The Civil Guard have detained two electronics store emlpoyess in the southern tourist town of Puerto Rico (Mogán, a 27 year old with the initials TS and a 29 year old with the initials GA, both of foreign nationality and with prior police records for similar crimes, as alleged perpetrators of two so-called “tablet scam” customer frauds.
The Police Command in Las Palmas reports that the investigation began on February 17 when a Scandinavian tourist complained at Gran Canaria airport that, a few minutes before taking his flight back to Sweden, he had realised that he had been fraudulently charged €1,980 by a Puerto Rico merchant.
The complainant informed the Guardia Civil that, just one day before returning to his country, he had purchased a tablet device at a very low price – €70 euros – from a certain store and that, later, he was offered access to a wifi portal, for which he agreed to pay €5 per month, but in fact he was charged almost €2,000 without his authorisation.
The original €70 was made with his debit card, however the alleged perpetrators of the scam convinced the victim that the payment of 5 euros for access to the Wi-Fi portal had to be made via a credit card.
Once the payment was made with the credit card, which as a rule is usually with a PIN code, the authors used confiscation techniques with the victim, such as offering him a drink, other souvenirs or an electronic product of unknown brand for free, while they fraudulently charged the unauthorised excess amount.
The investigation determined the exact shop where the alleged crime took place and identified the owner and economic beneficiary of the transaction, initials TS, conducting an inspection of the establishment and leading to the arrest of its owner once the police procedures were completed.
The second investigation began just ten days later, on February 27, when an English tourist returned from his country solely to report and denounce an alleged crime of fraud committed against him between February 15 – when he bought a tablet – and the 18, the date on which he returned to the store to pick up the device in the town of Puerto Rico, which had supposedly needed to be updated after he had chosen to purchase.
At the store, after buying the product, at what he thought was a greatly reduced price, he then wisely checked his bank account to discover that an amount of €2,700 had been charged to his account, without his consent, ostensibly for the installation of software to change the language of the device, for which he had actually only agree to pay €5.
The Guardia Civil, arrested GA as the alleged perpetrator of this scam, highlighting that the circumstances of this second crime differed from the first in that the sale was made in a different trade to the fraudulent charges.
The two detainees have been placed at the disposition of the corresponding courts, in the nearby town of Maspalomas.