Holiday Scams to avoid:

The three card trick: The dealer shuffles three cards and you have to keep your eye on the Queen, betting on the result. You will find it really easy until the stakes are high and, suddenly, you lose a lot of money.

A stranger approaches you in the street, offering a wonderful rate of exchange for your money. He will take your money from you and give you a wad of 'notes' (only the top and bottom ones are real) before his accomplice shouts "Police" and they run away.

If you are offered a free holiday, walk away. It is a scam whereby you are asked for a deposit and handling charges 'up front' for a holiday which will never happen.

If you use a payphone to call home, beware of unscrupulous telecom companies who place an instruction sheet on top of the real one, telling you to dial a free number. This will connect you to a U.S. operator who will ask you for credit card details before connecting you, and your 2 minute call may cost £20. Avoid this by buying a phone card from a reputable supplier.

Avoid being taken around by local volunteer guides who "want to improve their English". You will end up in Uncle's shop where they will encourage you to buy overpriced goods. If you refuse, offence will be taken and a large tip demanded for the 'tour'.

You hand a 50 euro note to the taxi driver and he gives you change of a 5 euro note. When you remonstrate, he challenges you to 'prove it', offering to show you the 5 euro note he says you gave him. Avoid this by saying in a loud voice "Here is a 50 euro note" and hold on to it until he sorts out the change.

A pleasant young couple approaches you for help with a guide book they are producing. They will ask you about your experiences and, at the end, they will ask for the name and 'phone number of someone at home they can contact for further details. You oblige, but soon someone pretending to be from the police or hospital is calling your friend or relative in the UK, telling them that you are in trouble and that you need a large amount of cash transferred at once… can you guess the rest?

Happy holidays?

Have you booked your Summer holiday yet? It is quite a problem this year if you want to go abroad. Hong Kong, China and Canada are out (nasty pneumonia and the need to wear a mask) and Iraq is out (too many Americans!). Airlines and holiday companies are going bust and, as any Dad knows, holidays with the family are a source of stress worse than anything experienced at work.
Assuming you actually succeed in booking a foreign holiday, here's our essential
five golden rules for  staying healthy and avoiding trouble:

  1. Never travel abroad, even for short trips, without comprehensive travel insurance. If travelling in Europe, as a minimum obtain an E111 from the Post Office, but ideally take out proper travel insurance. Shop around for this, don't just take that offered by the travel agents. If you go abroad

more than once a year, consider an annual policy rather than paying for each trip.

  1. To avoid food-poisoning, wash your hands a lot and drink bottled water or other drinks (make sure the seal is intact before opening). Avoid ice cubes, ice cream from street vendors, and always peel fruit and vegetables. Avoid produce which grows low on the ground and can be contaminated by rats or other animals (e.g. lettuce, strawberries). Try always to eat food which has been freshly prepared and is hot. Avoid mayonnaise and undercooked or reheated food and be particularly careful with sauces and gravies  kept warm in buffets. You may feel that you are "missing out" on an occasional treat, but the alternative may be 5 days' severe abdominal pain and diarrhoea. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer diarrhoea, sip chilled Coca-Cola or lemonade with a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt per glass. If in doubt, talk to the local medical services.
  2. Always use the safe in your hotel and do not carry passports, airline tickets, lots of jewellery or much money on your person. Ladies, keep your handbag tucked under your arm, not swinging.
  3. Check the charges for using your mobile phone abroad before you travel - don't forget you'll also pay for incoming calls from the UK.
  4. Don't be the victim of a holiday "scam" - always be on your guard. See our panel of "typical" scams.
Have a great holiday!

Compiled by Dr. Ian Nisbet, local GP and  experienced foreign traveller.

Church Diary

May 2003

Sun 4th 3rd of Easter
(Revd. Nigel Tuffnell's farewell service)
11am Holy Communion at St. Andrew's

Sun 11th 4th of Easter
9.30am Service of the Word at All Saints
11am Matins at St Andrew's

Sun 18th 5th of Easter
8am Holy Communion at St Andrew's
9.30am Holy Communion (by extension)
at Christ Church

Sun 25th 6th of Easter
9.30am Benefice Holy Communion at All Saint's

Thur 29th (Ascension Day)
7.30pm Holy Communion at St Andrew's

June 2003

Sun 1st 
9.30am Service of the Word at Whittington
11am Holy Communion at St Andrew's