Spanish police hold alleged timeshare fraudsters
Madrid – Spanish police said Monday they had arrested 22 people accused of running a bogus timeshare scam.
Police said the suspects, who were detained in the southern city of Malaga and on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, tricked their victims into believing they had found people who wanted to buy the right to use their homes.
But once the victims had handed over money they thought was to cover expenses for the deal, the intermediaries and those supposedly interested in using their homes would disappear, according to a police statement.
After this initial scam members of the network tricked several of the victims again by pretending to be lawyers and offer to help those who had been defrauded, police alleged.
"They would claim to have recuperated the money that had been defrauded and assured them that it would be returned to them, demanding fresh payments for their services," police said in a statement.
Police did not disclose the nationalities of the suspects. They carried out 11 searches as part of their operation and seized two guns, an electric shock device, several shackles and more than EUR 30,000 in cash.
A timeshare involves people buying an entitlement to stay for a period each year in a property.
The system has given rise to a string of bogus timeshare scams across Europe, particularly in Spain.
AFP / Expatica