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News from afpop - Friday 3rd of March 2023

Michael Reeve - 03-03-2023

News from afpop - Friday 3rd of March 2023

Included in this Member Briefing: 1. AGM 2. Train Disruptions 3. Algarve Regional Train Line 4. New Flight Routes Faro Airport 5. COVID vaccinations 6. Phishing and fraudulent e-mails and SMS messages 7. Strike Public Services 8. PSP radars 9. Satellite offices

Good afternoon to you all and welcome to the first of the first Member Briefing for March. It is always rewarding when we hear from a Member who was saved trouble or expense by the information in these Briefings, so it was very pleasing to hear from a Member last week who had been able to make alternative arrangements due to the rail strike that we informed you about and avoided a very frustrating start to a holiday.
I was fortunate to be invited this week to the Faro airport announcements of the routes and timetables for flights this year, which was interesting as the airport is only now expecting a return to the levels of traffic of 2019, with some new routes added for this summer (more on that below). I was able to take the chance to speak to the SEF managers there about the issue of passport control for arrivals in Faro and the regular disparity in staff at the EU and All Passport booths. I was advised that they are in fact making changes this year, with the booths being able to change their service according to need when they remove the static designation boards and replace them with individual boards for each booth. Sadly that doesn’t address the issue of non-EU Residents in Portugal having to use the ‘All Passports’ booths, which I also raised with them and was told that it is an EU directive and entry/exit through the controls is not SEF’s decision.
I also wanted to briefly mention the visits to the recycling plants that we have been trying to arrange. Unfortunately the visits that the plants offer are essentially for schools and it is not likely that they will have people who can do the presentations in any other language than Portuguese. We are fortunate that at the Portimão site we have someone who is willing to do the visits in English and who the management are happy to release from his duties as an engineer from time to time, but of course this means that we can’t hold too many visits there and people have to travel some distance to take part. We are trying to resolve this with them, particularly as we also want to see what happens at other sites, but it is not a simple matter so please bear with us. 
And now to the Briefing;
Annual General Meeting
The AGM will take place on Saturday 1st April at the Hotel Jardim do Vau. The meeting will start at 10h00 and the AGM booklet can be downloaded here.    
Train Disruptions
The Railway Unions announced another train strike for the period between the 10th and 17th of March and might cause more disruptions.  There is no official announcement on the CP – Comboios de Portugal website yet, but you can refer to their website: 
Algarve Regional Train Line
Between 6th of March and 14th of April there will be a replacement bus service between Cacela and Vila Real de S. António.
The replacement bus service cannot carry wheelchairs or bicycles. Small pets can be taken if the animal is in an appropriate container that can be carried as hand luggage. Contact the CP Customer Care Line 808 109 110, Customer assistance offices or CP ticket offices for further details. More alerts can be found on the above CP website link.
New Flight Routes Faro Airport
18 routes were announced by ANA for the period from April to October, from which the six destinations Aarhus (Denmark) Rome (Italy) Strasbourg (France) Bilbao (Spain) and Jersey and Exeter (United Kingdom) did not have connections to Faro before and twelve are existing routes. The details are not listed on the airport website yet, but when they are you will find them here:
COVID vaccinations
All people eligible to take the vaccine will be able to go to the CASA ABERTA without appointment, with primary or booster vaccination being available for people aged 18 or over of age and seasonal reinforcement for priority groups.
Users aged 5 years and over for primary vaccination against COVID may also use the CASA ABERTA without an appointment, with the use of the digital password (SENHA) being optional.
DGS recalls that the booster dose is available to people aged 18 years or over, who have completed the primary vaccination schedule against COVID and who have not been infected for less than 90 days, having the opportunity to do a first or second booster dose.
Phishing and fraudulent e-mails and SMS messages
One thing that doesn’t seem to go away is the plague of phishing and fraudulent e-mails and messages. IMT, Finanças, Segurança Social, Banks, CTT and EDP are being used to practice this type of scam.
Please do not open any links, do not make payments or give your personal data without verifying the safety of the contacts first (check always if the reference matches the entity through here or contact the entity directly).
Segurança Social
Fraudulent SMS messages are being sent purporting to be from Segurança Social.
The message is accompanied by a link to a false page that improperly uses the image of the Segurança Social Direta, indicating that you have subsidies to receive and asks for the completion of bank credit card details.
Do not click on the link as it is used for 'phishing' to obtain confidential information or extorting money. If you have already responded to the information requested in the SMS, you should immediately contact your bank and explain what happened.
Segurança Social explains that they never send 'links' via SMS messages or ask for bank details and that the IBAN update is done through Segurança Social Direta, but only after authentication with a password.
Another warning came from the GNR about fake Segurança Social employees that knock on peoples’ doors for a Social Security charge.
The GNR indicates that the elderly, who live in isolated areas, are the main targets, which is carried out by individuals intending to steal people’s savings.
One of the methods used involves knocking on the victims' door, making them believe that they are entitled to an increase in their pension, but that first they must hand in all the notes they have at home to be exchanged, because they will go out of circulation.
The GNR warns that Segurança Social does not go to peoples’ homes to request the exchange of notes. If you are suspicious, DO NOT LET THEM IN and contact the GNR.
There is a platform called ScamAdviser ( which may be useful to you and which contains the largest database of online scams. It's easy to use and only requires you to enter a link or website, to check if it "seems to be safe" or "may not be safe".
If you suspect fraud and have a Chave Móvel digital (CMD) you can also report it on the platform - (select BURLA and click on INICIAR O REGISTO) or at the PSP or GNR stations.
Strike in Public Services
The Frente Comum de Sindicatos da Administração Pública (Common Front of Public Administration Unions) announced a national 24 hours strike for 17th of March. Public Services might be closed, please make sure you check before travelling to an appointment.
PSP radars (speed cameras)
From time to time, the Public Security Police (PSP) discloses some places where speed control operations are planned. Members can check HERE for the locations.
Satellite offices
afpop staff will be on hand in the Satellite Offices again in March 2023. If you need advice or assistance, wish to introduce a new Member to the Association, need to renew your subscription or just have a general query, please pass by and see us. Please contact the afpop office to make an appointment on 282 458 509 or    
The next dates of the Satellites are: 
  • Almancil - Tuesday 28th of March between 10h00 and 12h30 (offices of MEDAL Seguros)
  • Lagos - Thursday 30th of March between 10h00 and 12h30 (premises of MediLagos on R. José Ferreira Canelas, which is behind the Câmara building- Please remember to bring a mask as it is a health facility)

Alliance Partners
  • Medal Insurance
  • Algarve Resident
  • Blevins & Franks
  • Turismo de Portugal - Algarve
Associate Partners
  • Toldolanda
  • Golf for Greys
  • NCA Portugal
  • Mestre Raposa