Turkish police detained 75 suspects and arrested five of them on charges of defrauding German nationals by setting up a fake call center. Security forces launched an operation in Denizli in western Turkey and five other cities after they discovered suspects set up fake call centers in Denizli and southern city of Adana.
Operations came after a tip-off that a company shut down by Traunstein police in Germany had secret branches in Turkey. The company was a front for fraud by a gang that defrauded some 300,00 German citizens of 1.5 million euros and its assets were frozen. Investigating the tip-off, Denizli police discovered two call centers and suspects working for the gang in other cities. A total of 57 suspects were released after their initial detention while 13 were released with judiciary control. Five other suspects were arrested on fraud charges.
Authorities say fraud scheme involved baiting unsuspecting German citizens suspects telephoned to wire money to their accounts. They would tell the victims they won money or car in lottery but needed to pay "taxes" to be eligible for prizes. Another ingenious scheme involved victims called back by the gang members and were sold "devices to prevent unsolicited calls." Victims would be then delivered fake devices for a fee of 100 euros ($112).
Searching the residences of suspects, police found databases containing information for an unspecified number of German citizens, receipts, notebooks containing a large number of bank account numbers and scripts in German apparently used by "call center staff" for conversations.
In December, Turkish police in the western city of İzmir had captured members of another gang involved in a phone scam that targeted German nationals, four years after another phone scam gang, based in İzmir again, which was targeting German citizens, were discovered.
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