face turned a nice red hue…

Be careful when buying or selling and always keep the correct documentation.

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