HUNDREDS of families with children studying at a Costa del Sol school have fallen victim to a scam which saw a fake charity swindle millions across Spain.
Around 300 families with children enrolled at the Clara Campoamor primary school in Alhaurin de la Torre have reported the scam to the Guardia Civil.
They claimed they donated more than €1,000 in total to an Aragon-based NGO claiming to raise money for a girl with cancer through the sale of eco-friendly bags.
It has since been alleged the National League against Childhood Cancer was a front for a nationwide scam which fuelled the luxury lifestyles the fraudsters behind it.
Julian Sesmero, representing the parents, said the money swindled from them was the ‘tip of the iceberg’ after it emerged some €5 million could have been taken from donors. Parents are now being encouraged to only donate money to well-known organisations such as the Red Cross.
“Nothing made us doubt them when they wrote to us on WhatsApp and they had a very well-designed website and said they were headquartered in Madrid,” parents said.
Parents of children at the school added: “They have scammed us and we hope to get our money back.”
It is now believed that at least 12 schools could have fallen victim to the scam in Malaga Province alone. A centre in Ronda was also among those affected.
Sesmero said “A sick girl was used to pay for sinners.”
National Police officers investigating the scam said it was been run out of Zaragoza in Aragon. Officers added businesses and hospitals could be among those affected.
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the scam. Police said the investigation remains open as they pursue other lines of inquiry and added further arrests were not ruled out.