Thessaloniki: phone scammers swindled over 280,000 euros from the elderly

More than 280,000 euros, gold coins and jewelry were fraudulently “extorted” by members of a criminal organization, mostly from elderly people, whom they called under the pretext that their relatives had been in a car accident or needed urgent surgery.

The Thessaloniki Police Department investigated numerous cases of deception of unsuspecting citizens that took place in October 2021. During the investigation, a 60-year-old foreigner was detained. Against her, as well as three other accomplices, a criminal case was initiated on the creation of a criminal organization and fraud.

What did the police investigation reveal?

Since mid-October 2021, criminals have united in a group and pretended to be doctors or law enforcement officers, choosing mainly elderly people as their victims. Using “theatrical techniques” (dramatic voice, genuine sympathy, etc.), the attackers managed to overcome any doubt of citizens in order to get various amounts of money or valuables from them.

Using this method, the criminals managed to deceive the elderly in 18 cases recorded in Thessaloniki, Giannitsa, Kavala and Veria, and enriched themselves in the total amount of 286,400 euros, seized 49 gold sovereigns and jewelry worth at least 20,000 euros.

During a search in the house of a 60-year-old woman, a resident of the Chalcedon region, nine mobile phones, 4 SIM cards, and some cash were found and confiscated.

The detainee was delivered to the prosecutor’s office.

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