© AVSA 2011-2016           Version 12.1.08.s    19 December 2016

Known Scams
Asociación de Vecinos Sierra de Altea
(Neighbourhood Association)
RESTAURANT SCAM. The criminals go to restaurants and public facilities, where they select a car from those parked outside. One of them, educated and well dressed,  then goes into the restaurant  and asks if the owner of car number xxx, would mind moving it, because it is blocking his car. Usually, the owner then goes out, with his keys, to move his car.  Outside, the criminal usually has two assistants, who take the keys by force, and either take just the car, or take the owner as well, under intimidation, to a cash point. Recommendations : Ø      Where possible, avoid, parking in unattended or isolated places. Ø      Try to ensure that you are not likely to block any other cars or access. Ø      Do not  go out immediately. Try to assess the situation. Ø      Ask the waiter to check if your car is blocking any others. Ø      If you do leave, ask someone to notify the police if you do not return     or the situation looks spicious.   PUBLICITY SCAM. As you are about to drive off someone posing as a publicity distributor puts a sheet of supposed publicity on the back windshield blocking rear vision. When you get out to remove it, they get in the car and take off.   TIN CAN SCAM. While you are paying at the filling station, someone passes behind your car and attaches a string with tin cans to your rear bumper or tow-bar. You return to your car and start to drive off, but hear this noise, as if your exhaust is trailing on the ground. You get out to investigate, leaving your keys in the car, with the engine running. As you do this, a stranger jumps into your car, and drives off.     CINEMA SCAM.  Please tell your children about this.  The scam operates at the entrance to a cinema, as people are entering. The criminals say that they are carrying out a Survey of young people to gather their views on say films, products etc. ,and they offer prizes when you exit the cinema, if you help with the survey. Then they ask your name, mobile phone number, phone number of home address, name of country of origin, and quietly recorded some features such as clothing, hair colour, eyes, etc., etc ...  They then remind the young person not to forget to turn off their mobile phone in the cinema, so as not to disturb other people inside the cinema during the film.  After the victim goes into the cinema, they wait a few minutes, and call the person who was "interviewed" to ensure that their phone is switched off. Then they call the person's home.  The criminal says that they have abducted the victim, and give the name of the son or daughter, a description such as hair, clothes, height, colour of eyes, etc. They then say "Call your son, if you think I'm lying ... their phone number is XXXXXXXX "  The parent or relative is agitated ... (Of course, if they know the number of my child’s mobile then it must be true ). If the parents do try to phone, the mobile is already switched off. There you are already in a panic and ready to do what the criminal asks; usually bringing money to an agreed location...    Police advice: Educate your children and relatives not to answer any interview or research on the streets and not to provide personal information.  Do not put your resume on Internet sites.  In the case of cinemas, set your phone to light, or vibrate, but silent. The level of intelligence of criminals is increasing. Be more wary of these new forms of crime .