British tourists have given new meaning to the phrase, “pulling a fast one.” Fraudulent claims of tourists contracting food poisoning while on all-inclusive holidays in Spain cost tour operators and hotels more than $74 million in 2016 — and the UK is finally cracking down on the scammers.
The scam happened in classic fashion. After returning from their holiday, British citizens would open a complaint case with legal representation. Their proof? The receipt showing purchase of anti-diarrhea medicine. Then their hotel or tour operator would receive notice of a pending case in small claims court. Conveniently, the offenders were each unable to see a doctor while in Spain, presumably due to being bedridden with food-borne illness. In order to avoid hefty court fines and additional costs, the tour operators would generally elect to settle out of court — making a bit of racketeering a lot easier for those receiving the money.