Holidaymakers warned of scammers demanding tourist tax cash
British holidaymakers in Mallorca are being warned about conmen who are calling on villas or luxury apartments to demand up-front cash for the islands’ tourist tax.
Tourism leaders say their claims are false and are giving the Balearics a bad image. They warn Brits shouldn’t hand any money over to unexpected callers as owners would already have paid the tourist tax upfront if properly registered with the local council. If not an authorised holiday property, any doorstep demand is still bogus.
In hotels, guests pay the tourist tax – at a rate of between one euro and four euros a night depending on the star category and season – direct to the reception.
The alert has been raised by the Federation of Tourist Holiday Stays, FETV which says the con artists are apparently working in pairs and speak English to the occupants.
The federation highlights a recent case of this in the eastern part of Majorca and suspects that there have been others. Some may have gone unreported to the owners.
In one of the cases, tourists in a villa approached became suspicious and took a picture of a white van before the two men made their escape.
President of the federation, Jordi Cerdó said the police had been alerted and they were advising all property owners of the scam so they could tell holidaymakers NOT to “pay anything to individuals who just turn up at the door”.
Police have confirmed an investigation is underway. The white van is believed to have been rented in Madrid.
“Incidents like this can give the islands a bad image,” said Jordi Cerdó. “Our Federation is fighting to make sure this doesn’t happen again this summer.”