Eighteen people arrested in Malaga for swindling ‘love scam’ victims of more than 1million euros | #ukscams | #datingscams | #european

Monday, 10 April 2023, 10:50

Spain’s National Police force has taken down a criminal “love scam” network which allegedly swindled victims of more than one million euros by creating fake profiles online.

Officers arrested 18 people in Malaga as alleged members of the group which is accused of fraud, falsifying documents, money laundering and fooling people into falling in love with fake social media profiles.

The first complaint of a scam was filed in Madrid at the start of the year. There were 90 complaints made in total, of which 60 were confirmed by police.

A National Police investigation group, based in Malaga city, was called in after police determined that the alleged perpetrators were linked to a bank account opened in the Andalucian port city.

Modus operandi

Once the suspects gained the trust of their victims they would trick them by sending them a gift which was always held up at customs or by a transport company, requiring large sums of money to release it.

At times, threats were made if payment did not come through, “which created an insurmountable fear in the victims who then agreed to pay such disproportionate sums of money”, police said.

During the investigations, police identified new members, located homes and commercial sites the crooks used to carry out the alleged crimes.

Police seized electronic devices, telephones, numerous documents and 36,000 euros during 13 raids of various addresses.

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