vAgents of the National Police have arrested a young man, 20 years old and of Spanish origin, in Valencia as the alleged perpetrator of 26 scams on elderly people using the “sick neighbor” modality.

As police sources have explained, the detainee knocked on the door of these people and pretended to be a relative of a neighbor, making them believe that he had suffered a serious accident, with the purpose of requesting money to cover his trip to the hospital or medical expenses.

The investigations began in mid-March by judicial police officers from the Centro district police station, after receiving a complaint from an elderly man who had been duped and swindled out of 650 euros through deception.

The victim reported that a young man had approached her saying that he was the grandson of her neighbor, who had had an accident and was hospitalized in another town.

After a long conversation, the young man had asked for money in order to go to the hospital to see his grandmother, to which the victim ended up agreeing and gave him 650 euros.

Later, the complainant made sure that the neighbor was traveling and realized that she had been the victim of a scam.

After the development of the investigation, the police related a multitude of fraud crimes that had been reported in different police stations in Valencia and that were governed by the same pattern.

The alleged scammer previously monitored neighboring communities in search of elderly people, and once the victim was selected, he extracted all possible personal information, which allowed him to go to the next level.

The suspect appeared before her, knocking on her door or instigating a meeting on the public street, at which time he posed as the son, nephew or grandson of a resident of the building.

After offering credible information to the victim about his neighbor, he informed him that he had suffered a serious accident, and under this false premise he requested money to travel to the hospital where he was admitted or to cover hospital expenses.

Once the money was obtained, the scammer would disappear, and the victims would later check that their neighbors were in good health. Furthermore, on some occasions, the young man had entered the victims’ home while they were looking for money and other times he had accompanied them to the bank branch to make a cash statement.

The agents managed to clarify 26 scams reported in Valencia, and identified the alleged perpetrator of the frauds, to whom a police summons was filed in order to locate him.

Finally, on May 8, a citizen security patrol identified him in the Abastos district and he was detained. The arrested person, with a police record for similar acts, was brought to judicial custody, which ordered his imprisonment.