Gang scamming Germans by phone nabbed in Turkey

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published

In what police dubbed "Operation Guten Morgen," a total of 38 suspects were detained in five cities yesterday for scamming German nationals by phone. The suspects are accused of defrauding 20 German nationals of about 1 million euros.

Raids were carried out in Antalya, Istanbul, Bursa, İzmir and Muğla, as part of an operation by police in Antalya. Antalya police said the suspects pretended to be police officers. Furthermore, police found a large number of computers and phones in offices that the suspects used as fake "call centers" for the purpose of the scam.

The scam was discovered when 25 German holidaymakers who visited Turkey in the past told German police in separate complaints that they received calls from a "call center." The victims said they were threatened with legal action if they didn't pay "taxes" for the goods they bought in Turkey. They said they suspected something was wrong when they were repeatedly called by the same call center, though they wired money to the scammers.

Turkish police found out that the suspects secretly obtained personal data of the victims and set up multiple call centers in Istanbul, İzmir, Antalya and Muğla, popular destinations for holidaymakers.

In another operation, police had arrested 20 suspects in İzmir in another scam targeting German nationals last week. Like the gang arrested in Antalya and other cities, the scammers in İzmir were accused of posing as police officers and threatening victims with legal action because of crimes concocted by the gang members.

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