By John Ensor •
Updated: 06 Nov 2023 • 10:29
Credit: Marcin Krzyzak / Shutterstock.com
A recent incident has illustrated just how easy it can be for even experienced travellers to fall victim to the most ridiculous of scams.
It’s no secret that unwary holidaymakers are targeted by unscrupulous con artists, with scams that often prey on the traveller’s excitement of being in a new, unfamiliar location. One such example was shared by one traveller in Spain, who was caught unawares and decided to share her story, related the Express.
Travel aficionado, Lucia Polla, was ensnared by a holiday hoax during her stay in Sevilla. While enjoying the Spanish sun, a local presented her with an opportunity for what was touted as an exclusive flamenco performance.
Lucia recalls the encounter. ‘I was in Sevilla, taking in the sunshine and gorgeous sights, feeling pretty confident navigating this new place.’ She was approached by a supposed local, who enticed her with tales of a ‘once in a lifetime’ flamenco event. He provided a flyer, yet in her excitement, she missed the glaring warning signs.
Lucia, captivated by the promise of a genuine flamenco show, made a rookie mistake. Swayed by the man’s insistence and the seemingly legitimate flyer. ‘I just got caught up in the moment I guess.
‘Before I knew it, I was forking over cash for this supposed exclusive tour.’ However, the excitement of the ‘once in a lifetime’ event quickly unravelled when she arrived at an empty street, flyer in hand which she then noticed was dated 2013.
Despite the sting of the scam, Lucia imparts wisdom for travellers. ‘There are a lot of people working outside the bars in Spain offering drinks in the restaurants and calling you in. But I let the thought of this incredible, genuine experience cloud my judgement.’ She urges holidaymakers to balance the thirst for adventure with a note of caution.
Lucia’s ordeal is a stark reminder to remain vigilant. ‘Travel scams happen a lot, especially when we let our excitement about authentic and spontaneous experiences outweigh our common sense.’
But she remains optimistic, viewing it as a learning curve. She highlighted that while it’s important to keep one’s sense of adventure a healthy dose of common sense is also vital. ‘That’s the best approach to make the most of your travels, while staying street smart. You live, you learn right?’
With her expertise in Southern Spain, Lucia runs Viva La Vita, a blog that explores both the well-trodden and hidden spots in the region.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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