Car holidays are very popular this year and thieves and scammers inside and outside Europe know it. They use cunning tricks to get vacationers out of their pockets or use diversionary maneuvers to steal valuables. These are the five most common.
According to the VAB, the “most common” ploy is that highway thieves signal to vacationers that there is something wrong with their car. They often do this directly in front of a parking lot along the highway or a gas station. The henchmen of the thieves are waiting there. Once drivers get out, valuables are stolen from the car. The thieves also pretend to be unlucky, so you stop along the highway for help. The majority of reports come from Spain, according to VAB†
Italian hoax trick: Thieves flatten tires
Two years ago, the French police warned of the “Italian scammers hoax”. In this case, thieves deliberately deflate one or more tires left unattended in the parking lot. After that, they wait for the driver to return. This is usually done in the luggage compartment of the car in search of a spare tire or repair kit. Thieves take advantage of the fact that victims forget that the car is unlocked.
It is not known whether the trick was given the “Italian” addition because it was mainly the Italians who specialized in it. To avoid falling victim to this simple trick, it is essential in the event of a flat tire that you lock the car first and put all valuables out of sight or in the (lockable) glove box, even if you only have a few minutes. .
The Irish ploy: a seemingly ruthless ‘victim’ is asking for money
Three years ago, the French police also warned of the so-called “Irish scammers’ hoax”. Plus vacationers in the parking lot are approached by a filthy looking man or woman who explains in perfect English that his/her family has been robbed by some unscrupulous thief. That’s why they can’t go back to their country and so they ask if you can lend them money. Of course, the victims will not get the borrowed money back.
Credit card payment for counterfeit banknotes
Another very common technique is that thieves ask if you want to make payment by bank card or credit card for them because they only have cash and their credit card is not accepted. Never accept such a transaction as you will be paid with fake banknotes.
Watch out for bluetooth detectors
According to the police, it is also necessary to completely turn off laptops, smartphones, tablets and the like while the car is parked to prevent targeted burglaries. Since this device is often on standby, thieves can use WiFi and Bluetooth detectors to figure out exactly which car window to smash.
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