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Beware Cannes scams

Crooks are already swindling some festival goers with fake accomodation deals.

Anybody who’s ever been to Cannes knows that it’s a magnet for crooks, pickpockets and charlatans. I once had my wallet lifted from my jacket as I walked down the Croisette, and over the years friends and colleagues have had to deal with intruders in their hotel rooms (even at the Hotel du Cap!), stolen passports, bags, money and clothes, plus other con artists of every kind.

For the past several years, internet site hawking non-existent accomodations have been a huge problem.
 
It was with dismay that I heard my first horror story from this year — a UK producer friend of mine has become the victim in the latest Cannes scam involving accommodation. I must say I have noticed an increase in the unsolicited emails I get from companies offering stunning apartments, villas and houses just minutes from the Croisette (ie in Juan-les-Pins!).
 
My friend contacted one such company called Euro-Events which had a co.uk address but was registered in the US. It listed telephone and fax numbers in both the US and in France (an “09” number used by IP services). He booked an apartment with a colleague and the two wired €1800 each to the Euro-Events website (now shuttered). “John” contacted them to thank them for their custom and promised that the Euro-Events Concierge Department would contact them shortly with more details.
 
Alas, that was the last they ever heard from Euro-Events. As it dawned on them that they had been conned and the phone numbers they had previously used were suddenly out of order, the two desperately tried to claw back the cash had gone to a bank in Chicago. “The recipient refused to return the money,” they were told, and indeed the Chicago account is still active. My friend is doing all he can to bring the brigands to justice and that includes calls placed to the Fraud Squad in London and the FBI.
 
By the way, there is a legitimate company called Euro Events (sans hyphen) which should not be tarred with the same criminal brush as its near namesake.
 
The lesson here is beware. In your haste to secure decent, convenient and affordable accommodation for Cannes, make sure that the company you go to comes recommended or validated by people you know. It’s bad enough endeavouring to avoid theft while you’re in Cannes itself (including the inflated restaurant menus), the last thing you need is being ripped off before you even get there.

If anyone has warnings from past scams feel free to leave notes in the comments here.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Google all email addresses and ask for references from professionals who are registered on cinando.

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  • Cannes has been going down hill for many years in terms of visitor experience. With so many other film festivals set in equally beautiful settings, isn't it about time the film industry woke up to the exorbitant facilities, accommodation, food and transport costs.

    Of course the producers or more accurately their investors are the ones who are funding this jamboree with the distributiors just off setting these costs as expenses.

    Perhaps Screen should spark a global debate about what are the most cost effective and location friendly market/festival spots during the calender year

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  • I was astounded to read this as I had been dealing with John at Euro-Events this week thinking they were bone-fide. In retrospect I was curious that I hadn't been able to find out anything about he company's profile on their website and was surprised that they were offering apartments in so many top quality locations so late - Miriamar, Gray d"Albion for example. John rang me to chase up a decision so was grateful that I chose a reputable B&B instead! Thanks Mike Goodridge for the article advising caution to all in the future.

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  • Berlin is by far the most cost-effective venue in terms of travel, accommodation etc, being probably the cheapest capital city of all the major developed economies. A city of its size can easily absorb the number of potentially festivalgoers without impacting substantially on room rates. And it's a massively more interesting city, than a zzzzzzz place like Cannes. Perhaps Berlin and Cannes should swap dates?

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  • Lets ride on the coat tails of British Tourism and use some of our public funding to create a festival/market place to rival or even surpass Cannes. If Glastonbury can do it for the music business then why can't we do it for film? We have the talent and lots of prolific distribution, finance and production companies over here already. Britain in the window between spring and summer is beautiful. Think about how much revenue is generated for the local community around Cannes.

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  • You may find this link interesting for now and the future.

    It is published by REED MIDEM, who organise many of the congresses at the Palais (not the Film Festival, but the info applies just as well!)

    http://www.mipworld.com/en/prepare/book-your-accommodation/fraudulent-accommodation-providers/

    It gives a list of those companies known to engage in fraud, and it also gives a (smaller) list of those who are officially accreddited and controlled.

    Be safe!

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  • They are scam artists. I will post more very shortly.

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  • David Redman

    We have just realised that the accommodation we have arranged through Euro-Events is a fraud. As well as notifying authorities we are now also looking for replacement accomodation. Any suggestions to info@instinctentertainment.com

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