Friday, December 4

Dismantling a network of scams through Wallapop with 16 detainees in Bizkaia


The organization was perfectly structured.

The organization was perfectly structured.
SHUTTERSTOCK

Agents of the National Police have arrested 16 people in Bizkaia in relation to a plot of internet scams through the platform for buying and selling second-hand objects Wallapop and with victims throughout the State, in an investigation that remains open.

As reported by the Government Delegation, agents of the Provincial Judicial Police Brigade of the Higher Police Headquarters in the Basque Country have carried out on October 27, 28 and 29 one ooperation against internet scams, specifically on the Wallapop platform and has arrested 16 people.

The operation originated as a consequence of the large number of complaints filed throughout this year in different parts of Spain such as Toledo, Zaragoza and Madrid.

The alleged criminals were, according to the investigators, “a perfectly structured and established criminal organization, made up of Spaniards and Nigerians“, which carried out” a massive search for used products “with a high price and preferably technological or in high demand, such as electric scooters or bicycles, through Wallapop.

Later, scammers contact sellers through this platform, then following contacts with advertisers through the social network WhatsApp, for which they use affiliations, telephones, and even real documentation of other people without relation to the facts, pretending to be like the buyers.

Once the product is sent to the indicated address, the advertiser or seller receives an email that simulates that of the Wallapay payment gateway (used by Wallapop), in which they confirm the agreed transfer of money to their bank account and They also inform you that, due to a network problem, there has been an error with the transfer and a higher or duplicate amount has been entered.

Criminals tell their victims that to unblock this amount they have to pay the difference in the sale of the product and the amount supposedly transferred, looking for a second scam, for which they have Spanish and Nigerian accounts. At that moment the seller usually realizes the deception, or makes the payment and is doubly scammed.

To collect the objects they need a real person to provide their data, known in police slang as ‘mule’ and thus the detainees in this operation, natives of Spain, Nicaragua and Paraguay, allegedly offered to collect the scammed products and, once received, proceed to the quick sale in their criminal environment or in establishments dedicated to the purchase and sale of objects used.

This plot sent part of the profits obtained to Nigerian cities through transfers via Western Union or MoneyGram, thus achieving an agreed commission according to the sale price.

After completing the police proceedings and taking statements from the 16 detainees, they have been released, with the obligation to appear before the judge who is instructing this case.

The investigation into this plot continues and more arrests are not ruled out.

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