Costa Almeria police uncover mobile phone sale scam

RIP-OFF: Sellers were never paid for their mobiles CREDIT: Policia Nacional Almeria

ONE man is under arrest after police in El Ejido uncovered an online mobile phone sale scam.

Police said the detainee was part of a criminal network which ripped off people selling top-of-the-range mobiles on second-hand good apps.

Operation ‘Nilophone’ was launched at the beginning of January following a report from someone they had been a victim of fraud. They told police that someone got in touch as soon as they put their phone up for sale on the internet. They agreed a price and an address in Motril in Granada to which they should send the phone.


Then the victim got a fraudulent email informing them there had been an error in the payment. It said the buyer had paid €50 more than the agreed amount, and provided a bank account number for repaying the difference.

In the end the seller ended up without the smartphone, with no money from the sale and an extra €50 down.

Investigations took officers to Pontevedra, Malaga, Madrid and Tarragona and other locations around Spain to follow up on reports of similar rip-offs. The contact person was always 22-year L.L.E., a Motril resident.

Police established he had pulled off the scam on at least nine occasions. Also, that once he had got his hands on the sellers’ phones and the €50 payments in the bank he sold the mobiles in local second-hand shops. Part of the cash he got, €100 per phone, he sent to an individual in Nigeria via money order.

Police said the investigation remains open and they have not ruled out making further arrests. In the meantime, they have recovered 12 mobiles.



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