Some of the recovered goods. CNP
Family members arrested for 14,000-euro discount coupon scam

Family members arrested for 14,000-euro discount coupon scam


A man and three women, allegedly responsible for more than 211 fraudulent transactions in a year, were shopped after a department store employee in Malaga raised the alarm

Raquel Merino


Friday, 3 March 2023, 12:40


Four members of the same family could have scammed almost 14,000 euros by using promotional vouchers obtained «illicitly» through purchases on a department store's website.

Operation Balín was launched by the economic crimes unit of National Police station after receiving after a complaint by a store employee in Malaga. The worker detected irregularities in the return of merchandise by two people who used promotional discount vouchers.

Police found that those arrested had registered as new customers on the website of the department store through different email accounts. The family allegedly generated different user profiles and emails on a monthly basis to make a single first purchase on the store website, which gave these «new customers» a digital coupon with a 10 per cent discount code.

Once, with the promotional voucher in their possession, they cancelled the order, while the coupon remained valid for use for another purchase with another user profile.

Police explained that if the alleged fraudsters placed an order for a television on the company's website for a value of 1,000 euros, they paid the full amount and received a coupon of 100 euros for a future purchase. Immediately afterwards, they would cancel the order or return the item to the store, while keeping the 100-euro coupon.

The vouchers were later used for the purchase of, among other things, household appliances, gaming consoles, and televisions, which were later put up for sale on the black market. «There were 211 fraudulent transactions, in just one year,« police confirmed.

The investigations led to the identification and arrest of the family members, a man and three women. In a search at the home of the main suspect, two televisions, three gaming consoles, 10 console controls, 40 video games, four mobile phones, 860 euros in cash, and a huge amount of documentation related to the fraud were seized.

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