Friday, 1 July 2022

Three Scams in Croatia You Should Be Careful Of This Summer

July 1, 2022 - While Croatia keeps its excellent reputation as a tourist destination for its safety among many other reasons, it's better to be aware of these classic scams in Croatia that could otherwise cause some unpleasant moments.

This summer is about enjoying and having fun after having waited for so many months for your long-awaited days in Croatia. We would like to be able to tell you that there is nothing to fear ahead of your holidays, but it would be irresponsible not to warn you about some unfortunate practices that, if you are not careful, could cause some unpleasant moments. Croatia is one of the safest countries in Europe, and that is not an overstatement. The overall feeling of tourists in Croatia is that of tranquility and security, and year after year this fact continues to be confirmed.

Therefore, if we talk about some things that you should be careful with, it is not something that happens so often and they are usually very specific cases. Either way, it's better to be safe than sorry. We review some scams in Croatia that you should avoid.

Ghost accommodation

In recent years it has become more frequent to read on social networks the unfortunate experiences of tourists who, upon arriving in Croatia, realized that their accommodation did not exist at all. Sites like Booking or Airbnb present a large number and variety of verified accommodations, but it is likely that at some point you have been tempted by an accommodation offer on Facebook that displayed dreamy pictures of the facilities and the views, and that was also rented at a fairly cheap price. And just like on any trusted website for renting accommodation, it is normal to make an advance payment to make your reservation.

It has happened and continues to happen, that when you arrive at the specified address, there is not a single building that resembles what you saw in the photos. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid making reservations on portals or platforms with few guarantees, or in any case, verify the reliability of these accommodations in advance.

Last-minute cancellations

Unfortunately, ghost accommodations are not the only thing to worry about when staying in Croatia. There are some accommodations that, although in this case they are real, usually cancel your reservations just a few weeks or even days before your arrival. Why? The reasons may vary, but in general, most tend to raise their prices higher at the last minute compared to what they were when you made your reservation, leaving you with no choice but to pay the difference so as not to lose your accommodation.

This is unlikely to happen with reputable hosts, and it is very likely that these practices have been in place for a long time. Therefore, it is a good idea to carefully read the reviews of those properties, or to make sure that they have visible reviews in the first place. Likewise, we recommend not only following the most positive reviews but also reading the negative or more critical comments.

Street taxis

During the summer season, many of the most common complaints are from tourists who were charged extortionate rates by some taxi drivers. Most of these rates are applied to passengers who need a transfer to or from the airport or those who leave bars or nightclubs at dawn. Usually, these are taxi drivers who take advantage of a passenger's urgency to not miss their flight or to arrive at their accommodation as soon as possible.

It's been a while since companies like Uber entered the market to revolutionize the taxi industry. If there is one piece of advice that I give very often, it is that it is better to use a taxi app than to ask for one on the street. In my opinion, it is better to have detailed information about the driver, affiliated with a company that you can complain to if necessary, and most importantly, know the fare range in advance.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO): 7% of Croatians Misled Into Buying Counterfeits

ZAGREB, 8 June, 2021 - Nine percent of Europeans and seven percent of Croatians have been misled into buying counterfeit products, according to a survey released by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on Tuesday.

The study, entitled "European Citizens and Intellectual Property", shows that consumers find it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake products.

Nearly one in ten Europeans claimed that they were misled into buying counterfeits, but there were considerable differences between EU member states. 19% of Bulgarians, 16% of Romanians and 15% of Hungarians said they were deceived, compared to 2% of Swedes and 3% of Danes.

Croatia was below the EU average, with 7% of its citizens saying they were misled into buying counterfeit products.

According to Eurostat, over 70% of Europeans shopped online in 2020, and uncertainty regarding counterfeit products has become a growing concern for consumer protection, the study showed.

Counterfeit products represent 6.8 % of EU imports worth €121 billion and impact every sector, from cosmetics and toys, wine and beverages, electronics and clothing to pesticides and pharmaceutical products. They pose serious risks to the health and safety of citizens as they usually do not comply with quality and safety standards.

The study says that the worldwide trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products has been estimated at €4 billion. Digital piracy also represents a highly lucrative market for infringers. Just in the area of internet protocol television (IPTV), €1 billion of unlawful revenue is generated every year by the
supply and consumption of copyright-infringing digital content in the EU, harming creators and
legitimate businesses.

Counterfeiting affects not only consumers, but it also causes considerable damage to the EU
economy, notably small and medium enterprises (SMEs). One in four SMEs and 21.7% of SMEs in Croatia said they suffered damage on account of intellectual property rights infringement, according to the study.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 26 April 2021

Croatian Scam Detected as Fraudster Seeks Donations in Rimac's Name

April the 26th, 2021 - The latest Croatian scam has been detected as donations are sought and false financial advice about investments from Mate Rimac is given on fraudulent websites.

Few have become more famous (at least for positive reasons) in Croatia over the last few years as Livno-born entrepreneur Mate Rimac. Having attracted not only the attention of automotive giants including Porsche, but their money in the form of enormous investments too, all eyes have been on Rimac for some time now.

As the entrepreneur continues to make impressive business moves and dispell theories that succeeding in Croatia is impossible, such as with his latest Rimac Campus project, unfortunately some not so respectable eyes have been watching him and hoping to take advantage in some way or another.

Scams via apps or texts have become somewhat commonplace, and although a Nigerian prince wanting your bank details and informing you of the untimely death of your hitherto unknown relative are typically obvious lies, not all of them are so transparent.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, dangerous fake news in the current era of social media is unfortunately rife, and scams also are. Businessman Mate Rimac himself warned about this epidemic of sorts on his Facebook profile.

''We hereby appeal to everyone not to fall prey to fraud,'' N1 also reported when discussing the latest Croatian scam which is asking for donations in Mate Rimac's name.

To be more specific, someone has divised a Croatian scam to trick people into investing money in a start-up company, in the form of cryptocurrencies. Of course, the entire thing is completely and utterly fake, as is Mate Rimac's apparent ''advice'' on making such investments that this particular Croatian scam is using in its attempt to fool would-be investors or cryptocurrency fans.

“People, don’t fall prey to these stupid scams. They're constantly using the identities of public figures - unfortunately that includes me too,'' said Mate Rimac last year. These particular ads lead to seemingly trustworthy and normal-looking portals, however these are very much fraudulent sites regardless of their more professional appearance.

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