Con artists preying on elderly arrested

10th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 August 2007, MADRID (AP) - Spanish police have arrested three con artists suspected of cheating about 100 elderly people out of a total of EUR 50,000, the Interior Ministry said.

10 August 2007

MADRID (AP) - Spanish police have arrested three con artists suspected of cheating about 100 elderly people out of a total of EUR 50,000, the Interior Ministry said.

The suspects - all Spanish men - posed as workers from utility or insurance companies trying to straighten out accounts in which the victims had allegedly overpaid a bill.

One of the swindlers would go to people's homes and say they were owed somewhere between  EUR 550 and EUR 580, offer them two counterfeit 500-euro notes and demand change in cash, the ministry said in a statement.

If the elderly person expressed wariness, this con artist would make a cell phone call to a person he described as his boss, who would confirm to the victim they had money coming. But this boss was actually an accomplice in the scam, the ministry said.

Two of the suspects were arrested in the northern city of Leon, wearing the kind of utility company uniform they donned to work, and the other in Valladolid, also in the north, the ministry said. The arrests were made early this month.

Police began the investigation a year ago when the Bank of Spain's investigative branch started receiving complaints from elderly people saying they had been ripped off.

One of the three detainees tended to prey on people who were 85-90 years old and living alone, the ministry said.

(Copyright AP with Expatica 2007)

Subject: Spanish news

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