WHAT A CON!: Holiday home scammer tricks tourists out of thousands in Spain

SCAMMER: Police said the con artist conned some 50 people out of at least €10,000 in all from fictitious online holiday let ads. Photo: National Police

A SUSPECTED holiday home scammer is under arrest in Almeria.

Police said over the last year the woman conned some 50 people out of at least €10,000 in all through online adverts for fictitious holiday lets. She passed herself off as an estate agent, offering rentals in Retamar-El Toyo, the Zapillo neighbourhood of Almería city and Roquetas de Mar.

After speaking to her on the phone, victims paid the con artist a reservation or the full amount. But when the tourists pitched up at the apartments they discovered they were already occupied or didn’t actually exist.

To remain under the radar the fraudster had moved from place to place around the country. She frequently changed her mobile number. She also regularly changed her appearance, altering her hairstyle and colour and her way of dressing.

Investigations by police units specialised in Internet crime ultimately led to the identification and subsequent arrest of the 31-year old by Almeria police on charges of fraud and falsification of documents.

According to police there are more than eight outstanding legal claims against her in courts in Seville, Madrid, Jaen and Granada. She also has a criminal record for fraud.

The police investigation into the woman’s criminal activities remains open.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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