A Dutch tourist has claimed she spotted missing British girl Madeleine McCann in southern France — the latest in a series of alleged sightings across the world.

The woman told police she saw a child she thought was the 4-year-old in the city of Montpellier.

French police have taken CCTV from a cafe, which reportedly shows the girl in question.

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Madeleine's parents, said he was told the tourist had been so sure it was the missing girl that she shouted out her name before a man rushed off with the child.

The spokesman told Sky News: "Of course we've been here before. There have been many, many sightings of Madeleine, some where people — very well-meaning people -- have said they are certain it was her and, of course, in those cases sadly it has proven not to be.

"In this case, the young girl concerned says she is 100 percent certain it was Madeleine. She apparently has also spoken about the mark in Madeleine's eye — which makes her very distinctive."

Mitchell said the tourist, thought to be an 18-year-old student, had done "absolutely the right thing" by contacting the police.

The teenager had been in a cafe with a friend when they started looking at a girl because she appeared to be dancing to music from one of their mobile phones, the spokesman said.

"The friend said, apparently, 'Don't we know this girl from somewhere?' ... and this 18-year-old ... said she was very quickly aware it could be Madeleine," said Mitchell.

"She was so shocked she apparently called out the girl's name and, at this point, the girl looked shocked and a man who was with her... scooped the child up, put a hat on her and took her out of the cafe very quickly."

Mitchell added that parents Kate and Gerry McCann were "not getting their hopes up or down" until authorities had investigated.