The National Police and the Civil Guard have dismantled a gang of scammers and have arrested in Barcelona and Castellón 58 people who pretended to be power company operators to scam merchants, and it is estimated that they got about 220,000 euros with at least 167 scams throughout Spain.
As reported by the two bodies in a statement this Tuesday, in this joint operation there are also 12 other people investigated, in addition to the 58 arrested, all of them residents of the provinces of Barcelona and Castellón.
This criminal group of fraud experts had the necessary infrastructure and knowledge to make the victims believe who had contracted a debt with their electricity company, since they had worked as commercials in different companies.
The alleged debts for unpaid bills with which they deceived and defrauded their victims ranged between 300 and 10,000 euros, depending on the type of business they wanted to scam, although they were mainly in the hospitality sector.
The detainees had privileged information obtained by the leaders of the plot, since they had worked as commercials or subagents of electricity and / or gas trading companies, or because they had sufficient technical knowledge about the sector.
After making calls to the businesses and providing true and credible data on the contracts with the different energy supply companies, convinced victims of the existence of unenforceable payments, with the consequent debt with the contracted energy companies.
Under the threat that they would proceed to the imminent cut off of the supply if they did not pay the debt, they instilled fear in their victims, since this would mean the loss of edible material and customer cancellations, for which they made payments through bank transfers to accounts. provided by scammers.
The investigation began by detecting a series of complaints with the same common denominator throughout the national territory, mainly in tourist areas of Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.
Due to the dispersion of cases throughout the country, a specific group was created to carry out police investigations, which have led to the dismantling of this criminal group.
Till the date, the number of affected amounts to 167, although it could be much higher, as estimated by the National Police and the Civil Guard, since the investigations are still open.
The detainees have been accused of the crimes of belonging to a criminal group, fraud and money laundering.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.