A couple of days ago, the National Police published a video on its official TikTok account in which it addressed a type of scam on the rise: This one tells the story of the peculiar Señora Virtudes and her granddaughter Jessica, who takes her to the police station because she is convinced that her grandmother is being scammed.
“I’m going to tell you about the situation,” she tells the agent who is taking care of her,
“—It turns out that here I am in relations with a soldier from Wisconsin who is eating bread and wet. […] But right now he is in a war zone and he needs money to come.
—Grandma, it’s false, that Henry doesn’t exist.
“But how can it not exist?” But, please, if I have photos that he sends me every day.”
We tell you what this scam consists of so that the same thing as Virtues does not happen to you (@Meryfos) #aprendecontiktok #tips #seguridad #consejos #estafa #policia #humor #humorentiktok
♬ original sound – National Police
that’s when the agent intervenes to explain that “it looks like it’s a scam”one in which they always follow the same modus operandi: they get in touch with the victim through social networks until they manage to make her fall in love to get the money.
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In a world increasingly connected through social networks (and lonelier in our daily lives), virtual relationships have gained ground in our lives. AND, as always, scammers have taken advantage of the situation.
The “love scam” is a scam that starts on social media and ends up affecting the real private life of the victim… especially his bank account.
The scammer presents themselves as successful and attractive, often posing as pilots, military men, or businessmen. The goal is to create an emotional bond with the victimwho falls in love with this virtual identity without having met her in person.
A real case…
Almost at the same time that the National Police published this video, the case of a Spanish woman who had lost almost 332,000 euros thanks to a plot of this type was made public.
Silvia (not her real name), a middle-aged woman with a high cultural level, found herself in a moment of emotional vulnerability after a complicated divorce. It was then that she met Anthony Smeeton, a successful manager who worked representing multinationals, on social media.
Through exclusively online conversations, Smeeton earned her trust and affection, becoming a supposed lifeline for Silvia. However, this love affair turned out to be a carefully constructed facade. by a group of cybercriminals.
In Silvia’s case, ‘Smeeton’ led her to believe that she led a lavish and glamorous lifestyle, constantly traveling the world and attending important business events in exotic locations. She used personal confidences and emotionally charged messages to gain her trust…
…and, finally, he addressed the economic issue. Under different pretexts, he managed to get Silvia to transfer him the bulky sum of 332,000 euros in 29 transfers and two entries, all between December 2017 and October 2018. In many cases, on behalf of third parties who were nothing more than ‘banking mules’who received a commission for their collaboration in the fraud.
Among the recipients of the money, there was only one Spanish citizenan early retiree from Madrid with an apparently stable life who is now being investigated as a participant in the plot, but in which he claims to be just another victim: According to his version, he met a woman named María Kimberly on Tinder…
…who asked her to use a Spanish account to receive compensation from her deceased husband’s life insurance (actually, almost half of the money deposited at the time by Silvia). The man opened the account and received the transfers, but when he began to ask questions about the origin of the money, he lost all contact with Mariawhich in this way would be nothing more than a feminine equivalent of Smeeton.
Silvia, for her part, has so far managed to recover only a part of the defrauded fundsand the legal case is advancing slowly due to the difficulty in identifying those accused.
Via | South Newspaper
Image | Marcos Merino through AI
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