Security & Safety advice when out & about along the Costa Blanca
Published 9th June 2016
In tourist zones along the Costa Blanca , even a visit to a bar or restaurant can lead to loss of money or property, so when going out please think about the following tips:
– Check your wallet/purse and only take with you bank or credit cards you will be using.
Remember if you DO NOT NEED IT DO NOT TAKE IT WITH YOU, especially credit cards and extra cash.
Your items may have a huge sentimental value, but might seem worthless to a thief and can be thrown away with your emptied wallet or handbag.
– Gentlemen; keep your wallet in a front pocket, preferably buttoned or zipped shut.
– Ladies, be careful where you put your handbag down, sometimes it’s better to have it towards the centre of the terrace than on the outside, where thieves can sneak up to you and get away quickly and unobserved, even through a balustrade.
– In bars, don’t flash too much money, put a little amount aside and when you need more, take it out of your wallet in the toilet. Remember, in Spain, some people work for around 2 euros an hour, 20 euros might seem little to you, but for them it is the wages of a days work.
– If you want to pay with credit card, never let your card out of sight, if they cannot bring the card reader to your table, then go with the waiter to the bar and let them put the card reader on top of the bar. Don’t let them take your card to pick up the card reader or under the bar top out of sight. With the newer, no-contact cards, carry them in an magnetic field safe pouch, to prevent being read through your wallet, purse or clothes with a portable reader.
There are places in Spain where gangs have been caught making copies of credit cards with a second reader under the counter top, in a matter of minutes they take huge amounts from your account sitting at a computer in eastern Europe, thanks to transmitting the card details over the internet.
– Pay your bill only to the waiter that served you or at the bar. Some thieves have a collection of outfits to choose from, they dress similar to the waiter that served you, wait until he’s out of sight and then present you a fake bill, claiming it’s the end of their shift and they have to shut all open accounts before their colleague starts.
– If you go to a place with entertainment laid on, don’t take a handbag or expensive electronics (cameras, tablets) if you think you may dance that night. Don’t count on the people around you or the waiter to watch your belongings.
– When returning home after a party, try to avoid returning home alone when walking, choose a non-drinking driver or take a taxi back home, have them wait outside until you’ve closed your door safe and sound.
– When going to the toilet, finish your drink and demand a fresh glass or have somebody you trust to watch your glass or bottle. There have been cases known of knock out drugs put into a glass. Drinking out of a bottle and putting a straw or a lid on does not prevent the crime. Once administered the drugs makes one act willingly, doing everything that is asked of them without inhibitions, the next day people cannot remember what happened to them.
By taking care and being vigilant you are able to take steps to greatly reduce the potential of a crime happening to you