Police in Alicante arrested a woman who allegedly allowed her bank account to be used by a criminal gang to divert money into
A woman has been detained in Alicante for using her bank account as a “mule” to receive money from scammers and then transfer it to the group responsible for the fraud. The National Police detained her after learning she had taken part in a man’s “son in distress” hoax and received 2,831 euros as payment.
A man complained to the Talavera de la Reina National Police station, which sparked the investigation. The victim informed the officers that he had fallen prey to fraud, and the police officers were able to confirm this. The victim had fallen victim to a swindle using the “son in distress” tactic, which is a variation of the popular ‘suitcase’ scam.
In all cases, the con-artists use messaging apps to get in touch with their victims and pretend to be the victims’ families. After getting the target’s attention, they pretend to need assistance immediately in order to trick them into sending money to “mules,” or third-party bank accounts.
The members of the Talavera de la Reina Judicial Police Brigade established that the woman who lived in the city of Alicante was the owner of the bank account to which the victim had deposited the funds. The agents of the Provincial Judicial Police Brigade of Alicante’s Economic and Fiscal Crime Group then took control of the ongoing inquiry.
After multiple police investigations, it was confirmed that the subject of the investigation had removed the whole sum received in various statements from her bank account.
How does a ‘mule’ act in a scam of this type?
This step in the plot is usually made up of people who have financial problems and who are captured by fraudster networks as the last link in the chain. In other words, its function is to collect the money directly from the victim, under the promise of getting ‘easy money’. However, they are the members of the plot most exposed to police action, since most of the time they provide their identity data and real bank accounts to receive the amount of the scam.
The’mule’ then removes the money from their account and, often, transfers it to them by depositing it in a different account, which may even be linked to another mule. According to the National Police, everything was done to maintain a meagre commission for the “work” that was completed.
However, despite his limited involvement in the plot—which was carried out by the organization’s highest echelons—and regardless of whether he was aware of it or not, the individual who serves as a “mule” is also accused of committing fraud for helping to carry out the scam.
How to avoid the scam
To avoid being part of this type of scam, citizens are advised to always be wary of promises of easy money. If someone receives money in their bank account that they did not expect or that they suspect, they should avoid withdrawing it.
The agents emphasize the importance of informing the National Police about these events “as soon as possible.” They have also reminded citizens not to make transfers to unknown accounts. In the same way, it is especially important not to offer your own bank account number to anyone to make transfers about which you have doubts about their legality.