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Two brothers arrested for swindling 2.5 million euros by pretending to be businessmen

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Siblings in Cyber Swindle: Crypto Scams

Two brothers, aged 24 and 27, have been arrested in Lloret de Mar (Girona) as alleged perpetrators of several scams made with counterfeit bills for a total amount of 2.5 million euros, deceptions for those who posed as businessmen with experience in real estate investments eager to buy cryptocurrencies and luxury items.

The investigation of this case, in which the Mossos d’Esquadra and the National Police have collaborated, began when the Catalan police detected in recent months an increase in complaints related to the scam procedure called RIP DEAL, which consists of the exchange of legal tender bills with counterfeit ones.

The agents attribute five scams carried out with that system to the detainees. The Catalan police report in a statement that the Central Economic Crimes Area of ​​the Mossos detected the aforementioned increase in complaints and the study of each of the cases revealed a pattern that led to a family clan.

The detainees say the Mossos “are professionals in scams with this method” and did not reside in the same place for too long. On this occasion, the investigation allowed them to be located in Lloret de Mar. The brothers, the police explain, quickly moved the money they obtained from scams and got rid of objects that could incriminate them in the event of arrest.

The police, during the investigation, learned of a sixth scam related to the purchase of cryptocurrencies in Valencia, so a joint team was created with the National Police, which finally allowed the arrest of the brothers at a home in the aforementioned Girona town last April 12.

The detainees, with police records for similar events, were brought to justice on April 13 and 25 and were released with charges and withdrawal of their passports.

The two brothers contacted the victims through advertisements or messaging applications. For the scam, they chose people who showed interest in exchanging cryptocurrencies for currencies outside of conventional circuits. Sometimes the exchanges were made with jewelry, luxury items, or cash.

They showed their victims interest in making large investments, for which they posed as successful businessmen, wore expensive clothes and luxury objects, and stayed in expensive hotels. In addition, they covered the cost of the first meals they held as work meetings to impress the victims.

Before closing the purchase or investment deal, they offered their victims the possibility of exchanging currency in cash, bills with a face value of 500 euros for smaller ones of 200, 100, or 50 euros, or cryptocurrencies or objects of worth. The victims were offered to keep up to 20% of the operation as a commission.

However, when the scammers called the victims into a hotel room or a business center to exchange the bills, at some point during the meeting, the real bills were exchanged for the photocopies that the victims ended up receiving.

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