FIVE have been arrested in Spain’s Alicante after conning holidaymakers via fake villa rental websites to the tune of €250,000.

The fraudsters reeled in victims by advertising pictures of Spanish villas they did not legally own at ‘knockoff’ prices.

Holidaymakers were then pushed into paying a deposit as soon as possible to secure the bargain price, before giving their card details and identification documents.

The gang then used the information to make ATM withdrawals, request loans and make purchases to sting their victims twice.

Policia Nacional said at least 100 people had been conned, and a number of them even arrived at their rental properties to find out that they had been hoodwinked.

It comes after the Olive Press took on fake villa website ‘www.dreamvillasspain.com’ following a string of holiday heartbreaks.

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This newspaper made a collective denuncia on behalf of UK-based victims, which resulted in the removal of the website last August.

The first case was reported by in April when professional chocolate taster Angus Kennedy turned up at a villa he had paid for in Mallorca.

He was met with bewildered German owner, Klaus, who had no knowledge of ever putting his house up for rental.

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Olive Press front page last August announcing closure of dreamvillasspain.com

It soon dawned on Angus he’d lost his €5,500 and urgently needed a place to stay with his wife and five young children.

“I think many more have been duped and the scam could be worth millions,” Angus told this paper at the time.

Policia Nacional declined to comment on whether dreamvillasspain – who legally operated under the name Digital Dreams SL – was one of sites used by the scammers.

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