Five arrested for defrauding more than 60,000 euros in ATMs to the elderly

They changed the language of the ATM to offer help to victims when they went to withdraw money and thus gain their trust

Authors of hundreds of crimes committed in Italy, France and Spain, managed to move quickly throughout the Mediterranean coast after committing scams

The Civil Guard has arrested two people in Torrevieja (Alicante) and has collaborated in the arrest of three others in Marseille (France) for defrauding elderly people at ATMs. Only in Spain, they had been made with more than 60,000 euros.

The dismantled group operated throughout the Mediterranean coast of Spain, France and Italy. After carrying out each scam, they moved quickly between these three countries – even buying immediate departure flights – to avoid detection.

Scalping is the method they used to carry out crimes. It consists of observing from a very short distance their victims – the majority of advanced age – while they withdraw money at ATMs to get the PIN number. Later, they managed to steal the newly used card.

Unknown language

Another method they used was to change the language of the cashier so that the victim asked for help when they were going to use it, and thus gain their trust.

Once they were done with the cards and with the PIN numbers of each one, they extracted as much cash as they could, even leaving some bank accounts without balance. The scammed money was quickly spent on gift cards from shopping malls, with which they later bought luxury items.

The detainees had logistical help – vehicles, houses and plane tickets – in the Malaga towns of Marbella and San Pedro de Alcántara.

The researchers highlight the speed with which this group moved through Spain, so as not to be detected by the different police forces.

In the same morning, after committing several of these crimes in Torrevieja (Alicante), they returned to Marbella (Málaga). On another occasion, after having obtained considerable loot, they flew that same day from Barcelona to Marseille.

It is estimated that in Italy they have been able to defraud more than 200,000 euros. The amount swindled in France has yet to be determined. In Spain, the amount illegally obtained exceeds 60,000 euros, of which more than 40,000 have been swindled from residents of Vega Baja (Alicante).

The Civil Guard does not rule out new arrests, since the operation remains open.

The operation has been operated by the Investigation Area of ​​the Civil Guard in Torrevieja, and has had the collaboration of the Investigation Area of ​​the Civil Guard in Mijas and the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard in Malaga. Coordination with the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (EUROJUST) has been essential to carry out the arrests,

For more information you can contact the Press Office of the Alicante Command on the phone 965 14 56 60, extension 446-406.


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