Generally speaking Spain and the Costa del Sol have a lower level of crime than the U.K. Like everywhere, however, there is crime and this has increased recently with the financial crisis. Holiday makers are usually in a relaxed mood and therefore make an obvious target.
Out and about
When you are out and about, particularly in crowds, look out for pick pockets and handbag snatchers. Don’t carry more money than you need and keep your wallet close to you. One useful trick for men, when in crowds, is to keep your wallet in the side pocket of your trousers and keep your hand in the pocket. Over the last year or so there have been a number of incidents of handbag snatching reported. These are often carried out by youths on scooters. Ladies should always keep the strap of their handbag wrapped round their hand and on the side away from the edge of the road.
If you are walking around at night stay in well lit areas where there are plenty of other people around. If it is very late at night consider getting a taxi back to your accommodation.
Although not as rife as reported in the UK, all the same tricks are used here to capture your credit card details at cash machines. This usually consists of some sort of false front which contains a card reader, combined with a miniature camera to capture the pin code when you enter it.. If anything looks at all suspect or worrying – don’t risk it, find another machine. Also be aware of thieves hanging around machines ready to pounce as soon as you have got your money.
Other dangers to be aware of are street corner time share sellers. You may decide to take them up on their offer of a presentation but don’t allow yourself to be pressured into signing anything. Finally, if you are booking any coach excursions make sure that the company is reputable and legal. All excursion companies are classed as travel agents and must have a CIAN number. You can be sure that these companies use properly licensed and trained drivers and carry the required insurances. Literature and adverts used by these companies will carry their CIAN number as will their receipts for money paid to them. As we said at the beginning, the crime rate on the Costa del Sol is relatively low. A few simple precautions will help to ensure that you have an enjoyable and carefree holiday.