Police warn of a new scam in the Canary Islands involving lost luggage
The online team of the Comandancia de Las Palmas has warned of a new phishing scam for the recovery of lost luggage through a call or a WhatsApp message from a foreign telephone number, the most commonly used has the prefix +591 from Bolivia, with callers requesting amounts of money ranging from 600 to 1,200 euros.
The scammers are using different ways to get money or bank details from people, one of them is by pretending to be a relative or friend who is travelling abroad, maintaining a relaxed conversation until the victim makes the mistake of naming the family member who believes that is travelling, and that is when the scammer takes the opportunity to identify himself as that relative or friend and tell them that his suitcase has been lost or retained by a foreign airline or airport, and that he has to pay fees or customs to get it back.
The other way is the 'family' scam from the airline, which is when they identify themselves as the airline and tell you that a relative or friend of yours has given them your phone number to pay the fees or customs to be able to recover their suitcases, asking for personal data such as a copy of your DNI, TIE, email, address, etc., to carry out phishing.
The police have listed some points to look out for during these conversations, whether by phone or message, such as:
- Our friend or family member does not have enough money to recover their bags.
- They never indicate the name of the person affected, instead they let you be the one to indicate a known name.
- The family member or friend cannot contact you directly because of an incident.
- The payment must be made URGENTLY through a money remittance company or make a transfer, with amounts between 600 and 1,200 euros.
- The telephone is always from a number unknown to us, and with an international prefix, normally +591 for Bolivia.
- They send an email from the supposed airline with data, which we have provided in the conversation, making it more real. They always claim the situation is urgent, with a sense of authority and encourage you to act quickly so that you don't have time to think about what you are doing.
Tips to avoid these types of scams:
- The main thing, as urgent as it may be, is NOT TO PAY.
- Even if it is urgent, there is always time to solve the problem, a suitcase can wait.
- Do not trust the messages asking for money via Western Union, Rebellion Pay, Bizum platforms, for a family member or friend in a situation of economic problems abroad.
- Do not provide personal data, let alone send copies of our documentation (DNI, NIE, Passport).
If you have been a victim of the alleged scam, collect all possible information, WhatsApp conversations of the different messages, telephone numbers provided and report what happened to the Guardia Civil or other Security Forces and Bodies, informing them of what happened.
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