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Dublin: 17°C Monday 18 October 2021

Travelling abroad? Warning issued as one woman loses €5,000 in Canary Islands credit card scam

The European Consumer Centre issued the warning for Irish people today.

Image: Shutterstock/Khakimullin Aleksandr

IRISH PEOPLE TRAVELLING abroad have been warned to be extra wary of scammers and dishonest traders operating in the Canary Islands, with reports of people losing as much as €7,000 in credit card scams.

The European Consumer Centre (EEC) issued the warning to Irish holidaymakers today, telling them to be extra vigilant and to “watch out for unscrupulous traders when abroad.”

The warning comes as a number of Irish people who have travelled to the Canary Islands have reported incidents where they have been lied to, subjected to ‘aggressive selling practices’, and in some cases had their credit cards significantly overcharged.

In many cases, elderly people are the ones who are targeted.

Examples of types of scams include a woman who had bought a tablet for €160 while in Spain and paid for the device on her credit card.

She was asked to pay again for “broadband and additional services” and was unknowingly charged €5,000.

In another case a man bought a number of electronic goods and was charged €5,000 – far more than they were worth.

Martina Nee, press and communications officer with ECC Ireland warned people travelling abroad to be vigilant.

“Scams have always posed a problem for consumers and they take various forms,” she said.

While there are many legitimate traders in the Canary Islands and other holiday spots, there are others who have used very manipulative tactics.
So be vigilant, don’t be too quick to hand over your personal details, and always use a secure method of payment such as a credit card.

Question everything

When travelling and shopping people are told to:

  • Always take your time and question everything.
  • Avoid handing over their credit card.
  • Always look at the card reader screen to ensure the price is right.

Anyone who feels they have been caught out by a scam are told to contact the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation on 01-6663777 upon their return to Ireland.

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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