Juan Cano and Laura Velasco
Friday, 1 December 2023, 17:04
A mother has been conned into handing over her beloved jewellery after believing her daughter was in custody for running over a pregnant woman.
Pepi was eating breakfast when the con artists called her home in the Granada town of Sante Fe about 10.45am on Tuesday 28 November. A man, who pretended to be a police officer, said that her daughter Sabrina had been arrested for running a red light and hitting a pregnant woman. The fake victim was fighting for her life in hospital, he added. Pepi believed the man, who spoke perfect Spanish, with a slight Canarian accent.
Pepi asked to speak with her daughter, to which the man replied she had also been injured in the incident and had a broken nose and broken teeth.
"Right now she's talking to her lawyer, I'll put her on right away," he said. Pepi appeared to hear Sabrina's voice on the other end of the phone, who said: "I killed her, I killed her. I killed a woman, I'm going to jail."
As Sabrina is an active social media user, she is convinced the crooks used online videos posted by her to reconstruct her voice, using artificial intelligence.
The alleged police officer explained to Pepi that they were talking to the prosecutor to discuss the possibility of releasing Sabrina on bail.
"Wait, madam, I'll ask the prosecutor the amount," he said. The man then told her that her daughter could avoid prison if Pepi paid 20,000 euros. Pepi didn't hesitate: "I heard my daughter, it was her voice, I was convinced it was her. I would have given them everything they had asked for." She explained to the fake police officer that she had no money, to which she was then asked if she had any jewellery that could be used instead.
Despite being robbed of her jewellery two years ago by crooks who posed as workers from an electricity company, she still had three diamond rings and a Rolex worth 12,000 euros given to her by her late husband.
The caller claimed he knew about the previous theft and told Pepi that he was going to send the secretary of the Public Prosecutor's Office to pick up the envelope with the jewellery. Shortly afterwards, a slim woman with long black hair and "South American features" appeared at her door.
Pepi asked her about her daughter, but the woman was tight-lipped about any details. The woman then left with the envelope.
Pepi then phoned Sabrina and asked her how she was doing: "Fine, fine, what's wrong?" her daughter replied, who was calmly at work in Malaga city.
"I've been robbed again!" Pepi reacted once she realised she had been scammed.
"They have taken away the memories of a lifetime, jewellery that my father gave her when I was a baby," Sabrina said.
Guardia Civil are investigating the incident.
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