BEWARE driving from La Jonquera south on N11

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Mimi
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BEWARE driving from La Jonquera south on N11

Post by Mimi » Thu 19 Dec 2013 10:27

I have read other people's unfortunate car journeys in Spain, when they have been held up by drivers in another car. This has made me wary when I drive to Girona airport. I often travel on my own in a British registrated car. I travel through Le Perthus, La Jonquera onto Girona airport on the N11. I did that journey on Monday around midday. As I was driving out of La Jonquera, having gone round the last roundabout south of the town, a white car that had been ahead of me pulled in to my right. As I drove past the then stationary car, a stone hit the right side window of my car. Unusual as the car had stopped by the time I was driving past. Within a minute there was a white car right on my tail, waving vigorously pointing to the back on my car. He pulled over to the left and right of my car, making sure I could see him. I kept on driving. I was trying to work out what could be wrong with the car, as I could see nothing wrong from my seat. There was a black car in front of me, so I could not put my foot down and drive away. We went past the junction for Arles on the right. The turning for Llanca would be coming up to the left. There’s a lane in the centre to enable traffic to turn left. I pulled over to that centre lane. He followed. I was not going up that country road with him behind. I pulled to the right lane again. He followed. He’s still waving frantically, making me feel as if the situation is dangerous. I kept on driving. The black car is still ahead. A few more miles down the road is a BP garage on the right. Do I pull in? No I didn’t feel I could trust anyone. I kept on driving. The white car behind pulled into the BP garage forecourt. Somewhere the black car that had been ahead had disappeared. The next roundabout is just before Pont de Molins. There, a big black car appeared behind me. They did not indicate anything to me about my car. Nor did all the other cars that were behind me, further along that journey to Girona airport.
The article written in Tourist Info-‘Over the border’ was written in 2009. Because of that article and others, I did not stop driving. Variations on those scenarios are still happening. It’s just happened to me on Monday 16th December 2013.
Please be careful and aware.
Last edited by Mimi on Thu 19 Dec 2013 18:11, edited 1 time in total.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Thu 19 Dec 2013 11:56

Thanks Mimi for this extremely useful warning. I will add it to the main site article. And well done for keeping such a cool head....I would have been in a total tizz.
Last edited by Kate on Thu 19 Dec 2013 14:17, edited 1 time in total.

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malcolmcooper
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Post by malcolmcooper » Thu 19 Dec 2013 12:06

Thank you. I've heard of similar happening locally in the Alberes (yes really)!. In that case the driver did stop and the other motorist claimed he had hit his door mirror and wanted payment to cover the damage to avoid an insurance claim and loss of no claims bonus. The driver was intimidated and paid up although totally certain that he'd been scammed.

Well done to you. Keep driving.
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Post by martyn94 » Thu 19 Dec 2013 12:48

Almost like being back home on Merseyside.

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Wing mirror scam

Post by Shona & Ted » Thu 19 Dec 2013 22:15

In response to Malcolm's post, this happened to a friend of ours recently in Marquixanes (near to Prades). She ended up paying a ridiculous amount, if my memory serves me correctly, in the region of 200 Euros. So it looks like this is definitely a scam to watch out for.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Fri 20 Dec 2013 14:02

The same thing happened to a friend of mine this week in St Cyprien. She stopped, but didnt allow herself to be intimidated as so many people would (I for one am an easy target :oops: ) and he agreed in the end that there was no damage and left. She didn't actually realise that this was probably a scam until this forum thread - she just assumed it was a guy who believed she had hit his wing mirror and had accepted that he was in the wrong.

She's a bulldog and he picked the wrong victim. One for the ladies. Chapeau mon amie.

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Post by Pearsonb » Sat 21 Dec 2013 00:16

This happened to me too a few months back near Ceret. The guy tried to force me to stop by overtaking me and braking hard but I was able to swerve around him.. I eventually stopped in the Intermarche car park so that I could be certain that there were witnesses. He parked next to me and claimed I had damaged his wing mirror. I shouted back at him and made it clear that I knew this was a scam. Eventually, with a crowd gathering, he drove off.

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Sue
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Post by Sue » Sat 21 Dec 2013 08:20

Is this happening to people driving GB and French registered cars or GB only?
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Post by blackduff » Sat 21 Dec 2013 10:25

Although there's no guarantee, get a decent cell phone. iPhone is a good example.

If something happens and somebody is trying to scam you, ring 17 and tell the Gendarmes what is happening. Next, take a photo of this guy and his license plate on his car. Tell him that the Gendarmes coming so we can talk to them about your claim.

Probably this guy will drive away as soon as possible but there's also the chance that he's going to take away your phone, if you're outside.

There's another number which will keep you online and they can find where you are located, immediately. I think you can find the PO Life issue had the numbers.

Most Brits are worried about the cost of having a cell phone. But, if you use Orange for the internet, you can get your cell phone to use about an hour per month-free and there are three numbers you can call all of the time free. You could check with your internet supplier and see if they do the same.

Calling the Gendarmes is better than using "Mace".

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Post by patricko » Fri 27 Dec 2013 19:29

This is why I always have a knife in the car.
blackduff wrote:Although there's no guarantee, get a decent cell phone. iPhone is a good example.

If something happens and somebody is trying to scam you, ring 17 and tell the Gendarmes what is happening. Next, take a photo of this guy and his license plate on his car. Tell him that the Gendarmes coming so we can talk to them about your claim.

Probably this guy will drive away as soon as possible but there's also the chance that he's going to take away your phone, if you're outside.

There's another number which will keep you online and they can find where you are located, immediately. I think you can find the PO Life issue had the numbers.

Most Brits are worried about the cost of having a cell phone. But, if you use Orange for the internet, you can get your cell phone to use about an hour per month-free and there are three numbers you can call all of the time free. You could check with your internet supplier and see if they do the same.

Calling the Gendarmes is better than using "Mace".

Blackduff

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Post by russell » Sat 28 Dec 2013 10:40

patricko wrote:This is why I always have a knife in the car.
Not a good idea. You are better off trying to calm things down rather than escalate violence.

Having said that I always carry a Laguiole in case I get a tough steak :)

Russell.

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Post by Kate » Mon 16 Jun 2014 18:00

Worth re reading this thread to refresh our memories at a time when we know that these tricksters are out in numbers to wreck people's holidays or days out. Stay safe out there.

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opas
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Post by opas » Mon 16 Jun 2014 20:30

There is an article in todays daily mail, but refering to Brit plated cars.Usually the warnings areto hire cars.

Personaly i think everyone should be aware of their suroundings whether traveling or just shopping in their local supermarket.
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Post by Ariègeoise » Tue 17 Jun 2014 12:49

malcolmcooper wrote: I've heard of similar happening locally in the Alberes (yes really)!. In that case the driver did stop and the other motorist claimed he had hit his door mirror and wanted payment to cover the damage to avoid an insurance claim and loss of no claims bonus. The driver was intimidated and paid up although totally certain that he'd been scammed.
I'm a bit late to this party, but ...

What Malcolm describes happened to me a couple of months ago on the Le Boulou - Perpignan road. Loud bang, wondered if I'd had a blow out, but car behaving normally so I carried on. A couple of minutes later, the car behind me starts flashing and waving, so I pull onto the hard shoulder as soon as there's enough space, followed of course by the car behind. I'd say the driver was Spanish, though the car had a French (30) reg. He showed me his broken wing mirror, told me I'd done it and asked for money. I wasn't having any of it, smelt a large rat and decided to present him with a constat d'accident which, as you can imagine, went down like a lead balloon. He proceeded to 'phone his wife' (yeah, right!), who told him that he could accept 75 euros instead of the 150 originally demanded. At this point I told him he was an arnaqueur and drove off, leaving him yelling and waving behind me.

I had to make a short stop en route to Perps, but just after Pollestres I saw him again trying the same thing, this time on a couple driving a Dutch camper. I stopped in front of them; they spoke only a little French and were intimidated and, I think, about to pay up. I told them that the guy was a scammer, and told him to get lost. Took his number and when I got home I passed it on to the local gendarmerie who, I have to say, were sadly not greatly interested as no crime had taken place.

So particularly as the summer season approaches, beware of scammers on the D900, particularly if you're driving an obviously non-66 car (mine is an old-style 09 reg).

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ENGLISH REGISTRATION

Post by Banyuls » Sat 16 Aug 2014 09:02

Wouldn't it make sense to conform to French law and register your car within 6 months? With a French plate your car doesn't stick out like a sore thumb

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Post by montgolfiere » Sat 16 Aug 2014 13:41

there are, for the time being, some advantages in keeping a car reg'd in the UK. They only have to be rereg'd if they remain in France for more than 6 months without leaving the Territory!!
Of course MOT's still need doing and UK Road Tax needs Paying......

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Post by Allan » Sun 17 Aug 2014 00:46

montgolfiere wrote:there are, for the time being, some advantages in keeping a car reg'd in the UK. They only have to be rereg'd if they remain in France for more than 6 months without leaving the Territory!!
Of course MOT's still need doing and UK Road Tax needs Paying......
This is a bit of a myth, the 6 months rule is a total in a 12 month period, so popping to Spain every 6 months makes no difference. Furthermore it only applies to non-residents, if you are resident in France you are supposed to register your car here straightaway.

I know that many people drive UK cars here for years without hassle but of course if they have an expensive accident there is nothing to stop their insurance company declaring their policy invalid.

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Post by opas » Sun 17 Aug 2014 06:44

I am mystified how the uk reg car owners who live here manage to not re reg.
We bought a van last year with every intension of reregistration, but with every day stuff going on and a problem with cert of conformity it got put on the back burner.
Our ins AXA phoned twice after about 6 months of insuring us to ask for carte gris, when this didn't materialise they sent a recorded letter giving notice that the policybwould not be renewed without one..........and a footnote and some loi number quoted to say it was noted on the french ins system, ie don't bother going to another company here.

But this thread wasn't about that, it was about people taking who they think are tourists for fools .
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Post by Smiley G » Sun 17 Aug 2014 13:43

This is a post I made under another title (Registering a U.K. car in France)
If you are resident in France, you must register the vehicle in France within 6 months.
It's an EU directive across all member states. Directive 83/182/EEC.
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/Lex ... 82:en:HTML
If you are not ordinarily resident in France you do not have to BUT you DO have to retain its home country legal status.
The PDF is here if you REALLY want to be geeky!
http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/re ... com_en.pdf
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Registration

Post by Banyuls » Tue 26 Aug 2014 09:35

I cannot think why one wouldn't register ones car if resident in France. At least you KNOW you have insurance.
As we all know insurance companies will always find a way to get out of paying if they can, and if it's big claim they'll look harder. Not having your car registered must surely be an easy get-out for them leaving the motorist with a nightmare scenario. :evil:

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Post by Sue » Tue 26 Aug 2014 11:00

What is the situation if you are not resident in France but your car is?
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Post by Kate » Sat 07 May 2016 10:32

Had a phone call this morning from a lady who had this happen to her last week on the outskirts of Collioure. Here car is French registered but left hand drive.

Fortunately, she had read this original thread, kept a cool head, took out her phone, took a photo of him, the damage and suggested calling the police. The guy took off immediately without another word.

Beware. She said there was another man in the passenger seat. Do not assume that these people will not be violent if cornered.

She has made a complaint to the police, passed on the photo, and says she will let me know if there is any follow up info worth passing on.

Stay safe.

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beware

Post by Robert Ferrieux » Sun 15 May 2016 02:10

Talking about scams, we had yet another phone call from some altruistic guy at EDF wanting to help us save some money. He offered to come the following day to examine our elecricity bills & tell us how to economise on energy. This is the 3rd or maybe 4th time we've been offered this..er... service..
The truth is these folk have nothing to do with EDF - they target elderly people (like us) & try to get into your house to see if there's anything worth pocketing....or else they do some utterly useless "work" and ask to be paid in cash.
There's no reason why you should let anybody into your house, be it a Witness or a cowboy house-painter; if you don't know them, just tell them to scarper!
(Spoken from experience
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Car scam warning.

Post by EILEEN » Thu 19 May 2016 15:58

Just to warn that the car scammers are here!!
Yesterday my husband was accosted in the Parking St. Jordi in Elne whilst he was parking his car. Two men in an old-ish car drew up behind him as he descended from the car. One got out and accused him of having damaged their car . My husband did not have a phone or camera, so he told them he was going into the Tourist Office to telephone for the police who could sort out the (non) problem. They disappeared.!!
Same old thing... they wait for an elderly person alone in a car to accuse them of causing damage. Our car is French and French registered.
In this case, no harm done but do be aware and careful!

Eileen
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Post by Jenjenlouise » Thu 09 Jun 2016 06:19

Something weird like that happened twice when coming home from clubbing


Once I saw a pram on the side of the road and in the field on the side of the road where two people " hiding " not so good at hied and seek because I saw them,
they probably didn't have Time to hide properly since I was Driving like what my mum would call " girl racer" ha-ha

But wheb i went past the pram it looked like there was soming in it . I just continued but faster

A few days after on Facebook saw that the same thing had happened on that same Perpignan Thuir road and it said that it was a new way to rob cars



And a second Time coming back from clubbing
a man that jumped to the floor as soon as he saw the lights of my car
when arrived at his leavel his legs were in the road probably hopping for me to stop.same Again i juste went faster
Phoned the gendarmes at millas They told me that I wasn't the first person to complain
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car scams

Post by rhys » Sat 11 Jun 2016 00:05

It seems extraordinary that the Police are well aware of these robberies ( which is what they are when people are intimidated into paying ) yet they seem to do nothing whatever to apprehend the people doing it.

It would not be THAT difficult to set up plain clothes police ( nearing retirement ? ) in an English regd car for example to just cruise around and wait to be stopped - then they just pull out their guns and arrest the people.

If this were to happen and the courts to make an example there would be less of this particular criminality ( extremely dangerous as well as despicable ).

But does anyone in authority in France even know that this is happening ? I read the local papers when I am here and I have never seen a report of this sort of crime.

If France gets as bad as Spain for this kind of thing it can expect a reduction in visitors - maybe that's what they want.

I get angry when Police do not do fairly obvious things which they could do to attempt to apprehend the criminals. But probably it needs political pressure to make the Police do more than say ' You're not the first' .

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Post by Kate » Sat 11 Jun 2016 08:47

The lady I mentioned above actually took photo of both man and car (with reg) and gave to police in Argeles. If there was any follow up, she hasn't been informed.

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telling the politicians

Post by rhys » Sat 11 Jun 2016 10:28

Could she not be persuaded to contact her De'pute'; also her local and regional Councillors with a view to asking THEM to insist on police follow up.

I would guess that the local press and TV would also be very interested in a story of this nature - the problem will get worse and worse unless the Police take proactive measures to catch the individuals involved - and clearly they will NOT do this unless pressured by the politicians who ultimately do control / pay the Police.

It is a total scandal if they have not at least investigated the owner of the number plate your friend gave them a photo of.

Similar things have happened in the UK ( the favourite tactic is to bump into people at roundabouts ) and one person was actually killed in one of the engineered 'accidents' - but at least the Police did set out to catch the people involved.

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Re: telling the politicians

Post by martyn94 » Sat 11 Jun 2016 11:43

rhys wrote:Could she not be persuaded to contact her De'pute'; also her local and regional Councillors with a view to asking THEM to insist on police follow up.

I would guess that the local press and TV would also be very interested in a story of this nature - the problem will get worse and worse unless the Police take proactive measures to catch the individuals involved - and clearly they will NOT do this unless pressured by the politicians who ultimately do control / pay the Police.

It is a total scandal if they have not at least investigated the owner of the number plate your friend gave them a photo of.

Similar things have happened in the UK ( the favourite tactic is to bump into people at roundabouts ) and one person was actually killed in one of the engineered 'accidents' - but at least the Police did set out to catch the people involved.
There's a big difference between "knowing" that something was a set-up and actually proving it to the criminal standard of proof. Which is no doubt why these scams have been so popular. And the same would apply to the police if they drove around acting as a decoy: they can't just pull out their guns and say "bang", they have to mount a case that some specific offence had been committed.

Which in the case Kate describes would be hard to do, as she describes it, even though they were, no doubt, bad people. And at the best, it would involve mounds of paperwork for a suspended sentence. In the UK, I believe that the big scams (£thousands for whiplash, etc) have been cut back primarily by insurance companies comparing info and simply refusing claims, rather than by much use of the criminal law.

For the more routine, pocket money, scams - give me €100 and I'll go away - I suspect the best response is the one Kate reports: say "piss off" and take lots of photos. And don't fill out a constat if they are pushy enough to get that far.

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Post by Sus » Sat 10 Sep 2016 10:46

Interesting to read that some have been arrested and convicted:

http://www.connexionfrance.com/news_art ... hp?id=8296

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