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Spanish Hotels Bust Food Poisoning Scam

News Hotels in Mallorca can now work safely without being constantly nervous about possible food poisoning accusations. The police arrested a group of British fraudsters who faked food poisoning and that way managed to get tens of millions of euros. While for some travelers such a scum meant a free vacation and even some extra compensation, these people “earned” as much as US$72 million. A British insurance company is also involved and has already lost its license.

Initially, this spam became increasingly popular on the Balearic Islands, and later it spread to popular Spanish resorts, especially the Canary Islands. According to the Mallorca hotel industry association, they have been facing the cases of food poisoning scam since 2013. However, there was a significant raise in the number of claims in 2016, when nearly 400 people accused hotels of poisoning them. It cost Mallorca hotels a lump sum of US$11 million.

A large group of fraudsters from Great Britain operated mostly in Mallorca. They are believed to get US$60 million out of their actions. The group also tried other popular tourist destinations where they allegedly were able to cheat another US$12 million. The group had numerous so-called “sales agents” who talked to tourists and convinced them to participate in food poisoning scams. Agents provided tourists with all the necessary information including documents and details on the claim process.

It took several months for Spanish police to investigate the scum scheme. This month, several raids took place in Palma and Calvia homes, which ended in arresting seven British nationals. Allsure Ltd., a British insurance company, also lost its license because during the investigation it was uncovered that Allsure had offered tourists from the UK to participate in the scam. People needed to fabricate or cause gastric illness and claim compensation.

In July 2017, the British government even had to launch an awareness campaign that warns tourists that they can possibly face prosecution in both Spain and the UK for faking sickness and claiming money for that. It seems that it was very easy to fill a claim as all that tourists needed to present as evidence was a pharmacy receipt for buying over the counter food poisoning or gastric medications. Then tourists sent a claim to tour operators who had organized the all-inclusive vacations. Tour operators, in their turn, forced hotels to pay.


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