Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Barcelona Scams. Motorway Flat Tyre - Update.

Unfortunately, I'm back so soon with yet another Barcelona Scam, or rather an update. It seems a shame that just recently I've posted a few in quick succession, and any new readers, please don't be alarmed, Barcelona is a great place to visit!

I've posted previously about the Flat tyre scam and how there are different variations. Well, it seems that a keen eye caught on camera some theives on the AP-7 motorway coming into Barcelona, and then uploaded the video to YouTube.



It seems that the victim is travelling alone, and is probably from the UK, as the drivers side is on the right, and this means his registration plates will also have been a giveaway. I also imagine that the theif crouching to distract the victim at the back of the car is feigning a flat tyre or problems with the wheels. They look organised - possibly Eastern European, and have a very smart getaway car, too. I'm sure the victim would have kicked himself when he realised what had happened, but the distraction techniques used are just so quick it's easy to fall for something like this. How to avoid it happening? My advice from the first post still rings true:

"One way to protect against this scam is to be wary agaianst any kind of alert or unsolicited help. If you feel that the suggestion is genuine and that you may have a flat tyre, find a safe place to stop in your own time, preferably away from the people who have told you about the supposed flat. Of course, the best way to protect against this scam is to not leave any valuables on show in your car. It's also essential that you drive with all the doors locked while you are inside the car, and only open them if you can clearly see around you and have everything inside the car accounted for."

Coming to Barcelona soon? Check out this Barcelona Guide for more details on the city.

Apartments for rent Barcelona

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been scammed my husband and i jjust arrived in Barceolna and a bike stops and tells us we have a flat tyre . we stopped to look at the tyre and this man on the bike seemed to be very helpful he said follow him he will show us were to get it fixed , on the way We lost him during traffic and then he came back that's the time he got into the car and stole my bag with pass ports. My first and last time to Spain.

David Brydon said...

So sorry to hear that, and that this method is still working. I encourage you to post everywhere you can about it to raise awareness in the same way I'm trying to do so here.

I hope you can resolve your issues quickly and it doesn't taint your vision of the rest of Spain for your trip. Take care.

Anonymous said...

26.06.2014. This morning drove down to Barcelona from France and stopped at the last service station before Barcelona , and just after the last Toll on the AP7.
We stopped for a coffee break and when we went back to the car a person in a car parked next to us said that our rear right hand tyre was punctured. It seemed alright to us so we drove off after another driver a few metres away mentioned to be careful as there are car robberies taking place in this area sometimes.
We drove along the ap7 towards Barcelona when a message in our car said to check the tyre pressure. We very quickly became suspicious and the same driver that unknown to us was following us suddenly overtook us and was flashing his lights and making frantic signs to pull over. We became very frightened and kept on driving and headed to the nearest exit. The car followed us. We made signs to him that we were not going to stop and made sure he saw us making a telephone call. He then drove off.

Shortly after, we stopped and called for assistance. Our tyre was completely flat by this time. We discovered it had been stabbed 3 times. We also learnt that we were about to be robbed and that is how they target tourist cars. We were very lucky but were left with a lot of frustration and an expensive bill from the local Mercedes garage. We have been driving down this motorway for many years and this is the first time we have experience this situation. We tend to stop in Toll areas which are safer.

Our advise is to NEVER STOP IN SERVICE AREAS OUTSIDE TOLL ROADS AND IF YOU HAVE TO, THEN REMAIN BY YOUR CAR. IF YOU DISCOVER YOU HAVE A PUNCTURE AFTER HAVING STOPPED AT A SERVICE AREA DO NOT STOP IF A CAR THAT IS FOLLOWING YOU IS SIGNING YOU TO STOP. CONTINUE UNTIL YOU GET TO A PETROL STATION OR SEE A POLICE CAR. DIAL 112 EMERGENCY SERVICES.

David Brydon said...

Again, sorry to hear this is still happening, and the Police really need to crack down on this kind of thing; it's not a new thing and should be easy to find with so many traffic cameras and helicopters collecting fines.

Anonymous said...

This just happened to us last night in Barceloneta... We were driving to meet a friend and a cyclist tried to tell us we had a flat but we didn't understand, then 1km down when we were on some narrow one way streets another guy in a car/motorbike was trying to tell us we had a flat, maybe pullover there, but it was driving fine for us so we went to our destination a few blocks away. There we saw the flat and when changing, the same guy from the beginning came and was saying don't call for help (on phone) and pointing down at the tire saying he'd get a mechanic. And that's probably when they stole my friend's bag with some accomplices on the other side of the car... We didn't notice until later, but would probably have been robbed in a big and violent way had we pulled over on the one way streets... We were suspicious when we saw the same guy and I even alerted my friend after reading this post to be careful (I went to the restaurant while he parked and quickly searched for flat tire scams in barcelona on my mobile), but it was too late at that point.

David Brydon said...

Again, I'm sorry that's happened to your friend, and it's a shame that your friend lost their bag. I hope it wasn't too much of a headache.
All the best. David.

 
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