Guardia Civil issues warning of suitcase scam at Spain’s Almeria airport

Guardia Civil issues warning of suitcase scam at Spain's Almeria airport Credit: Guardia Civil

Spain’s Guardia Civil has issued a warning for a “suitcase at the airport” scam which has seen an increase in cases in the province of Almeria, as reported on Wednesday, August 24.

Spain’s Guardia Civil of the Almeria Command issued a warning for an airport suitcase scam, wherein the perpetrators monitor social networks and when they notice that a person has published photographs of their holidays, through the same networks, they access the contacts of their friends and family, with whom they then establish contact and ask them for money, pretending to be their friend/relative, to collect their luggage that is being held at a foreign airport.    

These messages are sent through the same social network or instant messaging applications, in which they trick the victims into believing that they are a relative/friend and that they are in a foreign airport and have their luggage detained, to recover it they need to pay a fee and for this reason they ask them to send them money urgently.  

In these scams the “friend or relative” will always need the money urgently, they will not be able to make contact from their usual phone line and will have to do so from a foreign phone, the money will be requested to be sent through remittance companies or via transfer to foreign bank accounts and they will send the message from the supposed airline company, airport, etc. where they indicate the reason for retaining the suitcases and the money to be paid. 

The Guardia Civil of Almeria issued the following tips to avoid these types of scams:

– Do not pay anything.

– Try to contact your relative or friend by other means than those provided in the messages received.

– Always be wary of messages asking for money, where a relative or friend is in financial trouble, if it were true, they would call directly.

– On social networks, restrict access to your data only to your closest family and friends and do not publish sensitive information that could be used by third parties.

– If you fall victim to this type of scam, collect as much information as possible (messages, telephone numbers, documentation relating to the financial transfer) and report the incident to the Guardia Civil or other Security Forces and Bodies, informing them of what has happened. 

The Guardia Civil, is currently involved in improving the culture of cybersecurity and created the @ teams in 2021, which, in addition to their investigative work, pay maximum attention to the prevention of cybercrime, with the objectives of: 

– Strengthening the cyber incident response structure.
– Ensuring attention to the victims of cyber-attacks.
– Receiving complex complaints and resolving them as soon as possible to facilitate the investigation.
– Advising and guiding members of the Guardia Civil.
– Carrying out basic investigations at the time the complaint is filed.
– Deploying early knowledge on such matters.

The news of Spain’s airport suitcase scam follows reports of the Guardia Civil busting a gang for extorting holiday home owners in Alicante, Spain.


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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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