SIX women have been conned out of a total of €500,000 in what has been termed the ‘Lover Boy scam.’
National police have arrested two men in Alicante for the alleged offences, and are investigating to see if there are more victims.
An investigation started after a complaint was filed by one of the victims, who was defrauded of €180,000.
Police managed to identify five other victims who were also conned out of large amounts of money, estimated to total half a million euros.
The criminals’ modus operandi consisted of meeting their victims through online sites such as Tinder. Their targets were usually single women or middle-aged widows with little experience in computer media and social networks.
They managed to get their victims to “fall in love” with them by posing as military doctors on humanitarian missions.
Once their victims were hooked, the next step was to tell them the situation in the country where they worked was getting ‘complicated’.
As a result, they wanted to come to Spain to live with the women concerned.
They then said they needed to bring money, gold, cars and other belongings with them, but there were fees to pay.
At this point, a new individual entered the scheme to pass himself off as a customs agent in charge of making the effects arrive in Spain through the payment of taxes and insurance.
The women would then handover large sums of money to pay, expecting to be repaid in the future once the ‘goods’ arrived in the country. This never happened as there were no goods.
Investigations led the police to Alicante, where two people allegedly responsible for the frauds were located and arrested. Numerous electronic devices, money, narcotic substances and a “swindler’s manual” were seized in the searches of their homes.
Those arrested are accused of belonging to a criminal organisation, having false documents and crimes against public health. The investigation is still open as the possible existence of more victims is not ruled out.