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 Elle Draper

Camera Shop Scams

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This old post, Camera Shop Scams, was originally posted back in 2008. Although we have closed the website it was on, it is still current in terms of risk so we’ve popped it here for your ease. We’ve also pasted the comments at the base of the article.

Camera Shop Scams in Lanzarote

Image ©Jordi Paya

All too often we hear about people who have been conned by Lanzarote camera shops, into parting with their hard-earned cash for a camera or electrical goods that are either fake, below par, or mis-sold. A prime example is paying €300 for a MXJVC camera, that is actually available for about £15  on Ebay – and is nothing to do with JVC.

Before making any kind of purchase of digital cameras, or electronic equipment etc, be sure to shop around for price and quality comparisons. If the shop you are in does not want to let you go, and is coercing you into buying their products – then get out of there quickly, as 9 times out of 10 they are up to no good.

The number of times we have seen people practically pulled into these shops from the street. British people are notoriously polite, and do not wish to offend. You’ll have to be tough with this one – and say “NO” firmly.

If however, it is too late, and you are not happy with your new purchase, or you feel that you have been dishonestly looked after, you DO have the right to make a formal complaint in writing on the premises of the business.

First of all, ask for the “Claim book” or “Libro de Reclamación”. By law every establishment must have one on the premises.
2. Fill in the green and white copies in front of the shop keeper.
3. Keep all your receipts as proof of purchase – both the shop receipts and any credit card slips.
4. Submit the sheets to the Departamento de Consumo at the Cabildo Building in El Reducto, Arrecife, within one calendar month in order for them to take action. Your claim is only valid if you submit the sheet directly to the department of Consumer Protection in Arrecife.

You can also download this to practise online HERE

Remember… bargains are usually good – but beware of something that seems TOO much of a bargain!


Retrieved comments from “Camera shop scams”


  • Derek Meredith says:

    I bought a camcorder in Playa Blanca for nearly 900 euro,s, it’s a Yashica HDMI, Full HD,1920×1080, 24.0 Mega Pixels. I was told that it is not available in Europe yet, and, was shown catalogues with the same cam-corder in priced at £1,290.00. I cannot find the cam-corder on any site in the U.K.can anybody tell me how I can find out if I have been “conned”, Thank you, Derek

  • admin says:

    So sorry to hear that Michael x

  • michael says:

    Bad dealings with Microtech.
    I went to purchase a dlsr camera,paid on credit card then assistant recomended another camera which i paid for, thinking i whoud get my first payment refunded.Then got ripped off for a overpriced memory card
    When i complaind to the salesman he said the manager was in Hong Kong at a camera fair and he whould deal the problem on return.
    Having arrived back home contacted bank card with all details ,they said nothing could be done as no proof purchase.

  • admin says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Rob xx

  • rob newman says:

    i bought a yashica europe full hd 16 mega pixels x6 seems to be ok looked all over found same model with different shape and found same camcorder as mine with a slight difference the bottons changed around while i was still there i looked all over to find same camera and found it a shop in los americas not from sea front asking the price it was half the price so went back to shop where i bought it and confronted him saying you ripped me off it got a little steamy after a while he said to he would take me to see the other shop and if so he would give me the camera for free, telling me they sellyou the camera and have pay extra for battery charger and other bits . after i calmed down i agreed and kept the camera with all the attachments and 2 years gaurantee i payed 194 euros . the camera like this is a toshiba on web about 80 pounds but only 5 megs, so i hope i have bought a decent camera time will tell mega gallery was where i bought on 19 07 2012 hope it was a bit of insight if anything goes wrong i will get ihtouch

  • David says:

    18th May 2012
    Just returned from Costa Teguise where we bought what was supposed to be a yashica GD-298D from OM Saikripa, Avd Islas Canaries 4027. When I got back to the apartment and checked the ‘so called’ instruction book it was clearly hopeless and not something a company with yashica’s name would have put out. Further there was no serial number on the camera. We went back and confronted the shop on these issues and were told a pack of lies. Note the invoice says ‘goods once sold will not be taken back or exchanged’! To be fair, the camera – whoever made it – has performed satisfactorily so far although it may not be yashica quality.

  • shotgun says:

    another yashica europe camera disaster story.bought one in may 2012.them shops should be closed down.

  • Palo says:

    Svindal butikk ,jeg anbefalelse alle Norman,passer på seg selv i den butikken ,det er stor Svindal aldri kjent i helle verden .det er mafia butikk.

  • It’s a shame for Lanzarote says:

    We had been fooled twice in Lanzarote, Playa Blanca. First we bought a shirt for 12 euros which was worth 3 euros in second place. I needed to buy a laptop charger and I got a car charger that does not even fit into my computer for 35 euros. A check of my credit card, it turned out that the deal has charged 185 euros! After much discussion and screams were refunded the full amount to my debit card. A big warning not to buy anything in Lanzarote, Playa Blanca, Avoid the high street where there are clothing stores and electronics shop.

  • Conned – says:

    I was scammed by three very convincing con-men in Playa Blanca in a camera shop that goes by the name of Image. don’t trust any of them. It’s about time the authorities got to grips with these unscrupulous shops, it will deter many people going on holiday to Playa Blanca

  • Jan says:

    I just have bought a Yashica Europe X-5 (HD Cam corder), 16 MP, 5 x optical Lens in Tenerife at the 20th of Dec 2011, at The Swami photo shop in Playa de las Americas. Now home in Denamrk I realize, that they have been sheeting on me!

    I cannot find a similar Yashica product at the web…(:-(

    Rgds. Jan

  • admin says:

    The following was received via email today – another awful experience for a Lanzarote visitor. Published with Permission. Elle xxx
    “I have just come back from Puerto del Carmen – stayed in Hotel las Costas – I bought a pair of sunglasses from the electric junction which is an electrical shop across the road from the aloe vera shop not far from
    the hotel in the direction of old town puerto de carmen.
    I noticed when giving my credit card the sales person looked at me while I was putting in my number – foolishly enough I didn`t cover my hand – and then he took the machine with my card away – another sales person stood with him – blocked my view and I thought there was something fishy – foolishly enough – I let it go – only to discover that E189 has been taken out of my account as well as the E40 for the glasses – so what he did was – put my card in a second time and put in my number – I have contacted my bank but
    they have stopped transactions on my card but can’t stop that one as they had the number and the transactions have gone through – I just thought I`d let you know this and the shop itself – I have been foolish – but perhaps other people can now be aware – I am hoping to try and contact the spanish authorities to see can something be done about this.
    It`s a pity I didn`t check all there was said about the camera shops before I went to Lanzarote – other than this – my stay was pleasant and I will not be so trusting again???”

  • Niels says:

    Hello again, so I think that there is not one electronics store on the walking street that I would trust in Playa Blanka. They all seam to have the exact same products and same strong arm tactics. I later heard from a German expat that the shops are all owned by the same person. I did hear good things about the 2 that you mentioned before. I did not have a chance to go there as I had to go back to Denmark for a family emergency. I did find out that there is an authorized Canon dealer in Gran Canaria. I believe in Las Palmas. But I did not get the name. Being as I am in Denmark I have chosen to just get the camera here from a store I know here in Copenhagen. It might cause a little more, but I know what I am getting. I guess that might be the lesson in this, you might think you are saving some Euros by buying the items in Lanzarote, but once you get the fake, refurbished or wrong item and have to buy it again at home you have spent more than if you just purchased it before you left.

    Anyway, thanks again,

  • admin says:

    You’re welcome. Work has been mental recently, but your message came through during a quiet enough time for me to whip out a response. Glad you didn’t put any money down!!! Good luck – and let us know how you get on.
    I’ve just spoken to Alan about Amazon… and he said that it’s only books & DVDs they’ll ship out here. Apparently when it comes to camera goods, it’s down to the individual sellers whether they’ll deliver to the Canaries, and can be expensive. I’d take a trip up to Puerto del Carmen or Arrecife and see what they say. Remembering though that Arrecife is closed during the afternoons.
    Elle x

  • Niels says:

    Hello Elle, thank you for the fast response. I was out earlier today and went in to many of the stores here in town. Almost all of them said they could get the camera. But they also all wanted large deposits. Having been scamed in the past I was not willing to put down any money. Then I came home and found this site and was so very happy I did not put any money down. Thank you for the names of some good places. I mean, they can’t all be bad… Right? Anyway, thanks again!


  • admin says:

    Hello NIels. Go and speak to Vnish in Puerto del Carmen – he may be able to help. The shop is in the Centro Atlantico area of the Avenida. I believe that Visanta in Arrecife has a good reputation also.

    But… Amazon deliver to Lanzarote too – so worth having a look online.

    Good luck!

    Elle xx

  • Niels says:

    Hello all and sorry about your bad experiences. I have just moved toPlaya Blanka and will be here for a year or more. I can see that there are quite a few stores to stay out of, but are there any good stores? I need to replace my canon 5d mk ii rather quickly as itis quite dead and I need it for work. Any info would be great. There must be reputable places to go on the island. Thanks, Niels

  • admin says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Staffan!
    Elle xx
    PS: Nice website by the way! xx

  • Staffan says:

    We visited Playa Blanca in Lanzarote in March 2010 when we were there I thought I’d check the price of a Panasonic camera TZ7 in the apparently notorious affair Microtech.
    They reported a relatively low price so I got interested and paid, which I never would have made, when payment was made they tried to run the trick with a cheap Olympus camera, they claimed that it was much better but I was not interested.
    They tried to sell all sorts of junk to me unsuccessfully, after about two hours discussing, they gave up and packed down my camera along with all accessories, I would have been screaming about the camera and threatened with police for a long time, probably they may not insert any new customers as long as someone is standing and screaming in the store.
    But then I would have had to pay more, the final price was a bit below what it cost at home and the camera works fine.
    But I have never before experienced such a rude and intimidating staff and ugly technology to try to blow people, it is strange that the Spanish people allow these thugs to pollute the Canary Islands’ reputation!

  • Rob Laidler says:

    I have just come back from Puerto Carmen in Lanzarote, and I too feel I have been scammed by these cheap spanish camera shops.

    I went into this one shop called Canaries Electronics that was located on the sea-front, in front of a large hotel complex (the logo was a seahorse, but I can’t remember the name of the hotel), and saw a Fashion Fujioptics HD camcorder. I went in to enquire about the price, and was told it was 185 Euro’s.

    The salesman (who I have noticed elsewhere on this site, but at time of writing, can’t remember his name) came up to me, and tried to offer me a 8GB SD card for 150 Euro’s (which I know was wrong, as I knew they were a lot cheaper back home). I refused this 8 gig sd card, and told him I could get them much cheaper back home. The salesman kept dropping the price, but I refused point-blank that I did not want it.

    I left the store with the camera, and a 4GB card.

    When I got home, I checked my bank account, as I had noticed a bigger drop in funds, to the amount of 450 Euro’s on top of the 185 Euro’s I had already paid. As I had paid on my visa debit card, I am covered by fraudulant scams like this (so they told me).

    I have been in contact with my bank, and have to send the card voucher to them, and they will refund the extra amount in full, and get the money back from the bank account that the money was paid in to.

    I just wish the local government offices would close shops like this down. Don’t they have a Trading Standards system over there?

  • A Smith says:

    Dreams in Benidorm!!! I got stung there too but my yashica hdv5mr30 actually works but the charger was lost and boy am I having a problem replacing so if anyone can help I would be grateful, Apart from paying over the odds for the damn thing I actually like it but could have saved a fortune if Id bought it in Lanzarote!

  • admin says:

    Never mind – and at the end of the day I’m happy that you have some happy memories to take home with you.

    Yes all-inclusive has affected low attendance at a lot of places – although it’s not solely to blame.

    Glad you like this site! If you fancy sharing some of your experiences in somewhere with a few Costa Teguise fans… then head over to http://www.canarynightlife.net/forum. It’s another one of our sites, and the link I have given you is direct into the forum. The main site is http://www.canarynightlife.com. Most of the posts are in the “General” section where quite a few play games – but I know for sure that we have a number of Costa Teguise visitors and residents that pop in regularly. Look out for people like Bob Cunningham, Ali, Jude, Mush, DrRobert, – to name just a few!

    Elle xx

    PS: Sorry guys – I’ll get back on topic now. x

  • reallyboringoldfart says:

    The recording was wiped I’m afraid (we decided to record parts of two acts at The Lighthouse – Gary Gibson as Elvis and Gazza – to show to friends when we returned to UK). However, as the mobile phone doesn’t allow much recording time we’ve invested in a digital camcorder (bought in UK) and will be taking that back with us – just in case! I know it’s a different subject but chatting to some of the bar owners/managers it appears that the all inclusive holidays are responsible for lower attendance at bars and restaurants. We always travel self catering, not only to give us variety but also to put something financial back into the local community. This is a terrific forum and we’ll be checking on it regularly till next Jan – can’t wait.

  • Conny Eriksson says:

    Nice to read that you could leave without buying. Close to the same thing happened to me at Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife. At a shop called Mickey Electronics at the beach I was more or less forced to buy. The “adventure” did cost me 90 euro. The same type of persons as yours. I was alone, so no evidence.
    I will have to put those 90 euros on my learning account.

  • admin says:

    Good for you for taking precautions! We’d love to see that video. Any chance you could pop it onto YouTube and post a link? Of course if you’d rather not, then we’ll respect your privacy too.
    Elle xx

  • reallyboring old fart says:

    Long post I’m afraid.
    My wife and I were in Costa Teguise Jan/Feb 2010 and were browsing in the shopping arcade opposite Los Zocos. A very friendly Asian man stopped us as we were passing by a camera shop and asked if I wanted to exchange the one I was carrying (a 15 year old 35mm SLR) as he would give me a good price. Despite my saying no my wife suggested that I had nothing to lose and so we went into his shop where we were subjected to the hard sell with 3 different people asking me questions and trying to show me various cameras. When I tried to leave they took hold of my arms and claimed I had promised to buy one of their cameras. Their attitude became threatening until I pointed to my wife who was stood in the doorway recording the scene and the conversation on her mobile phone after which they were suddenly very friendly and asked if I had enjoyed their little joke(!). We left the shop after I had shown them my English Police warrant card and asked for directions to the Guardia Civil station. We have had similar situations in Fuerteventura (same family I understand) and are veterans of Egypt, Turkey and Vietnam shops and markets. If you can, try and record what happens and threaten THEM that you will go to the Police and/or put the film on Youtube so that everyone will know.
    Apart from that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in CT and are planning to return in Jan 2011 for a month.


  • admin says:

    Tell them to go to the Police Station hon. They will be able to advise them of the course of action. They should also fill out a complaint form at the shop that has scammed them. By law the shop has to have one… and make it available to whoever wants to use it.
    Good luck! xx

  • STVD says:


  • M Bangle says:

    Well I have just returned from Lanzarote and was conned in Teguise by three Indian salesman who the scam together I was in a hurry to catch my flight.But I to puechased the Fashion Fujitopics HD camera…..So beware of these lousy theiving con men….M Bangle…I have been in touch with my card company to see if they can help..

  • diane says:

    i also have been a victim of a camera scam in a camera shop on the rincon de loix in benidorm, i contacted barclaycard as soon as i returned in sept and only today 3 months later have i recieved a notifiaction that they are not going to do anything about even though they suspended payment and interest untill it was resolved , it took a phone call from me a week ago to find out that they had done nothing about it and today recieved a letter to say not a proven case of misrepresentation ,,will never use barclaycard or camera shop in spain again, going to take matter as far as i can if i get the right info

  • Eva says:

    Hi everybody! My dad went for the same scam as so many others in Puerto Rico in the beginning of December 2009, the shop name is J.S. Souvenirs & Electronic, it’s on C.C. Pasarela (near the Hotel Gloria Palace). The item bought was a Smart JVCAM, with a totally crappy package with misspelled texts (e.g. Resloution) and with a STICKER on it to state the name of the product (no names or stickers on any other sides) and needless to say, the product is not worth the money… it’s total crap. But they were convincing and offered him a glass of beer (when my dad refused another glass they were offended, what a surprise) and talked him into buying this piece of crap and some “crucial” accessories for it, just like so many other people have had happen to them. The really annoying bit is that they (the scammers) are clearly aware of people later noticing what crap they’ve actually bought and regretting… the “factura” or invoice that they give you AND HAVE YOU SIGN has in small print at the bottom (surprise, surprise) “NOTE: 1. WE DO NOT ACCEPT PRICE RECLAMATION. 2. WE DO NOT ACCEPT MONEY BACK RECLAMATION.” So there you go… even if you could find a consumer affairs official willing to look at the case, they have your signature and approval on giving up all your rights… at least seems like it… If the Spanish law has a loop hole like this, looks pretty grim trying to stop the scammers from taking your money, the only way is to NOT buy anything from them. Too bad we are used to honest businesses elsewhere and therefore these scammers will get a lot of people once… an expensive lesson… Hopefully people going to ANY of the Canary Islands (and anywhere else in the world where there are dodgy “businesses”, is that pretty much anywhere?) will read these posts BEFORE going… Thank you to the travel guides for warning my dad’s tour group AFTER the week in Puerto Rico not to buy anything like this, when it was already too late… :/

  • Tilmansailing says:

    I too have been ripped off in Costa Teguise.
    We have just returned from a pleasant week in Lanzarote. We were self-catering in the Sol Apartments at Costa Teguise, and returned on Christmas Eve 2009, feeling pleased that we had missed the worst of the snow and freezing weather. The apartment was basic, but clean and comfortable. The staff were friendly and helpful. It only rained half of the time we were there, but it was always warm, and that is why we went there.
    The only thing that spoiled the whole holiday was not entirely obvious until we returned home and I searched the internet for the camcorder that I had bought – to see how much of a bargain it had been.
    What a shock! I could find references to accessories, but not the camera itself! It was not until I searched more thoroughly that I learnt that what I had was a Chinese made camera masquerading as a Fujifilm camcorder. I have been conned, by a team of 4 Asians (one of them said they were Indian) fraudsters. Not far from our apartment my wife and I wandered into a shopping mall. We were met by a salesman outside a camera shop. He showed us a Sony camcorder and said that it was really cheap – the Canary Islands are outside of the EEC for tax purposes – and so he could sell it to us at the bargain price of €54.00! I was doubtful but my wife was interested. I believe that she could see us sending film of us to our daughter and grandchildren? We were led into the shop, given seats, and soon I agreed to buy the camcorder. The salesman said he would explain the workings of the camera once we got the financial stuff out of the way. As soon as the sale was complete he started to tell us what a poor camera we had bought, it needed frequent, expensive, replacement memory cards, battery replacements were also expensive and, to get the best from the camera we should also buy an expensive attachment. I was dismayed! Don’t worry, he said, he would refund our money as part payment towards a much better, although more expensive camcorder and, he would include a digital photo frame, at a reduced price, as part of the deal. We were shown the camera, it is a FASHION FUJIOPTICS FF-1100HD, I was impressed by the appearance and said that I had had a Fuji still camera in the past. I had made my big mistake, my old still camera was made by Fujifilm, not FUJIOPTICS. The salesman did not correct my mistake. I felt that the price was far more than we wanted to spend, and said so. Immediately we were offered a reduction, but that still left me feeling that it was too much to spend on something I had not set out to buy. The salesman said that he would ask his boss and left the shop briefly. He returned with another Indian, introduced as Monty. Straight off Monty offered to bring us a drink, a beer, spirits or soft drink? We settled for a small sangria – he returned with 2 large glasses! Now Monty swung into his sales pitch, he could offer us a larger discount, reducing his profit significantly! Monty re-iterated the qualities and features of the camcorder and I must admit I was impressed, not only by what Monty said, but what I could see. I also admit I was enjoying the whole encounter, altogether there were 4 salesman, they were very friendly, informative and chatty. Looking back I am impressed how smoothly the whole scam went, their sales technique was brilliant! Eventually I agreed on €654.00 and paid by Mastercard. We had not finished our drinks and I still had some questions on using the camera. I was advised that the memory card that I had bought was not really big enough and that I should also buy 2 x 4gb cards, I would of course get a refund of the money paid for the 2 gb card, I should also get a bigger capacity battery, and keep the existing one as backup. Oh, and I should also take the digital photo frame that I had discarded to try to bring the overall cost down. Once again I brought out my Mastercard and paid a further €189.00. Altogether we had paid €897.00 and were astonished that we had done so, but until I got home I still thought that I had bought a good camera at a moderate price.
    Altogether we bought 1 x FASHION FUJIOPTICS FF-1100HD camcorder, 2 x 4gb memory cards, 1 x 11500mAh battery, 1 x Sanyo Digital Photo Frame, all at a total price of €897.00!

    Unfortunately I did not note the name of the shop but I did get an official looking stamp on a guarantee form. The stamp read:- OM SAIKRIPA S.C.P., C.I.F.:J76043702, Avd. Islas Canarias, No 4027, C.C. Las Cucharas – Costa Teguise, 35508 Teguise (Las Palmas)

  • paul says:

    Have just returned from Tenerife,bought a video camera from a shop in Costa Adejo,guese what,smart jvccam dvc-1600!!,was shown a currys info sheet ,however at home in England no such model exists!!!They were asking stupid money then when i said no!and was going, a magical figure of e90 was fronted for this HD camcorder.I took a chance and got ripped!!!If i had looked whilst on holiday,i was with three beefy mates and things would have been different!!this shop is on the frontage,same European guarrente 2 yrs,no info!!looked very good in shop.Very different when i got home!!!.This looked a legit shop with sony and jvc signs up.In England anyone who advertises this and is found to be selling fake in a shop frontage would be prosecuted and shut down.That is what i believe in.Why do the Spanish authoritys allow this????? I have two photos of these Asian guys in this shop with background!!which if anyone wants i will publish,on any website.BUT THE BUCK STOPS WITH THE PEOPLE WHO LET THESE SWINDLERS GET AWAY WITH IT….Ie Spanish law..It is very wrong to induce another European country to holiday when the said country allows vastly different trading and policing standards without any sort of official warning to the traveler.many are naive from other regulated EU Countrys.There needs a big clamp down. If someone sells u a camera on a street corner you have nobody to blame but yourself.But if you buy a product from a shopping frontage in a huge tourist area and it is fake one complaint should be enough!It is a disgrace and i shall advice all my freinds and family if they travel too spain/cannaries not to expect same standards as england and other eu countrys..just heard another of my friends waw ripped off.need soom advice who to complain to or forward e maill to.

  • Tony says:

    Have just returned from Lanzarote and a great holiday was ruined by the scum at Mega Pixel camera shop in Playa Blanca. We went through a similar experience to Mary and Dirk. Why don’t the Spanish authorities clamp down on this behaviour as it must eventually ruin tourist trade. I, for one, will never go back to the Canary Islands.

  • admin says:

    Hola Jack – and thank you for taking the time to share your story too.

    We must all warn people that this happens.

    Just 2 days ago… my husband saw a shop assistant from one of these shops waiting with an older German couple whilst they withdrew their money from a cash machine to pay for “God only knows what”

    Elle xx

  • Jack says:

    Hey Johnny,

    You are luckey.
    I have pait 300 euro’s for the same camera (Sharpixel SH-H3HD)
    On october 15 in Tenerife (Playa de america’s)
    Now i now i have bought a toy.(i think)

    Greetings Jack from holland

  • johnny says:

    I just came back from Tenerife(puerto de la cruz).
    I to fell for the old card trick to.
    just looking I say 15 minutes later came out with a sharpixels sh-h3hd camcorder inc 6 hour memory card for 175 euros ,again I was told that this is one of sharp models under a different name..
    came home only to find there’s no guarantee only a card with a 2 year so called warranty but no address to claim etc. they did stamp media digital..Tenerife-puerto de la cruz.. every thing appears to be working but not tried the pdf reader cd.to copy and burn on to dvd etc. I’ve bought two camcorders 2 in gran canaria,1 was a sharp,
    I had that 10 years with no problem(my son has it now and still working ok)2nd a sony handycam had that 4 years but the small screen went caput on me in Tenerife last week but it still records etc.when we came home from gran/can we could have bought the sony for £21 cheaper.we all make mistake but one thing for sure I will not buy again from abroad.

  • RALPH says:

    to kevin on december 31 of 08.

    PR is going through a very strange political time at the moment. Don’t underestimate the island its much more than a “tourist resort”

  • Elle says:

    Hi John. Yet another person scammed!

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Elle xx

  • John Callen says:

    I was interested in Canon EOS 450D which I asked them to convert into English Pounds so I knew what would come of my Credit Card, after paying with a MasterCard for £210 they took 419 Euros then came a so call Techician, explaining that I couldn’t do anything with the camera at home as this would cost us £500 for the MemoryCard and Battery, we had to pay for the extras £125 they took 189 Euro to make it work… So the man in the shop made another deal as this camera was no good to me ( this was after more than an 2 hours) at last at we left the shop with a fujifilm finepix S1500 for an extra £190 they took 340 Euro (Which cost at home £130)
    The manual had to come from another shop and my wife had to wait for it, whilst they attempted to sell her more rubbish, after 1 hour she came back without the manual and very distraught. Now I am really pissed off. A camera that cost £130 in the UK ended up costing £850 when there so called Bank converted from Euros to Pounds.

    REMEMBER most of the Electronic Shops are owned by the same Person in the Canaries, why are we not warned by Holiday Reps at the Airport.

  • Elle says:

    Thanks Colin!

  • Colin says:

    Two things, first of all a repeat of a complaint above made in German, followed by an accurate translation:
    Uns wurde eine tolle Videokamera auf Teneriffa im Shopper’s Spot C.C.La Pinta, Loc.22 vorgeführt, aber eine nicht brauchbare Sharpixel Videokamera eingepackt. Dafür haben wir 320 Euro bezahlt.Leider haben wir es erst in Deutschland bemerkt.BETRUG!Strafanzeige läuft.Wichtig: Kreditkarte sperren lassen und wenden Sie sich an die Polizei webdgp@policia.es
    Proper translation: We were given a demonstration of a great video camera in Tenerife at Shopper’s Spot C.C. La Pinta, Loc.22, but an unuseable Sharpixel video camera was put in the bag. We paid 320 Euros for it. Unfortunately, we didn’t notice it until we were back in Germany. It’s a CON! We are in the process of sueing them. Block your credit card and go to the police webdgp@policia.es

    Second thing: My parents-in-law just came back from Tenerife with a so-called Yashica HDV5MR30 video camera. They were also enticed into this shop with an offer of a great camera for 30 Euros, then conned into buying the fake Yashica for 289 Euros. the salesman told them they would have to buy a special High Definition SD card (they don’t exist) at an inflated price, but they didn’t fall for it, thank god. There is no guarantee card with it, nor does this camera appear on any Yashica site. The camera works, but they could have bought a fully-guaranteed camera with the same or better specs here in the UK for less money. Buyer beware!

  • Elle says:

    Hello Fredwreck – and thank you for sharing your experiences. So many people have been duped… and so do not beat yourself up about it (just hope you at least enjoyed your sangria!).

    Yes – Visanta is recommended in Lanzarote too.

    Elle xx

  • Fredwreck says:

    Hi!..this is a long one.

    Me and my family recently visited Gran Canaria and we too were fooled into purchasing a worthless Smart JVCam digital videocamera! After a day on the beach and perhaps a little bit too much of Sangria and beer we decided to go shopping in Playa Del Ingles. My wife was interested in buying a digital videocamera and…maybe not the best moment to go through with it huh? At the first shoppingcentre we saw signs of 50% off on cameras manufactured by Sony, Samsung etc. So we went in there. We ended up buying av Samsung DV-cam for 140 euro, later we learned it was only worth about 80 euro (old model).

    Fair enough. As soon as we were going to leave the shop (after having to ask for reciept about five times and finally got it) the crooked salesman offered os a much better High definition Smart JVCam. We only had to give him another 180 euro! Well, what can I say. We were duped into actually buying it. And I got to give him credit for his ability to change his tactics and smoothtalk us into buying this crapcamera. I mean, I said NO about 6-7 times and ended up buying the crap anyway.

    But the day after when i studied the guaranteecard we were given, which said 2 years european guarantee, I realized there where no phonenumber, adress what so ever on the card! I began too wake up, needless to say. And when i started the camera and filmed my son playing in perfect daylight, the picture was awful! Not at all like the salesperson said: “cristalclear”…And the zoom, shaking like a topless-dancer! I was furious and started my laptop to google around a little on the “Smart JVCam” supposed to be a genuine JVC-product. And all I could find was forums like this one talking about the “Canary-Island-camera-scam”. I couldn’t belive we went for this!

    We went back to the shop and tried to get our money back but no no. The shopkeeper turned in a scary manner and said we threatened him and started acting in front of the shop’s surveillancecam. He ducked down behind the desk and said that we might have a weapon! My wife and I were simply stunned. By this time I ordered our elder son, 12, out of the shop with our 3-yearold son in the babycart. Surely – we had weapons. DUH! The shopkeeper went on about how he would sue us if he had to close down his business and so on. This after we told him we would go to the police with the matter.

    Finally he agreed to trade the worthless cam for a genuine SONY SX-30, worth about 270 euro in Sweden were we come from. But it took us at least an hour in the shop to convince the unpleasant shopkeeper into doing this. And he had to throw in a SD-memorycard plus a tripod for us not to feel totally fooled. And the salesman had the nerve trying to make us belive this SONY was worth 350 euro! All in all it was a very scary situation for our children and we were glad to get out of the shop without further trouble, with a genuine SONY-product that had a true guarantee.

    My advice: talk to the hotelpersonel, travelagency or anyone else that has experience of these thugs. Perhaps they can recommend you some legit electronicshops in the Canary Islands. Our travelagency recommended the store Visanta, but that must have slipped our minds after a day on the beach.

  • Elle says:

    I cannot answer on a legal basis. But in youer situation I’d be cancelling the transfer if the camera is not a goodun.

    Elle xx

  • R.Woodhouse says:

    I have today returned from Benedorm and have bought one of the camera’s (smart jvcam dvc-1600) from dreams. The payment has not yet gone through the bank if i am able to stop payment and return the camera am I legally able to do this please let me know a .s.a.p as time is of the essence. Thanking you in anticipation.

  • Steve says:

    August 18th 2009, as with numerous other victims we were conned by these proffesional con men, I bought a watch at Micro-tech in Playa Blanca, all was well the sales guy said he could do me a special deal on a Sony camera 70 euros, I returnrd to the Store on our last night, the sales started and like a fool I paid for the camera in cash 100 euro a better model he said, then we asked questions a bit late, we would have to buy a memory card another110 euro, more questions, he could not answer my questions a technician would answer my questions, he went through digital camera technology, the canera we bought was not right for our needs, we had to pay more money for the correct camera an Olympus X-845, the latest camera not available in the UK he said, at this point more money was needed, I then said this was a con, they went beserk calling me all the names he could, they pointed out the no refund notice, it got very heated and my partners 2 children started to cry, they were so evil these people, they wanted more money for a memory card another 100 euro!!, I at this point said they were taking the food out of my childrens mouth, they agin went into a rant, at this point I said I will take the camera and go, they litrally through it at me, the technician guy was extremley offensive. I am apalled that the authorities allow this to happen to holiday makers who spend millions on the Island, surley a country such as Spain has trading standards and laws regarding retailers and how they con people, I know I was stupid but your on holiday and you dont think.Please lets insist the authorities put a stop to this criminal activity!!!

  • dirk says:

    Same as in previous reactions here, also in playa Blanca, same shop as the one Mary was scammed.
    I was interested in a canon 450D. after paying with Visa there came 3 other people standing next to us. explaining that I couldn’t do anything with the camera at home, we had to pay for stuff that was required to make it work… So the man in the shop made another deal ( this was after more than an our) at last at 01.30 am we left the shop with a fujifilm finepix S1500 not in europe on the market ?
    A technician also came to explain that we could not buy the memorycard at home, also the manual had to come from another place and we had to wait for it.
    at home we looked it up and came to the conclusion that we were ripped off for about 600 euro… Now I am really pissed off. If anyone goes back there to kick some ass they should not be surprised. The authorities don’t do a thing there because they are in to this scam.

  • admin says:

    Hola Mary – and thank you for sharing your experiences. This page is getting more and more busy now with people finally having somewhere they can go and air their grievances.

    Let’s see if we can’t keep them coming, and have something to present to the authorities. This needs sorting!!!

    Elle xx

  • Mary says:

    Have just arrived home from Playa Blanca and we too were scammed by mega pixel. My husband bought a cannon eos for 190 eoros. The salesman said the technician would come and show him how to use it while the instuctions were being printed in engish. He was them told that it was a professional camera and the memory and battery (which were not included in the price) could only be use once and then would have to be replaced.

    At this point we realised something all was not right but were told a refund was not an option but were offered an alternative camera, a fugi finepix 1500 for an additional 170 euros. We refused and after some heated discussion this came down to 70 euros. I said not another penny and said we would take the original cannon which by now was only the body of it, but they said the box was coming from the warehouse in arricife and could take hours! They were very intimidating.

    I whispered to my husband that i thought we needed to get the police, so i went out and was followed by 2 of the sales guys. Unfortunately it was sunday and the tourist info and police station were closed, however i fould a local willing to help who rang the police for me. All of this time my followers were on their mobiles and knew what i was up to.

    My husband caved in under pressure and gave them the 15 euros he had in his wallet before the police arrived and walked away with the fugi. The police said that it is difficult under spanish law to do anything unless the product is faulty the law allows these theives to charge whatever they like.

  • admin says:

    HI Keith – yes they are still going strong – we passed them today and they are still ushering people into their shop with the “arm around the shoulders” tactic.

    Sorry to hear you had a bad experience… but thank you for sharing it with us.

    Elle xx

  • Keith says:

    Micro Tech in Playa Blanca are still at it, I wish that I had read some of these comments before I went on holiday. I usually keep clear of these shops however looking in the window of Micro Tech the salesman (Arun) came out with a digital camera in his hand and took my picture. He then offered the camera for 80 euros, this price came down and down until it was 30 euros, including a case and memory card thrown in. I agreed and was invited to the back of the shop to await the manual, which they were printing in english and a boxed camera to be delivered from the warehouse. Another salesman took over and attempted to sell me additional memory cards and accessories, I refused these and after saying no a lot of times, he took the battery out of the camera, said that it didn’t come with it and that I would have to pay 40 euros for it. A lot of argueing took place, I was surrounded by 3 other salesmen who had arrived from other nearby shops. When I called them cheating b’d, he forced the cap that I was wearing down over my eyes, quite intimidating at this point. I said to give me my cash back to which he pointed to a sign on the till which said no refunds. I hadn’t even left the shop or been handed any goods. I threatened them with the police, they laughed. They offered a disposable camera and 10 euros as compensation for my original 30 euros, I refused. After a long time and a lot of discussion they placed a Penta Digital DG-T6 camera in a bag (no such camera as far as I am aware) and ushered me out of the shop.

  • Snarf says:

    I bought the Sharpixels SH-264 and paid eur. 380,–.
    It is a very good camera and I have until now no problems!
    Or do I not see several above mentioned problems?
    Kind regards

  • Elle says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences Marian… it all helps!

    Elle xx

  • Marian Conboy says:

    I was in lanzarote in January 2009 and got scammed in Photo Riu in Peurto de Carmen. Not only did the camera, a Samsung i70 not work when I got home, but I was also charged on my Credit card for stuff I didn’t buy for 645euro. Fair play to Samsung the exchanged the camera for a cheaper model, but a least I have something to show for my money. I have written to Comsumer Affairs in Arrecife, the police and the bank but nothing as yet. Reps should be aware of this and let their clients know, after all they need tourists to visit the islands.

  • Elle says:

    You’re very welcome Mike. We will contnue to fight for people like you… and the others that have been brave enought to voice their concerns on this thread.

    Please do encourage all your friends to post the link to this page on their websites – let’s sort it out together!

    Elle xx

    PS: Who is your pool guy? We may know him.

  • Mike says:

    Thank you Elle and Alan. Our ex-pat pool guy also told us of seeing police leaving a store with “gifts” after a visiting family member made a complaint.

    All in all they are a small but serious problem but will not put us off returning. They are not unique to Lanzarote and the good there far outweighs the bad. It is just very sad that they can carry on getting away with it.

  • Elle says:

    Hello Mike – and thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. We know the shop well… and applaud your candour in naming and shaming. We hope that more people do this!

    We have had a look at the Guardia’s website, and approaching them via that… but to be honest it hasn’t been made that simple. They should be taking this seriously… especially considering this is the same shop featured on a German News channel some time back – which implied that the copper received a “sweetener” to appease the situation.

    Also… we are going to speak to a friendly face we know at the Cabildo – who hopefully will be able to help. We will publish our outcome on this website.

    Additionally, we are going to link to this story from a number of other websites. We hope that the administrators of those websites see fit to leave our posts as published on their sites. After all… they will be wanting to protect the reputation of the Island as much as we do.

    We wish for visitors to this Island to have a wonderful stay – and it is stories like this that stop people returning.

    Our thoughts are with your family… and we hope that you will return.

    Elle & Alan xx

  • Mike says:

    Apologies in advance for a very lengthy post.

    We returned from two weeks in Lanzarote last week. We love the island – it was our sixth visit. We were well aware of the reputation of these shops and normally never even visit them. This time however my son was after some gaming equipment for his DS Lite. We researched it on the internet to see what would be a fair price and I took my son to Microtech in Playa Blanca to do the deal. After all the usual haggling I made the purchase at a price that I was happy with. There was an issue that the sales guy was supposedly talking GB pounds and not Euros which was not mentioned before paying but I made a further purchase of a case for the DS and haggled that to a fair price to compensate for the “error”.

    All was well until two days later when the software failed. I returned to Microtech with my son and asked for it to be put right. The sales guy insisted that we must pay more to put it right which I refused to do. I said that it was their responsibility to put it right and that I would not leave until it was done. The guy then seemed to just snap. He swore at us – extremely foul language and then proceeded to tell us that he knew people in prison and that he would have us killed. I seriously could not believe it. At this point another salesman attempted to calm him down by trying to take over and offering to shake my hand. I told him that I had no argument with him but that this other guys outburst was very seriously threatening and asked what he would do about it. He continued trying to make peace and wanting to shake hands while the other guy continued raving.

    I was unaware that by this time, my wife and daughter had arrived outside the shop and realised that our son looked very frightened. My wife beckoned him out and he burst into tears and he told her that he was scared that he and I were going to be killed. My wife then got her camera and took a couple of photos of the store at which point the raving sales guy came out and said “Do you want your camera broken Madam?” It was all so heated and threatening by now that I felt it best to remove my family from the situation. I told them that we were going to the police and this led to an offer of sorting out the problem for free. I wasn’t prepared to accept that offer as I was so concerned by this persons behaviour.

    We went to the Local Police and seemed to be taken seriously. We were told that they have lots of problems with this shop and that I must go back to make the complaint in the company of a policeman. My son was too scared to go anywhere near the place again so my wife took him and our daughter along the seafront while I went with a policeman back to Microtech. What followed was, quite frankly, a farce. The policeman suddenly had very poor English and sadly my Spanish is close to non-existent. The software was put right at no charge but I could not get the policeman to understand that my complaint was with the threats that had been made towards us. I returned to the Police station and spoke to an officer who had good English. He said that unless we were staying there long enough to take it to court then nothing else would happen. No record made of the threats – nothing.

    I am insenced at this and would like to know if you can offer any advice as to how to pursue the matter. It is not a trading standards issue so the office in Arrecife is not the place to send it to.

    We will return to Lanzarote and in particular to our favourite Playa Blanca but persuading our son to go anywhere near Microtech is unlikely.

    Forgive me if I copy and paste this elsewhere but I cannot let it go without having at least tried to stop it happening to others.

  • Elle says:

    Danke Edda


  • Edda says:

    Uns wurde eine tolle Videokamera auf Teneriffa im Shopper’s Spot C.C.La Pinta, Loc.22 vorgeführt, aber eine nicht brauchbare Sharpixel Videokamera eingepackt. Dafür haben wir 320 Euro bezahlt.Leider haben wir es erst in Deutschland bemerkt.BETRUG!Strafanzeige läuft.Wichtig: Kreditkarte sperren lassen und wenden Sie sich an die Polizei webdgp@policia.es

    Rough translation into English: To us a great video camera on Tenerife was brought forward in the Shopper’s advertisement C.C.La Pinta, Loc.22, but a not useful Sharpixel video camera was wrapped up. We have paid 320 euros for it. Unfortunately, we have noted it only in Germany. DECEPTION! Charge runs. Importantly: Credit card you can be closed and turn to the police webdgp@policia.es

  • Elle says:

    Hi Jimmy. Thanks for taking the time to respond publicly. Not all camera shops are running scams – nobody is saying that. However, it is VERY prevalent and we see it all the time.

    A bit of banter is always welcome in a shop… and yes, people expect to haggle. But to be sold fake goods is not acceptable, and the use of menaces even less so.

    Perhaps if more of these camera shop owners made a stand, sharpened up their practises, and ensured their shoppers are looked after, without intimidation – then these shops wouldn’t receive such a bad press. I am sure you agree.


  • jimmy says:


    (Message edited to remove mobile number)

  • alison ashwell says:

    My parents are on holiday in Costa Adeje Tenerife at the moment and they were very nearly sucked in by this scam this afternoon.

    They were fooled by the prominent SONY sign and had handed over 30 euros towards what turned out to be a very old stock Canon video camera when the hard sell on a ‘new top of the line’ video camera started.
    This was branded Sharpixel and the salesman said this was the new Sharp range.
    My father started to smell a rat and the 3 salesmen were quite aggressive and insistent that they bought this ‘new’ camera for 300 euros despite their protests that they just wanted to leave the shop.

    My mum took out her mobile phone and said she was calling the police and miraculously their money was refunded.

    When they got back to their hotel they talked to another elderly couple who were actually taken by car to get more money when they said that they didn’t have cash on them.

    It seems that these scammers start off with trying to drive a high pressure ‘bargain’ and then resort to intimidation.

    Since searching the web today I’ve seen lots of stories of people being charged twice or more on their credit cards and some folk have paid more than 1000pounds for completely fake and non-functional goods.

    I am sure that the Tenerife authorities must be fully aware of these scams and yet nothing seems to be getting done and tour reps aren’t pointing out the potential problems.

  • Steffen says:

    Hi Kevin

    What have you done sofar? I got scammed in the same shop last friday. I ended up with at fake Yashica digital cam corder paying the enourmous sum of 350 euros. I cursed myself minutes after, realising that I was fooled. I went back to the shop and tried all I could to get a refund or atleast some compensation – without any luck. I seriously considered calling the police, but decided to let it go since it was really my own stupidity that caused the problem in the first place. I would really like to pursue the matter.

    Steffen (denmark)

  • Elle says:

    Hi Kevin – thanks for sharing your experiences. The more people who can share their stories, and who are not prepared to accept this… the better!

    Please do let us know how you get on

    Elle xx

    Happy new year all!

  • Kevin says:


    Just returned from Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria having spent Christmas week there and my wife was scammed/duped into buying me a SMART JVCAM Camcorder for Christmas at the Jai Sai Electronic outlet/shop some 50 meters from the El Greco Apartments near the main Puerto Rico beach (a good few hundred euros spent).I tried in vain to the money refunded but it had gone through on the Credit Card within hours of the transaction taking place. I am extremely annoyed that this happened and wish to advise fellow travellers that this scam is very much alive and kicking. I would like to get some compensation for the episode and will be highlighting this incident ‘far and wide’, as well as contacting the local authorities who should no allow this to continue – it does nothing for the reputation of the Canaries! I agree that these unscrupulous dealers should be shut down in the interest of maintaining what is a lovely tourist resort.

  • Elle says:

    Hi Tony – we’re very sorry to hear about your experiences.

    Benidorm of course isn’t in the Canary islands… but I think your comments just go to show that this isn’t an isolated problem. These people should be made accountable. We heard of yet another incident in Lanzarote just last week where it got quite nasty against a woman and her daughter.

    We hope that your credit card company can at least repay the unauthorised amount.

    Elle xx

  • Tony W says:

    I returned from Benidorm yesterday only to discover I had also unwitingly been conned into buying two fake cameras. They were for presents (a JVCAM – 179 euros and a SHARPIXEL – 169 euros) and both are faulty. They were bought from a shop ‘Digital World’ at the Rincon end of the Levante Beach. The Asian salesman persuaded me these were top of the range cameras manufactured by JVC and Sharp and both had 16 megapixels. I was assured I wouldn’t find any better deals and as this was a shop, I thought it must be legitimate or it wouldn’t be allowed to trade. HOW WRONG!! WHY ARE THESE CROOKS STILL TRADING IN FAKE CAMERAS AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT? CAN ANYTHING BE DONE TO STOP THEM?
    There is no contact address on the receipt or the 2 year international guarantee so I am unable to return the cameras to them and even if I did, I doubt if I would get my money back. These salesmen are smoothtalking thieves.
    Surely the Spanish Authorities could do something to stop these conmen from ripping off British tourists? To top it all, an unauthorised payment of £146 has been added to my credit card which is currently being investigated by my credit card company. In total I have been ripped off for approximately £450.

  • Elle says:

    Thanks Paul, for sharing your experience. Once again – another nasty experience.
    All we can hope is that people find this out before they arrive… and avoid the scams!
    Elle xx

  • Paul Hextall says:

    Just got back from lanzarote and I was looking to buy a canon EOS450D (been looking in the UK B4 holiday). Went into Micro-Tech just off the main beach in playa Blanca. Looked at the camera, very heavy salesperson. This seemed a good deal and left a 20 euro deposit (salesman said we could have the deposit back if we didn’t want the camera). Just before returning to UK, we got talking to the poolman (expat living on the island). He told us about his bad experience (another shop trying to sell him a camera “new” but once the shop knew he was a resident, the manager told him it was a refurbished model). So they didn’t buy.
    Anyway, this put the wind up me so we retuned to the shop and told the salesman we didn’t want to buy the camera and wanted our deposit back. Well talk about turn nasty, as soon as they realised we weren’t going to buy it they turned like the wind. we ended up buying a game for my son just to save us losing the 20 euro.
    We won’t.

  • Dawn says:

    You know you could always Write to the Spanish Embassy in the UK I dont know if it would help but the more people that done it they would have to sit up and look into it.

  • Elle says:

    Sorry to hear that you were stung Keith. Any chance that you paid by credit card and could take this up with your CC company? I know it’s a long shot hon.
    We’re glad that you enjoyed your holiday despite this – but just wish more people were aware of the dangers. Hopefully this blog subject will help a little.

  • keith says:

    Hi. i just read your coments on camera scams on Lanzarote.
    well like an idiot i fell for it hook line and sinker,
    i bought a camera supposed to be all singing and dancing after you load
    the software, i could’nt do this untill i got back home to the UK.
    when i tried to load the software most of it was’nt on the disc, so the very
    expensive camera turned out to be rubbish.
    I did not know about the Claims Book you mentioned,to late i’m back in
    the UK now only two weeks after my holiday, a very good one to except
    for being stung for a lot.
    It would have been a great help if holiday Rep’s would warn people about this sort of scam.

  • Elle says:

    Well said Dawn – all too often people won’t complain loudly, or sstand up for their rights as consumers. Then they are left with a very sour taste.


  • Dawn says:

    Just to add if you go to shop for the complaints book and they refuse please dont be afraid to call th police or get someone to do it for you.As they WILL HELP YOU I advise everyone not to buy electrical I tems here in Lanzarote I have lived her for 11 years and seen some bad scam’s


2 Responses to Camera Shop Scams

  1. Lucas Verbist January 10, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Hi, I did not try to read all comments but I am a professional in the digital camera market and want to warn people for refurbished products.
    These are good as new products with defects. They are sent to repair centres in some low wages country and repaired.
    Traders buy these lots and then just try their luck. Often they buy only at 10% of street value so they can sell at perhaps 30% and still make 200% profit on their investment.
    Are these any good? Some are just as good as the new product. Many still have niggles and some are just not well repaired.
    So make your choice. Is it worth the risk?

  2. Susan May 10, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I am sad to say that I got ripped off Royally back in 2003. I was on holiday on my own at Christmas one year and did the terrible mistake of thinking prices were ‘tax free’ in the Canaries. The first camcorder I bought I saw in another shop nearby 15 mins later at half the price. I took mine back to the first store and complained asking for a full refund. They gave me another make/model and said it was ‘the going rate.’ (Nearly Eu900 back then. So more than my whole holiday cost me.) I regret not being more savvy and being vulnerable and just needing some retail therapy. (Long story how I ended up there on my own.)
    On return to mainland Spain I found the camcorder I had was again twice as much as amazon etc. I did write to the consumer office in Aricife and included copies of all receipts etc, but they just wrote a snotty letter back saying it is a ‘free market’ and the shops can charge what they want.
    I think this despicable business is bad for tourism. (Not to mention immoral.)

    Thankfully I got over my bad spell and stay away from shops if I am low.
    I have not made this mistake again.
    (I am usually a very careful shopper but it shows how they take advantage of anyone who is unknowing/vulnerable.)
    I think if I lived on the Island I would be standing at the airport – or outside the corrupt shops telling tourists to go and shop elsewhere!

    (NB Thankfully the camcorder was a genuine item and I still have it today. I just paid more than it was worth. RRP seems to mean nothing to these thieves and the local government are turning a blind eye!)

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