In Spain, seven people have been arrested, including a Brit, over a multi-million euro identity theft
Spain’s Guardia Civil police have arrested seven men of Spanish and British nationality for fraud after they allegedly stole more than €2 million from their victims in 32 different provinces across Spain.
This is how the fraudulent scheme worked.
The gang created fake profiles pretending to be a Spanish company where they offered various services, including acting as a property portal. There they persuaded their victims by making them interested in renting real estate at a cheap price and asking for their personal data in order to be able to process the rental agreement.
Of course, there was no apartment for rent and they only applied for bank loans with the personal information and quickly bought high-end products such as bicycles, motorcycles and vehicles in online shops with this money. These items were then sold on second-hand platforms at a price below their actual value in order to make a quick profit.
The operation to solve the case and arrest the gang began when residents in the small town of Tavernes Blanques, in Valencia, filed two complaints with the police, saying their bank accounts had been repeatedly debited for loans they never applied for . which eventually led to the police identifying the suspects and handcuffing them.
Now the seven men are charged with a total of 353 fraud offences, unauthorized fraud on civil status, false papers, theft, burglary, robbery, receiving stolen goods, disclosure of secrets and belonging to a criminal organization.
Eleven other people are being investigated for the same crime.
How to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft
Guardia Civil officials are reminding people not to send copies of their personal documents and data to third parties over the internet and to beware of anyone who requests it. If you need to send a document, consider pixeling the photo, blurring out the signature, or adding a watermark to the copy of the documentation being sent.
You should also be wary of products you find that are selling for less than their real value and make sure who the true owner of the product is before you buy it.
Image: Guardia Civil