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British fraud group. Costa del Sol. British victims on supposed timeshare properties

Spanish National Police has disarticulated a criminal network dedicated to defrauding British citizens with housings in regime of “timeshare” rights  in several municipalities of the Costa del Sol-Málaga.  They were a group of British citizens whom were defrauding their own compatriots. At the moment 500 victims have been identified, though the investigators suspect that they can be thousands. Baptized as operation “Tormenta” (Storm), initiated eight months ago, has stopped 56 members of the group, all of them of British nationality. The fraud overcomes 30 million Euros, started 2009 (between five and six millions a year).

Way of action:

– The group established 11 “screen companies” which were used to contract “telephone marketers” (telemarketers), also British, which were contacting by telephone with the potential victims in UK. These workers were representing the lowest level of the group structure.

– The product offered was so attractive that was really difficult to reject. It was the right to use in “timeshare” with really special prices.

– Once the victim accepted, there was a payment to a transaction which was never completed. At the end of the process, the victim received a call from a “supposed lawyer” informing that he was victim of a fraud, and asking a provision of funds to prosecute the case. And, at the end of the process, the victim received again a call from a “supposed member of the Spanish Courts” informing that the case was won, and asking for more money to pay the expenses of the Judicial process.

– Once the UK victim accepted the product, higher members of the staff, also British, opened bank account in the name of the supposed companies, where the funds from the victims was deposited, and from where they left it available for the top of the group.

– On the top of the group there were 3 leaders, again, British. All of them had a luxury way of life, and had criminal antecedents for fraud and for money laundering. They had also bank accounts in off-shore countries.



– Use always a registered lawyer in Spain. Ask for credentials.  Overall in the Spanish Coast areas there are a lot of professionals, identified as lawyers, or “legal advisers” whom are not lawyers. Ask for the number of registration of the Spanish Law Society.

– Use a “specialist  lawyer”. Lawyers use to be specialized. So, check that your lawyer controls the property market and real estate.

– If the lawyer is recommended by the agent, check it twice!.

– Cheapest may be dramatically expensive! – You are buying properties, and not caramels!. Solicitor fees use to be really standardized in the area. Prices are more or less the same… but not the service. Do not INCREASE your risk contracting cheap!.

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