An ´easy-money´ scam operated by a criminal gang based in northern Spain has been dismantled by the Guardia Civil
The Guardia Civil has dismantled a criminal organisation dedicated to committing financial scams through a website in which they offered quick loans without any guarantees.
In the operation, 9 people have been arrested and another 2 are been investigated for defrauding more than 500,000 euros.
Police searched seven premises in the cities of Valencia, Lliria, San Juan (Alicante), and El Campello (Alicante). Investigators discovered relevant documentation to the case, computer equipment, and cash.
A total of 30 bank accounts used by the gang to carry out the scams have now been blocked.
The operation began, when the Guardia Civil received a complaint from a woman from the town of Moncada (Valencia). The victim explained to investigators that she realised she had been the victim of a scam after requesting credit for 1000 euros through a web page that did not require any type of guarantees or requirements.
Once she had finished the loan process, she received a letter in which she was told that she should pay 4000 euros for the electrical installation she had contracted- a service that she had never requested.
Agents began an investigation and soon discovered that there were a total of 86 people affected in the provinces of Alicante, Castellón, and Valencia, and, along with 6 financial institutions, the gang had conned the victims out of at least 500,000 euros.
The seized documents revealed that the scammers had made more than 100 fraudulent financial dealings.
How the scam worked
The gang operated through a website that offered quick financing without requirements. When someone requested cash, through this website, and entered basic data such as the telephone, they received a phone call where they were asked for the rest of their personal data.
Armed with this personal information, and using the victim’s identity, the criminals arranged a loan through a bank on the premise that an electrical installation was needed by the applicant.
The bank agreed to a loan three of four times the victim’s original request, in the woman’s case, three thousand euros.
Charges being brought against the gang included belonging to a criminal group, fraud, money laundering, document falsification, and usurpation of civil status (identity cloning).
The Guardia Civil warns the public that, especially close to Christmas, the importance of not transferring personal documentation to people or companies unknown.
The old adage of ´what seems too good to be true often is´ holds water in this case.