Keep a close watch on purses and wallets at all times, particularly at markets and at bus stops.
If you are approached in the street by flower sellers trying to sell you a carnation for a couple of centimos walk away from them, they are professional pickpockets. You may think you are getting a bargain, but several hours later when you find your cash and credit cards stolen you will soon find out differently. These people predominently frequent the area around McDonalds and the Cathedral in Palma.
Men and women also sell fruit on the beach. They are illegal vendors and are constantly being arrested by the beach police. They have no health certificates for their food and bear in mind, whilst it seems like a good idea to buy a piece of melon while roasting on the beach, what you pay for one slice you could probably by a whole melon for in the local supermarket.
Many of the popular resorts do have quite a large number of illegal street traders selling "genuine" designer watches and T shirts. Do not start to barter with them unless you have a genuine desire to buy. A firm but polite "no" will not offend.
Majorca has got to be the Timeshare, capital of the world! Any couple walking together under the age of 60 will be a prime target for the touts. The first question will always be "do you speak English?". After that you may be asked to help them with a holiday questionnaire on behalf of the Spanish tourist board, or the more common scratch card.
These scratch cards are ALL winners. Prizes may be 3 days car hire, water park tickets, duty free packs or the star prize of 2,000 Euro. Unless you want to sacrifice 1/2 day of your holiday to a relentless hard sell, do not go with them to collect your prize! Remember, only the foolish or greedy will really believe that they are getting something for nothing.
This website was launched on 21 December 2006
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