By Tara Rippin • 23 February 2021 • 12:48
CREDIT: Guardia Civil
Sisters in elaborate ‘winning’ lottery ticket scam targeting the elderly across the Community of Madrid.
AS part of a sting called the ‘Guayaca operation’ the Guardia Civil has detained three sisters on suspicion of being part of a criminal group dedicated to defrauding the elderly using a ‘prize ticket’ method.
The scammers, aged between 28 and 38 from Toledo, have reportedly conned victims across the Community of Madrid, with police receiving the first of a number of similar complaints last September.
The elderly victims claimed one woman would approach them while they were alone in the street, using a Galician accent, and tell them that she had a lottery ticket but didn’t know where to go to collect her winnings.
Immediately afterwards, another woman would appear on the scene, pretending to be a lawyer to convince the victim the winning lottery was legitimate, even giving it more credibility by calling a third person who was posing as a lottery official.
Once the trio had their victim’s trust, they offered them the ‘winning’ ticket in exchange for cash or jewelry before giving them a necklace with a recording device on so that they would be immediately aware if the victim suspected anything or contacted the police.
Ten victims of the group have been located in Arganda del Rey, Rivas Vacimadrid, Colmenar Viejo, Collado Villalba, Villanueva de la Cañada, Algete, Humanes and Ciempozuelos with a combined loss of €31,000in cash and €6,500 in jewellery, watches, purses/wallets, bags and phones.
The sisters have been charged with crimes of belonging to a criminal group, fraud, a crime against privacy by placing recording devices on the victims without consent and money laundering after it became evident the money scammed was being ‘cleaned’ through a flower shop that they ran in Talavera de la Reina.
Two of the sisters have been remanded.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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