Malaga – Costa del Sol | Rincón restaurant owners paid 50 insurance policies over alleged fraud

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María Teresa and Miguel with their daughter in front of their restaurant. / ñito salas

The couple discovered during the Corona lockdown that almost 40,000 euros had disappeared from their bank account without them realizing it

They ran a busy restaurant so their bank account always showed a lot of movement and as a result the owners of El Deo in Rincón de la Victoria on the eastern Costa del Sol didn’t realize they had been the victim of a scam allegedly perpetrated by their insurance agent .

They finally realized it during the pandemic. During the lockdown there was less activity on the bank account and her balance suddenly went negative. “We had to apply for a loan because we didn’t have any money to live on,” Miguel Galo told SUR.

The family say their insurance agent, a man they have trusted absolutely for years, took out about 50 policies without their consent and provided their bank account details for payment.

“We both had apparently taken out 40 funeral policies,” said Miguel’s wife, María Teresa Zaragoza. They contacted the police about a scam that they calculated had cost them €34,860.38. The policies were in different names, including those of the insurance agent and his wife.

“When we realized the money was gone, I told my sister, and she went through our bank details,” María Teresa said, “and she found insurance policy receipts for three houses on the beach, a villa, a boat, a car . …”.

“We trusted him completely. We’ve used him since 2011 and couldn’t believe it because we considered him a friend, but we even paid for his and his wife’s car insurance,” she said.

They believe insurance company Generali Seguros should have realized something was wrong, but a lawyer acting on behalf of the company said it was also affected because it had a network of trusted agents and had been scammed by them too .

After the company became aware of the fraud, it carried out detailed checks. There are disagreements about the amount of damage to the clients – Generali calculated the amount at around 12,000 euros and deposited this amount with the court for a possible comparison in the legal dispute.

A double scam

However, police are also investigating and say they found that the agent also had another scheme in which if a customer’s payment was refunded by his own bank, he would instead give Miguel and María Teresa’s bank details for payment.

The manager of the insurance company reportedly told police that when he found out about the scam and called the agent to demand an explanation, he said he took full responsibility for everything and blamed his wife, who was around took care of the financial side of his business.

The agent and his wife were arrested on suspicion of fraud. They declined to make a statement to the police and were released to await trial.

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