Mossos agents arrested on August 29 a 36-year-old man for robbing elderly people at ATMs. The detainee, who has entered prison, would have defrauded a hundred people, from whom he would have stolen nearly 200,000 euros.

    The investigation began during the second half of 2021 when the Mossos confirmed a significant increase in the type of crime ‘scalping’ throughout the Barcelona metropolitan area and with a Substantial increase in complaints during 2022. This scam consists of detecting people -usually older people- who withdraw money from the ATM and waiting for them to dial your PIN number to address it later and extract the cash.

    the secret number

    In this case, the detainee always used the same method when committing the acts: he traveled to the banking entities on an electric scooter and hid his face by mask, sunglasses, caps and hats. Once at the bank, they offered to help elderly people who were carrying out operations at the ATMs. While helping them, he took the opportunity to subtract the activator they were using, whether it was card or bank book, and then visualized how customers typed in the secret number. Subsequently, the detainee made fraudulent withdrawals at ATMs or purchases in stores.

    The victims, vulnerable

    The perpetrator took advantage of the vulnerability of the victims due to their age and lack of knowledge related to computing devices. In addition, in most cases, the dates on which the acts were carried out coincided with those of the monthly payment of the pensions, causing a very important economic damage to the victims, since the fraudulent withdrawals in almost all the acts It exceeded 1,000 euros.

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    As a result of the numerous complaints received -including acts perpetrated in ATMs in Valencia-, the consultation of security cameras and the investigative steps carried out; the mossos identified and located the alleged perpetrator. From there, they started a monitoring for several days where they confirmed their high standard of living, making use of luxury vehicles and spending the night in several high-class hotels.

    After their last fait accompli, the Mossos established a police device on August 29 in Barcelona and Badalona to arrest the alleged perpetrator. After the arrest, the investigators focused their efforts on locating more potential victims of these events, especially in the Barcelona metropolitan area, so that they would report the fraud they had suffered.