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Eight arrests in false child in trouble mobile phone message scam



The Guardia Civil has dismantled a criminal organisation for defrauding 44 people in the province of Granada of a total of 180,000 euro using the false child in trouble technique.

“Hi Mum. My mobile phone is broken. I have a temporary number. I cannot call you. You can send me an SMS through WhatsApp to number 656…” is the type of message that the victims received on their mobile phones from the alleged scammer posing as their child. The idea is to convince the victim that their child is in trouble, and urgently needs money. The victim makes one or more transfers to whom they believe to be their child, and later discover that they have been scammed.

In total, the Guardia Civil has arrested eight people as alleged perpetrators of 44 serious crimes of fraud. The detainees are responsible for recruiting people around them throughout the national territory so that they open bank accounts and give them the access codes, they are responsible for paying for these accounts and in turn give them to the final masterminds of the scams.

32 more people have also been investigated as mules, people who in exchange for money registered numerous bank accounts in their names, verified with video calls and photographs of their ID, and gave them to the detainees to obtain the financial benefit of the scams. Those investigated are allegedly responsible for supporting money laundering from swindled money.

This operation called “Munkid” began after both the investigators of the Technological Crimes Team and the @ Team of the Guardia Civil in Granada detected that throughout 2023 multiple scams had been committed in the province of Granada with the same modus operandi: the fake child who asks his parents for urgent money via mobile messaging.

The agents found out that the money from one of these scams ended up in a bank account of a person residing in the Jaen town of Pegalajar. They also discovered that the owner of these accounts was a 23-year-old woman who was in charge of recruiting mules to register bank accounts and give her the keys. She, in turn, made all these accounts available to a higher echelon.

As part of that upper echelon, a 24-year-old man has been arrested in the Sevillian town of Pedrera. This young man was in charge of recruiting people like the young woman detained in Jaén, making payments and transferring the accounts obtained to another man, direct contact with the masterminds of the scams.

After the arrest of these first two people, the Guardia Civil managed to identify and arrest six other people involved in capturing mules, in addition to investigating 32 people for giving up their bank accounts and collaborating with the organisation in exchange for money.

The arrests and investigations have been carried out in the provinces of Jaén, Seville, Málaga, Huelva, Córdoba, Alicante, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Albacete, Guadalajara, Barcelona, ​​Girona, Lleida, Valladolid, Huesca and Zaragoza.

The post Eight arrests in false child in trouble mobile phone message scam appeared first on Spain Today – Breaking Spanish News, Sport, and Information.



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