Attention!! Arnaque !!
Summer is a great time to be in the P-O but it does also seem to bring out ill-intentioned people trying to ‘arnaquer’ (take advantage of) others.
The latest ‘arnaque’ (amongst many) doing the rounds is robbery by pigeon droppings! Yes really. And no, it’s not April 1st!
How it goes
In this case, an 82-year-old woman, living in Villelongue-de-la-Salanque, was on her way out to lunch with her husband when she felt something fall down her back.
A couple who were conveniently walking by told her she had been plopped on by birds.
Luckily, the younger couple were equipped with wipes and kindly helped the lady to clean the mess off – and apparently relieved her of her necklace at the same time which the husband noticed a little later as they continued on their way..
When she took off her jumper, the back was covered in a green liquid.
Apparently, these crooks fill syringes or small water pistols with liquid and pour down the backs of their victims, offer help and then take advantage of the moment to relieve them of any jewellery or personal possessions they can easily get their hands on.
Sadly, scams comes in lots of different versions but each time the scenarios are well-established, professionally portrayed and very believable.
If you are approached by any strangers, even someone apparently offering advice or help, BE SUSPICIOUS. If it feels the slightest bit wrong, contact the local police or gendarmerie (17) straight away.
It happened to us in Figueras a couple of months ago! Very convincing we were completely fooled and we are usually very streetwise if it can happen to us then it could happen to anyone. They managed to remove my husbands wallet, take out the cash and replace it and he didn’t feel a thing! Also took a worthless bracelet from me that made me feel better…
I received what looked like a very authentic email from Orange informing me that a prelevement for April had been taken twice. I was to continue with the link to be reimbursed for the second payment. Luckily I keep a record of all prelevements and knew that the payment for April was only taken once.
Obviously if I had continued with the link the scammers would have asked for my bank details to be confirmed etc.