SPANISH tourists often make last-minute bookings when it comes to their summer holidays. And if they are looking for a holiday rental they are more likely to resort to the internet without checking whether they are dealing with a legitimate advertiser.
Often they find out that they were dealing with crooks only when they arrive in Benidorm and find their accommodation does not exist, said the president of the Costa Blanca Tourist Apartment Association (Aptur) Miguel Angel Sotillos.
Aptur is worried about the bad image this gives Benidorm and called for the Generalitat regional government to keep a closer watch on the internet rental sites. The number of tourists complaining that they have been duped is increasing, Sotillos claimed.
What looks like a bargain on the internet usually proves the old saying that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
“The other day a disappointed family of seven believed they had rented an apartment costing €700 for the first fortnight of August when the usual price should be between €1,500 and €1,800,” Sotillos said.
The swindlers are practically impossible to track down, the National Police said, as they use the bank accounts of intermediaries for the transactions. Often these ‘mules’ are unaware of what they are being used for, although generally it is they who are arrested and not the people they work for.