POLICIA NACIONAL have detained four people that allegedly conned over €7,000 from victims in a ‘sextortion’ scam.
They posed as women offering sexual services on contacts websites, then threatened to assault their victims or reveal their identity to relatives, unless they paid up.
Investigations began in October when several similar crimes were reported in Zaragoza, all with the same modus operandi.
Agents located a criminal group based in Madrid, as well as numerous victims across the country.
The ‘sexual extortion’ started with a series of text messages over a few days between the scammer and the victim.
Messages and voicemails were then received, demanding payment in exchange for the ‘conversations’ held.
If victims refused to pay, they were told to expect physical attacks or have their seedy behaviour revealed to close members of their family.
The organisation did not ask for high amounts, in the hope that victims would not report it as blackmail.
However, once one payment was made, the scammers insisted on more and more, until more than €7,000 had been swindled from at least 19 victims.