Home News National Police Smash Vacation Rental Scam Network

National Police Smash Vacation Rental Scam Network

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The National Police have dismantled a suspected criminal organization specializing in vacation rental scams through the internet

Police arrested three suspects in Madrid and Malaga, this is in addition to the five arrests made months earlier in the municipality of Torrejón de Ardoz in Madrid.

Modus Operandi: Deceptive Online Rental Ads

The police reported on Friday, December 22, that those arrested by the Central Cybercrime Unit would post ads on social media offering the rental of properties. However, once prospective renters made the money transfer for the reservation, the ads would be deleted.

The investigation began in March 2023 after the police received an email from a citizen reporting that they had fallen victim to a scam by an advertiser who contacted them through various internet platforms.

Multi-Platform Scam Operation

The officers verified that the individuals involved would post rental property ads on various platforms and social media. After interested parties paid the reservation through bank transfer, they could no longer contact the advertiser because the ads disappeared.

The police state that this investigation enabled the identification of all members of the organization. Consequently, a woman, identified as the owner of the residence in Malaga used as the operational center for posting ads, was arrested in a Madrid municipality. Additionally, a man, responsible for receiving the transfers in his bank account and using a phone to contact the victims (belonging to another male), was apprehended.

The latter man is considered the third in command of the organization, ranking behind two individuals already arrested in Torrejón de Ardoz last July.

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