FOR many years, people have been continually warned to watch out for the bogus gas men in the area. They go around, usually preying on British and other non-Spanish visitors, purporting to be officials needing to inspect gas installations.
Now, in another scam, bogus salesmen have been visiting mainly British-owned bars and restaurants pretending to be representing the Guardia Civil magazine. This has been going on for some years across the country and has even resulted in prison sentences handed down to the offenders, but doesn’t get the same amount of promotion as the gas men.
The tactic used is to enter an establishment – often two at a time – to get business owners to subscribe to a Guardia Civil magazine. A combination of slightly aggressive sales pressure and a feeling of not wanting to cross members of the Guardia often end up with people giving over anything between €180 and €400 for what turns out to be non-existent advertising.
The latest example of this scam happened this week on Urbanisation La Marina.
Beverley Yates, owner of J’s Restaurant in Consum Square contacted RTN to tell us of her experience. “This smart looking Spanish man came in with a briefcase and looking all official and asked to speak to the boss. He showed me his ID and started talking to me in Spanish. At this point, one of my customers enjoying a coffee who understood more Spanish than I did jumped up and told me it was a scam and not to give him any money.”
Bev told the RTN that a slightly heated discussion took place between the customer and the ‘representative’ who left rather quickly and jumped into his car without visiting any other establishments in the square.
“The customer explained that he’d told the rep that it was a scam that he’d heard of before and that his type was well known in Spain. I don’t think he liked being tackled in this way. If he was legal, why didn’t he visit other businesses near to mine?”
There is indeed an official magazine called Guardia Civil but it is a purely internal publication and no local businesses are ever asked to advertise with them.
If a business in the area is approached by anyone looking to sell advertising space for this fake magazine, do not part with any money and inform the police immediately.