Fraud in the News

Fraud scheme targets families of missing migrants and more

Fraud scheme targets families of missing migrants

The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 14 people for scheming to profit off families whose relatives went missing after attempting the risky migration to the Spanish coast by boat from North Africa. A network led by a man in Morocco allegedly used his political connections in North Africa to convince family members in Morocco and Algeria to pay the network to act as intermediaries with Spanish authorities and locate their relatives — in some cases identifying and taking pictures of their found bodies.

Instead, the group withheld nearly $77,000 in cash, vehicles and documents, which police seized during their search of 13 homes in Murcia, Almeria and inland Jaen. (See “Spain arrests 14 accused of defrauding families of missing migrants,” Reuters, March 13, 2024.) 

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