Three people have been arrested and another is being investigated over the so-called “child in distress” scam where a total of €26,299 has been scammed in different Spanish provinces.
Within the framework of operation “Helpboy”, the Guardia Civil has arrested three people with one more under investigation for alleged fraud crimes in several provinces.
Investigators became aware of several telephone scams known as “child in distress” that resulted in financial losses to their victims.
Scammers pretend to be a child in distress
The scams followed the same modus operandi, the victims received a message, via SMS or some social network, posing as their sons or daughters. In this message, the detainees made them believe that their child had lost their mobile phone or bag and that was why they were calling from another number, urgently requesting cash.
Next, the scammers suggested that their victims make a bank transfer to a specific account, arguing that it was impossible to do so themselves due to problems in the system.
When the victims made the transfers, the detainees quickly withdrew the money through ATMs located in banks, supermarkets or game rooms in the province of Seville.
The investigators analysed several bank accounts related to these scams and located movements of up to €15,000. Furthermore, they discovered that the account holders took 5% of the money scammed for transferring their account to members of the criminal group.
The activity of the scammers spread across several provinces. It has since been discovered that there are victims in the towns of Laguna de Duero (Valladolid), Valladolid, Ibiza, Brion (Coruña) and Betanzos (Coruña).
The amount of money swindled amounts to €26,299. The investigation was carried out by agents of the Guardia Civil from the Investigation Area of the Main Post of Los Palacios, in the province of Seville.