THE COSTA del Scam strikes again with victims losing €75,000 to fraudsters posing as famous Hollywood actors.
Policia Nacional have reported numerous cases in which victims are contacted by so-called stars on social media before being asked for money.
Scammers have posed as Denzel Washington of Philadelphia and American Gangster fame, as well as Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman.
The scam begins when victims are contacted by private message on Instagram or Facebook.
Supposedly actors looking for ‘friendship’, the scammers build a rapport with the victim before moving the conversation to email.
At first, the victims are asked to donate hundreds to celebrities’ charitable organisations.
Then, they introduce the idea of a private meeting, connecting the victim with their assistant to organise the encounter through video conferencing apps like Meeting, Meeting Plus or Private Meeting.
In the latest version of the scam, victims are asked to pay €3,600 for the online rendezvous.
Once the amount is paid, the meeting is postponed due to red carpet appearances, filming commitments or even because the actor has decided to separate from their spouse.
From there onwards, the scammers insist they need to receive money in a ‘secret’ account to begin their divorce proceedings without their current partner finding out.
Now playing with their victims’ money and hearts, the scammers start to insinuate that a romantic relationship could blossom between the pair and asks for €3000 so that they can come to Spain.
In the hopes of finally meeting in person, Malaga based victims lost between €22,000 and €35,000.
Most of the victims are women between 45 and 61 years old and one had an intellectual disability.
However, police are unsure of the exact number of victims as they predict many have not come forward due to shame.