By Cathy Elelman • 14 November 2019 • 19:00
A POLICE investigation into an online credit fraud led to three arrests in Gandia and one in Madrid.
Police reported they had broken up a criminal organisation formed by six individuals suspected of stealing identities and forging documents so they could fraudulently open credit lines and bank accounts and acquire luxury products.
According to police the gang had got their hands on all the financial institutions’ “operations manuals” containing all the requirements and necessary security measures in order to obtain credit.
In raids on four properties officers seized a mass of documents, fraudulently acquired items and drugs.
Police first launched the investigation at the beginning of the year after detecting a considerable number of reports concerning the fraudulent securing of credit lines. Several financial institutions said they had been the victim of a scam whereby they had made credit available to individuals who in fact had not contracted their products.
Investigators discovered that the documentation obtained to request the credit online had been stolen and that the other documents demanded in order to provide loans, like work contracts and payslips, was very precisely forged.
Police said the gang members appear to have made their criminal activities into a complete lifestyle. They used the financial loans they got for online shopping, especially high end electrical goods and designer clothes, some of which they sold.
When their victims discovered what had been going on, either because of claims from debt collection companies or because were registered on non-payment records, they found they were in considerable debt. It was also difficult to prove the operations were false and that they had been victims of identity theft.
Police said the operation remains open and they had not ruled out locating more victims and making more arrests.
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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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