Target practice with the touts anybody??

Discussion in 'Cyprus Property' started by grumpy001, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. grumpy001

    grumpy001 New Member

    Not long back from another visit to the Island, and once again the holiday club abd various other scammers were in Paphos harbour. We really enjoy paintballing>>

    Is there any ethical rule that would prevent us from using the paintball guns against these touts.

    I cannot resist getting involved whenever I see some poor sucker being roped in and crammed into a taxi for the brainwashing session. I have to intervene and the touts dont like it, but maybe if these companies tried using the TRUTH (what a novel idea) they may legitimise their business and protect their customers.
  2. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Here, here!!

    So these "holiday club" conmen have blown over from Spain & the Canary Islands and set up shop in Cyprus, eh? Shame we can't use live ammo instead of paintball guns against these vermin.

    Yes, I was a victim in Tenerife some years ago. It took me over 2 years to get my money (about 2 grand) eventually refunded from my credit card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    So if one of these lowlife scumbags waives a fistful of scratchcards under your nose & starts up his/her smarmy sales rap, ignore them & carry on walking. If you don't you'll end up getting well & truly done over like a kipper, guaranteed.

  3. grumpy001

    grumpy001 New Member

    Sadly the whole marketing process these people use is very persuasive and forceful.

    Ive known of people who have said, "I wont get taken in." "I'll jus go & force them to give me a freebie".

    And sadly they end up signing documentation.

    The canvassing of these schemem should be curtailed and offered only from small booths which are clearly identified and with legal notices stating the term of business proposed.
  4. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Yeah, tell me about it!! I remember being subjected to a 5-hour "hard sell" grilling on a glorious sunny day, wasting valuable tanning time!!

    I believe that current EU legislation re. timeshares is in the process of being extended to include these bogus "travel clubs".

    More information on these & other related scams can be obtained from the Office of Fair Trading or the Timeshare Consumers Association.

    Hope this helps any unfortunates out there!!
  5. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    I know of people who go out of their way to be 'kidnapped' by these people wherever they go on holiday just to get a free bottle of wine. How sad is that?
  6. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

  7. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Progress, folks!!

    The following article appeared on the BBC's World News website on 22-10-2008:-

    EU aims to curb timeshare scams

    By Chris Mason
    BBC News, Strasbourg

    The European Parliament has passed a law to crack down on rogue timeshare and holiday clubs.

    About 1.5 million people across Europe have bought timeshares, which provide access to holiday homes for a certain period every year.

    But campaigners have long argued that too many customers have been tricked and conned.

    The new rules will give consumers a 14-day right of withdrawal and also increase the obligations on traders.

    The sellers will have to provide a list of standard information, telling buyers exactly what is on offer - and what isn't.

    A failure to offer such a list would extend the get-out clause to three months.

    An overwhelming majority of MEPs voted in favour of the directive in Strasbourg on Wednesday. There were 674 votes for it, 11 against and 10 abstentions.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2009
  8. grumpy001

    grumpy001 New Member

    Good post Cornholio, but sadly these regs will take a long time to take hold, and the squirming worms that cheat, and con their way to our wallets will continue to "distribute" in the same and even more underhand ways.

    We have just been down the harbour and were approached no less than 6 times, including 2 youngsters who tried to run us over on one of these mopeds.
  9. Nigel Howarth

    Nigel Howarth Member

    The EU is planning to better protect consumers with a new Timeshare Directive:

    "THE timeshare holiday rights of some 1.5 million European families will soon be better protected, as MEPs in Strasbourg are expected to endorse a compromise reached between Parliament and Council on the new Timeshare Directive. The directive seeks to enhance consumer confidence and legal clarity, which are essential to the growth of this sector, via simplified EU-wide rules."

    For more details, follow the link below

  10. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Don't ya just hate 'em!!!!

    Time-share menace out of control
    By Bejay Browne
    (archive article - Sunday, 12 April, 2009)

    AGGRESSIVE time-share touts have resorted to hassling guests inside top-class hotels along the Paphos seafront in a desperate attempt to drum up new business.

    “Most of the hotels along the Kato Paphos and Yeroskipou seafront have recently been subjected to the increasingly aggressive behaviour of these people trying to sell time-share and holiday club ownership. They are venturing into the hotels and harassing guests, it’s become out of hand,” said Nassos Hadjigeorgiou, the tourist manager of the Paphos regional board of tourism.

    “We’ve had numerous complaints from hotel guests and visitors to Paphos who said they would never come back."

    An emergency meeting to discuss the situation was held at Paphos Town hall, which Hadjigeorgiou attended along with Themis Philipides, the President of the Paphos branch of PASYXE, the Cyprus Hotels Association, Paphos assistant Divisional Police Commander, Nicos Sophocleous, the Mayor of Paphos, Savvas Vergas, members of the CTO, and other concerned official bodies.

    "Urgent steps need to be taken to stop the behaviour of these people, and we pledged to start working on the problem immediately," said Hadjigeorgiou.

    He stressed that the problem didn’t lie with time-share or holiday club ownership as a product, but the way in which it was promoted.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  11. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Can they sink any lower?!?!

    Paphos touts forced to defend their reputation
    By Bejay Browne
    (archive article - Sunday, 2 August, 2009)

    TIMESHARE touts in Paphos are being forced to defend their reputation after a number of reported instances involving violence towards the general public.

    "I told this chap I wasn’t interested in buying timeshare in Paphos, but he wouldn’t leave me alone,” one man told the Sunday Mail. “He pushed me from behind so that I tripped up. I’m retired and the whole experience was very frightening."

    Timeshare or holiday ownership can either mean a form of part "ownership" of a property or the legal right to use a particular property, depending on the terms dictated in the contract. Most touts approach holidaymakers and use lottery cards – on which everyone is a winner - to entice people. They then take them to a specified place to collect their so-called ‘prize’ and get them involved in the property presentations.

    Established holiday ownership companies in Paphos include Karoushi, Leptos and Panareti, but they don’t necessarily use touts on the street. Leptos, for example, sell their holiday ownership internally.

    One woman who wished to remain anonymous contacted the newspaper on behalf of her friends who were recently assaulted by a Paphos tout.

    “Two of my friends, who are both pensioners in their sixties, were visiting the island for the first time recently. In their last week they were approached by a timeshare tout,” she said. “They clearly indicated they were not interested, but the tout insisted on pestering them again. He was British.

    “He followed them across the road and assaulted one of my friends by kicking him from behind twice and the tout took a swipe at him knocking his glasses off."

    The victim and his wife went to Paphos police, who were "extremely helpful" and drove them around to try and identify their assailant. But the man was not to be found.

    “This is a disgraceful memory for them to take home. They are spoiling it for everyone."

    Aggressive timeshare touts were recently reported to be hassling guests inside top-class hotels along the Paphos seafront in a desperate attempt to drum up new business.

    “We’ve had numerous complaints from hotel guests and visitors to Paphos who said they would never come back,” said Nassos Hadjigeorgiou, the tourist manager of the Paphos regional board of tourism recently.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  12. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Progress, folks!!

    Crackdown on Paphos touts
    By Bejay Browne
    Published on March 20, 2011

    ARMED with tougher new penalties and an increased police presence, Paphos tourism officials have declared a massive crackdown on illegal timeshare and other touts who have long pestered tourists.

    “I can promise I will fight to clear up our streets,” said Nassos Hadjigeorgiou, the tourist manager of the Paphos regional board of tourism, adding that a concerted effort is underway to clear all illegal touts off the Paphos streets before the start of the summer season in May.

    He hopes that tough new penalties of up to six months in prison and/or a fine of more than 1,500 euros, plus more police officers patrolling the worst-afflicted areas will ensure that 2011 is the year that visitors to Paphos can finally enjoy a stroll along the harbour or a quiet cup of coffee without being hassled by pushy salespeople trying to flog often dodgy holiday ownership properties.

    ”The law governing this type of instance changed last year and it is now easier for us to bring a case to court,” he said. “Previously it had been too complicated and fines were not big enough.”

    A telephone hotline to help tourists will also be launched, and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) will give out leaflets to all hotels and hotel apartments warning tourists to beware of the touts.

    Hadjigeorgiou said that fines must be set at a high amount to ensure that the punishment will make a hole in the company’s pockets.

    “If we don’t do this, there is no real punishment for these companies as they are getting such high revenue from their customers.”

    In the last couple of years aggressive time-share touts even resorted to hassling guests inside top-class hotels along the Paphos seafront in a desperate attempt to drum up new business. With the weather warming up, illegal touts are already out in force in the main tourist areas along the harbour and seafront of Kato Paphos.

    “Our aim for the last five years has been to stop these people, but this year we are making a big push to stop it,” Hadjigeorgiou said,

    He pointed out that although various types of illegal touting take place in Paphos, the biggest problem comes from individuals trying to sell holiday ownerships or timeshares.

    “These people now refer to themselves as OPCs - off-site personal contacts - and I must make it clear that we are not against timeshare or holiday ownership as a form of tourism, but we are totally opposed to having these operators on our streets.”

    Paphos police spokesman Nicos Tsaapis said officers have already been assigned to the areas most affected by touts, and numbers will be increased from May onwards.

    “If a report of illegal timeshare touting or other forms of touting is made to the police, we will attend the scene of the complaint and either issue fines or in some cases prosecute the perpetrator and they will be taken to court,” he said.

    Some local businesses - including timeshare and holiday ownership clubs operating in Paphos - made a suggestion last year that some street operators could be licensed. They claimed that this would be a good way of ensuring companies and individuals were operating in the correct manner and also that as they would be wearing identification badges, it would be easy to weed out any inappropriate behaviour.

    “We are completely against this way of promoting tourism,” said Hadjigeorgiou. “Giving out licences would not be appropriate as a lot of this accommodation being sold is not even licensed and the consumer needs to be protected.”

    The tourist official said there are currently 28,000 licensed tourist beds in Paphos.

    “All the others are selling a non-licensed product so there is absolutely no guarantee of quality.”

    Crack down on Paphos touts - Cyprus Mail
  13. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member


    Clearing touts off the streets of Paphos
    By Bejay Browne
    Published on May 28, 2011

    PAPHOS police have issued special hotlines where locals and tourists can anonymously report public nuisances such as touts, bad drivers and noise pollution.

    Nassos Hadjigeorgiou, the tourist manager of the Paphos regional board of tourism said he had promised months ago to “fight to clear our streets”, a promise that was now being fulfilled.

    “It was our initiative to introduce hotlines where members of the public can call up anonymously if they wish and report any instances of touting, traffic problems and noise pollution in the main tourist areas, which are mostly in Kato Paphos,” he said.

    Callers will be able to report all three types of incident and according to Hadjigeorgiou, the police will respond immediately, sending officers to investigate.

    “The whole idea is to ensure that Paphos keeps its reputation as a low crime and high security area. I know of so many complaints by visitors to Paphos who have been hassled by touts trying to sell them timeshare and other packages, and in some instances they have been verbally abused by these people. This is terrible for the image of Paphos and some of these people will never come back again,” he said.

    The tourist board manager said that his department had joined forces with the municipality and other concerned bodies and approached the police for help. He said their response had been positive and they issued two new phone numbers in addition to the emergency number 199.

    Hadjigeorgiou said that callers should request to speak with the officer on duty to lodge their complaint and that it would be dealt with swiftly.

    “We don’t want to frighten people by announcing these numbers, we just want to ensure that any problems we may be having are dealt with before they get out of hand and we need to get rid of the headache of timeshare touts bothering people on our streets,” he said.

    In addition, the tourism board has issued a circular with the relevant information and contact number to all of the restaurants and bars in the tourist area, the Paphos chamber of commerce, which has over 500 members, hoteliers and travel agents. They have also placed announcements in the local press.

    “We need to raise awareness of these numbers and hopefully we will be able to completely clear the area of touts,” said Hadjigeorgiou.

    He said that complaints he was aware of ranged from people being bothered to holidaymakers being sworn at, and derisive comments made about their race when they had not shown an interest in the touts.

    "The problem of touting is most prevelent in Paphos because we have many holidaymakers here who fit the criteria of a lot of these companies."

    According to Hadjigeorgiou, companies operating in Paphos target the 35-60 year old age group who are married, holidaying in Paphos and who have a credit card.

    “These still tend to be the British market, but not exclusively,” he said.

    The tourism manager pointed out that he is not opposed to timeshare as a concept, but added that most of the companies operating in the tourist area of Paphos are doing so illegally.

    “We want to stop selling in the streets and also the selling of non-licensed accommodation, which most of these offers are,” he said.

    The tourism manager added that these companies are ‘becoming more organised,’ one has even opened a shop just behind the shops on the sea front in Kato Paphos.

    “They are trying to grab people from the street and hustle them into their office to sign them up.” He said that Paphos police are now aiming to get other governmental departments involved.

    "The social security and labour offices need to be involved now. Are these people employed or self employed," he questioned, "and are they paying VAT on any transactions that are being made.”

    The hotline numbers are: 199, 26806060 and 26806049

    Clearing touts off the streets of Paphos - Cyprus Mail
  14. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    I will be using those hotline numbers at every opportuinty. Lets hope plenty of others do and between us we get rid of these menaces:boxing:
  15. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    I think the police are just paying lip service to the problem. They know where the touts operate - the harbour, the coastal path & Poisedonos Avenue. Simples !.
  16. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    Not much progress by the look of things............

    Paphos touts out in force despite fines
    By Bejay Browne
    Published on August 12, 2011

    FRUSTRATION is mounting in Paphos over the apparent inability to clear the streets of illegal touts.

    Nassos Hadjigeorgiou, the manager of the Paphos regional board of tourism said yesterday: “I’m at my wits end and I really don’t know what to do next. Despite the recent launch of designated police hotline numbers allowing the public to report instances of touting, it seems as if there is no control over the situation.”

    Hadjigeorgiou said he was horrified when he took a stroll yesterday morning along the sea front area in Kato Paphos and said he saw at least fifteen touts harassing members of the public and trying to get them to take scratch cards. These are used as a promotional tool by many companies trying to sell holiday ownership and other packages.

    “When I confronted them and asked them what they were doing, they just said, ‘nothing we are just walking’.”

    He added: ”I reported the matter to the police and although they assured me later that the touts had been fined, they were still there when I went back to check a few hours on.”

    Inspector Christofi Miltiades heads up the Paphos Crime Protection squad, which is designated to deal with touting. He too voiced frustration.

    “When the touts see a police car they scatter and run away, only to return when they see we have left the area. It’s a very frustrating experience.”

    He added; “In this instance we fined four people and they will be sent to court as soon as possible. Touting is a really big problem in Paphos and we are trying to do everything within our power to ensure we stop these illegal activities.”

    Paphos police sent another patrol car just hours later to the area to try to issue yet more fines.

    According to officials, a few weeks ago Paphos police launched a massive clean up of the area and for a while touts were operating out of their offices and the streets were clear. But since the operation ceased it seems as if the situation is worse than ever.

    The Inspector said: “So far this year we have dealt with 1,035 of these cases. I would welcome any method which could help us to clear these people off the streets once and for all. The court has to deal with thousands of these cases.”

    Holidaymaker Les Phillips told the Cyprus Mail: “I’m here on holiday for three weeks with my wife Anna and since we arrived just over a week ago, every day we are being hassled by these people trying to sell us timeshare. We are staying close to the harbour and we like to come here every day for lunch, but being harassed every day is definitely a negative point of the holiday.”

    The retired gas fitter said: “We have asked them to leave us alone but they just follow you down the street. I don’t understand how the police can let this happen.”

    Other visitors to the town also reported that a number of touts had now set up a spot next to the bus stand close to the UNESCO protected archaeological park in Kato Paphos so that they can pounce on visitors.

    Hadjigeorgiou, who last year vowed to clear the Paphos streets of this phenomena said: “I really don’t know what else I can do. The tourist board, the municipality and other concerned bodies have got our hands tied, the only people with power who can actually do something about the situation are the police.”

    The tourism board recently issued a circular with the relevant information and contact numbers to all of the restaurants and bars in the tourist area, the Paphos chamber of commerce, which has over 500 members, hoteliers and travel agents. They have also placed announcements in the local press.

    Hadjigeorgiou said: “I will issue the circular again but we need everyone’s help to bring this situation under control. I appeal to the public and to local businesses in the area to report any instances of touting to the helpline number; we all need to work together.”

    Local officials believe the problem of touting is most prevalent in Paphos because the town has many holidaymakers who fit the criteria of a lot of these companies. They say that companies operating in Paphos target the 35-60 year old age group who are married, holidaying in Paphos, and who have a credit card.

    The hotline numbers are: 199, 26806060 and 26806049

    Paphos touts out in force despite fines - Cyprus Mail
  17. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member


    Our View: Prevention rather than cure should be the focus in Paphos touts war
    Published on August 13, 2011

    EVERY YEAR Paphos announces that it’s gearing up to deal with holiday and timeshare touts and every year nothing seems to work. Tougher penalties and an increased police presence were in the pipeline for this year. These included increasing the fines to €1,500 and providing for six months in prison, to two additional phone lines for people to report incidents.

    Apparently even this is not working. Timeshare touts are a blot on the tourist landscape, especially in Paphos where the demography apparently fulfills their requirements.

    They approach middle-aged couples and well-heeled potential clients and are not good at taking no for an answer, and that’s only in the cases where tourists might be aware of what’s going on. Other visitors get caught by surprise and rather than make a fuss, may go along with the touts to their offices rather than appear rude. Their approach is offputting at the very least, and aggressive at its worst and deters many people from strolling along the main tourist areas, thus taking business away from restaurants and shops.

    When someone does report them and the police responds, they scatter like cockroaches when they see a patrol car. When they are caught in the act, even the hefty €1,500 fine does not deter them by all accounts. On the contrary, they have apparently expanded to bus stops where tourists are dropped off to see the sights.

    The head of the Paphos tourism board said this week he was at his wits end when during a stroll, he saw at least 15 touts working the seafront and harassing passers-by. Some of them had already been issued fines by the police and were back out there, so clearly all the harassment is still paying off and the fines are no deterrent.

    Police said that so far this year they had dealt with 1,035 of these cases and still they come, so clearly dealing with the issue after the fact is not working, which means authorities and tourism bosses in Paphos need to focus more on prevention rather than cure.

    Instead of sending police cars when they receive a complaint, they should have a plainclothes officer or two in the worst hit areas. Then touts would not have the chance to scatter and may avoid the area in future for fear of being caught. The CTO issues leaflets every year but perhaps large posters might work better, especially if they are placed at bus stops and directly in front of tourists when they get off at the sites they’re visiting. Ads warning that touts are operating could also be placed on the sides of buses. A concerted campaign of deterrence could work if it were done properly. The touts might then decide it's not worth the trouble because clearly whatever measures are in force at the moment are not putting them off at all.

    Our View: Prevention rather than cure should be the focus in Paphos touts war - Cyprus Mail
  18. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    If the tax and social insurance offices targeted these people maybe it would help.
    The touts earn around 150-200 euros per couple they take into the offices. A good tout will take 2 or 3 couples per day in. That means they can earn 450 euros per day on a good day.
    On these earnings they pay no tax or social insurance.
    The majority of them are hyped up on drugs most of the time so maybe the drug squad hitting them hard would also help matters.

    These people are the scum of society and the sooner they are removed from our streets the better.
  19. clacher

    clacher New Member


    Had to reply , I once worked for a well known company of "Time Share "developers , and remember a truely lovely oldish English couple coming into the foyer of the hotel we were working out off at around 10,00am one morning.

    Guess you know what I am going to say next -----well it was after 11,00pm that night when we left the building (we were not allowed to go home until all sales and clients had left) God knows what these poor people were subjected too -----but I never returned to that company. I was ashamed and felt so sorry for these innocent tourists. Most of the "Time Share Louts " were druggies and boozers who really did not give a dam to whom were brought in as long as they got their money for their next "fix", As for the sales staff they could be found most nights at the Irish Bar on Tomb of the Kings rat-arsed(sorry but so true)

    As I have said I lasted 3 days and I hang my head in shame for doing so ---please forgive me.
  20. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    These people are very good at telling you what a great job it is and how much money you can make. The difference between you and those who stick it out for years is that you are a decent human being who saw through their lies and didnt want to be a part of it.

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