Beware of fake tobacco in Cyprus, especially Paphos. Get tips on how to avoid being conned.
A number of visitors to the site have recently highlighted a serious problem when shopping for cigarettes and tobacco in Cyprus, so I thought it warranted a whole page on the subject!Beware - If you are planning to buy tobacco on your next visit to Cyprus or are tempted by unbelievably low prices on cigarettes and tobacco in certain stores, you may NOT be getting a good deal.
Dodgy fake goods are on sale here in Cyprus and sadly, Paphos appears to be one of the main areas where fake tobacco in Cyprus is rife.
Fake Golden Virginia
Golden Virginia loose tobacco, sold in packets like these, seems to be one of the biggest problems.
Readers report that many retailers, both "reputable" official-looking tobacconists, aswell as cheap market stalls, are selling this dodgy tobacco, particularly in the Paphos area.
The fake stuff comes in various forms of scam:
Multi-packs bundled together have some genuine Golden Virginia tobacco but half the packs are fake and carry a distinctive red label saying "sealed for freshness."
Genuine multi-packs are split open and one or more of the packs is removed and replaced by a sticker to hide the fact that the pack has been opened. Visitors only find they have been short-changed when they get home.
Packs are opened and while the same number of total packs within the box remains the same, many have been replaced by a sub-standard product.
To avoid being conned in Cyprus when buying cigarettes and tobacco abroad, follow these tips:
Before you buy, pop into a large supermarket or kiosk to check the price of the genuine product. This will give you a benchmark on price.
Try to pay via credit card and keep your receipt; if you do find you have been conned, you can usually claim a refund from your credit card provider.
If you are buying multi-packs, always open the pack in the store after you have paid to check the contents. If you see a pack with that tell-tale "sealed for freshness" red sticker, open the pack and inspect the contents. Ask for a refund there and then if you are not sure.
If you do spot fake tobacco, tell the retailer you will report them to the police/trading standards and make a note of the store name and the name of the shopkeeper. Try to pay a vist to the police still in Cyprus.
If the price seems too good to be true, well trust your instinct, it probably IS ie. the product is fake!
There is an ongoing thread on the fake tobacco in Cyprus issue, where those conned have given reports of problem stores and where NOT to shop. Please add you own comments there if you have had a problem and/or any success in getting a retailer closed down for fraud.