Home NEWS Four family members arrested over discount coupons scam

Four family members arrested over discount coupons scam

Four people from the same family have been arrested by police in Malaga for operating a 14,000 euro discount coupons scam

The National Police have arrested four people, all of them from the same family clan, for their alleged involvement in a crime of continuous fraud at a department store in the capital of Malaga, Spain.

The fraud, amounting to almost 14,000 euros, materialised through the exchange of promotional discount coupons, obtained illegally through online purchases on the establishment’s website.

Discount coupons scam

“The ‘clan’ carried out 211 fraudulent operations, in just one year “, said the National Police in a statement. The ‘Balín’ operation, carried out by agents attached to Group I of Economic Crimes of the Provincial Police Station, began after a complaint by a person in charge of a department store in Malaga, after detecting a return of merchandise in which two people made use of fraudulently obtained promotional discount vouchers.

According to police, those investigated registered as new customers on the website of the affected company, through different email accounts.

To do this, the plot generated several user profiles in which they used their own identities, altering some data or, sometimes, providing false identities.

The objective was to circumvent the security measures of the electronic commerce system, operating as independent users, when in fact they were the same people.

Thus, the family clan generated different user profiles and emails on a monthly basis to make a single first purchase on the hypermarket website, which gave these “new” customers a digital coupon with a discount code equivalent to 10 per cent of the purchase.

Subsequently, the scam involved cancelling the order but not cancelling the promotional coupon linked to that purchase, being able to use the said amount in another purchase and with another user profile, or, after receiving the product at home, making the return at the establishment by different members, who were swopped over so as not to arouse suspicion.

Modus operandi

Taking the case as a practical example, if the scammers placed an order for a television on the company’s website for a value of 1,000 euros, they paid the full amount and received a coupon of 100 euros for a future purchase. However, the clan cancelled the order or returned it to a physical store, keeping the 100-euro coupon, being cumulative with other discount vouchers.

Through this modus operandi, the plot obtained numerous coupons, which they later exchanged for the purchase of household appliances, consoles, and televisions, among other things, which they put up for sale on the black market.

The inquiries made it possible to identify the members of the clan, a man and three women, all of them were arrested for a crime of continued fraud.

In a search at the home of the main suspect, two televisions, three game consoles, ten console controls, 40 video games, four mobile phones, 860 euros in cash, and a huge amount of documentation related to fraud were seized.

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