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The Camera, Phone Shop Scam

The camera, phone shop scam is operated out of respectable looking camera/phone shops all around Benidorm.  We have been aware of this scam for a long time but one of our Benidorm Seriously Members became a victim a couple of weeks ago.  The shop our member used is just round the corner from the Sol Pelicanos hotel but there are lots around, most of them on the Avd Mediterreano. DO NOT GO INTO THESE SHOPS

This scam is run by small teams of con-artists (usually three Asian men).

The Camera, phone Shop Scam

How the camera, phone shop scam works...
The first guy stands outside - chatting to passing tourists in order to lure them into the shop.  He will be an expert at this - he will seem totally harmless - and you won't want to offend him.  The conversation will go something like this.

"Hi, Are you having a nice holiday? Where are you from? My girlfriend lives in Leeds. I hope to live there one day."
"But for now I have to work here in Benidorm - not enough work in Leeds!"

He will tell you a bit about his job - how he likes it because he gets to talk to lots of British people.  He will casually mention the fantastic "tax-free" bargains in his shop - and then he will make his move!

DO NOT GET INTO CONVERSATION WITH THIS MAN, JUST WALK ON BY

If you follow him into the shop you're history!

He will shove a camera into your hands - a good camera - usually a Sony or a JVC.
He will tell you the price - a price you can't resist. He is an expert at knowing your "bargain threshold".

"This camera costs hundreds of pounds in England - but here it's only 90 Euros!"

Ninety Euros for a Sony Video Camera! You can't believe your luck! And if you frown, he'll drop the price even lower.  But there is no way in a million years that he intends to let you leave with that camera for 90 Euros!

Once you agree to buy the Sony his job is done. He will pass you over to his colleague - scam-artist 2.

Scam artist 2 will invite you to the back end of the shop - to process your payment.
He will insist that you sit in a very comfortable chair, and he will offer you a drink (beer, wine, whatever you want).

He will take your credit card payment using an old-style credit-card machine - creating a carbon paper receipt. There are modern chip & pin card readers in the shop - but he won't use one for this transaction because he has no intention of completing this sale.

They may also offer to accompany you to a cash machine to get more money out, DO NOT GO our member did this and found once they had returned home the card had already been cloned in the shop and more money taken out of the account to the value of £1.385, ALSO  the amount that was quoted for the items was not the amount that was taken in payment from the account.

Scam artist 3 will show you how the camera works. This will take a while -
"Because we don't have instruction book in English."

He will tell you that the Sony you have "bought" is good but "slightly out of date" -
and he will be keen to show you the latest thing in video cameras from some other manufacturer.

You'll say that you are happy with the Sony - but so as not to offend him you will let him to show you the latest thing.  By now you will suspect that you are being conned - but everyone is so friendly and you won't want to offend them.

Scam-artist 3 will demonstrate the difference in quality between the two cameras.
He will do this by plugging them into a TV and comparing their pictures on the screen.  This is part of his con - the TV is adjusted so that the Sony looks nowhere near as good as the latest thing.  There will be no denying it - the latest thing is far better!

And as you watch helplessly he will do some fancy tricks on a calculator - working out your amazing discount on the latest thing - including knocking off the 90 Euros that you have already "paid" for the Sony.

By now you KNOW you've been had - but you are still too polite to offend these "nice guys" by walking out.  Plus, the Sony has now been moved away - so you can't just pick it up and leave,
and you believe that he already has 90 Euros of your money - so you can't just make a run for freedom!

Scam-artist 3 will not be denied.
He will separate you from at least £350 of your hard earned money for "the latest thing".  He will tear up your carbon-copy payment slip - and bring out a proper chip&pin machine to take your real payment.

They will then offer to gift wrap the item for you, DO NOT LET THEM DO THIS they will chat happily away to you distracting you from what they are doing and present you with a perfectly wrapped box, telling you your receipt is in the box.  Upon arriving home and opening the box you will find that the camera you thought you had brought is NOT in the box but a very cheap alternative. i.e you will pay 450€ for a camera and when you open the box the camera you have been given is only worth 60€ also there will be no sign of a receipt so you wont know the price you have paid until you get your credit card statement.

They WILL take your money if they get you into their shop - so DON'T BE LURED IN BY THE NICE GUY OUTSIDE!

NOTE: This scam doesn't always involve cameras - it can also involve laptops, ipods, smart-phones - you name it! OUR GROUP MEMBER ALSO PURCHASED A MOBILE PHONE WHICH ON ARRIVING HOME TURNED OUT TO BE A FAKE AND DID NOT WORK

REMEMBER IF AN OFFER APPEARS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS, DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM

READ HERE FOR MORE SCAMS IN BENIDORM 

For details on how to report a crime in Benidorm 

Join the Benidorm Seriously Facebook Group 

Comments (15)

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Avoiding transactions with such men is a wise course of action. Don't stop and chat.

Kevin Chamberlain
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* some content removed, this information has nothing to do with race or religion*

Tracy Ann
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My dad got stung with this onewhile I was standing outside but we were on to it and when I tried to walk out with the original tablet he'd paid for they pulled a Stanley knife on me and I was surroinded.in the end he ended up having paid 90 euro...

My dad got stung with this onewhile I was standing outside but we were on to it and when I tried to walk out with the original tablet he'd paid for they pulled a Stanley knife on me and I was surroinded.in the end he ended up having paid 90 euro for a tablet worth 40 as it wasn't worth getting slashed in the face.

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Steve Harris
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I think this has happened to me....I have to go back on Friday for my receipts etc. But on checking my bank I have been paying with cash to a total of £700+. And 819 euros have been taken on my card and I don’t know how....and I don’t know what to do

Jean doherty
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on this page you will find a Facebook symbol, click on that and you can share the page or of course just copy and paste the link - https://www.benidormseriously.com/the-camera-shop-scam/

Tracy Ann
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819€ was taken from my bank card for a 40€ sale and I don’t know what to do about it ..can anyone tell me the procedure

Jean doherty
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as you are now back in the uk the only thing you can do is report the incident to your bank and get a refund from them if possible x

Tracy Ann
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Wondering if anyone has had any problems with the small electrical shops which sell cameras mobile phones and phone accessories the shop sellers are Asian men I think pakistan. The problem is my iPhone charger has broken I needed a new wire to...

Wondering if anyone has had any problems with the small electrical shops which sell cameras mobile phones and phone accessories the shop sellers are Asian men I think pakistan. The problem is my iPhone charger has broken I needed a new wire to charge it, he sold me one for 15 euros but the sticker on back said 39 euros. He said they are great and Apple approved well I know there not Apple approved because they’d sell these at home. Tried to sell me an original Apple wire I wanted 2 metres he said it was 2 metres even though the box states 1m he said that’s the usb part which wasn’t right obviously thought I was thick. I bought the cable which was 15 euros. got back to hotel and it won’t even power charge it’s a dead cable, I’ve tried 2 Apple plugs tried mums cable from UK just to test it wasn’t my plug and her wire works. I now need to return it tomorrow but I know I’m gonna get issues with a refund, if I do could I get police involved? Let me know... thanks

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Matthew
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So sorry you got caught out like this thankfully it was only 15€ some have lost a lot more, always check the items in the box at the shop and not once you have left, not much use to you now but it will help others in the future.

Try taking it...

So sorry you got caught out like this thankfully it was only 15€ some have lost a lot more, always check the items in the box at the shop and not once you have left, not much use to you now but it will help others in the future.

Try taking it back but don´t hold out much hope, you may at best get a replacement hopefully a working one, test it at the shop, if not, ask to see their book of claims this may scare them - https://www.benidormseriously.com/how-to-make-a-complaint-the-book-of-claims/ if they get nasty then dial 112 and call the police. To be honest I dont think it would be worth the effort of making a denouncia (official police report) for 15€ but its the principle involved, but you can threaten them with that as well - https://www.benidormseriously.com/how-to-make-a-denuncia/

Please let us know the outcome x

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Tracy Ann
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Why do the police or council not shut these con houses? Is Spain this corrupt and regards this type of criminal behaviour as acceptable?

Stuu56
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This happened to my bro in law yrs ago but luckily for him he checked the stuff and seen they gave him a cheap camera after he'd paid them e700 he went back in n they wouldn't give him his money back so he stood at the door telling everyone who...

This happened to my bro in law yrs ago but luckily for him he checked the stuff and seen they gave him a cheap camera after he'd paid them e700 he went back in n they wouldn't give him his money back so he stood at the door telling everyone who walked by that they were trying to get in "Don't come in their conmen" he was shouting n making such a commotion that they finally gave in and gave him his money back.

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Anita kelly
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We bought one Olympus in the Old Town,just by where Johnny's Cocktail bar is now.That was 3 or 4 yrs ago ,it is still working perfectly.

alan percival
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