“How could I fall in love with that! It feels so brutally helpless.”

Online fraud is already the second most reported crimejust beyond physical thefts, according to data from Mossos d’Esquadra.

in Catalonia, Every day there are 144 scams from this type. And it does not stop rising: in the first four months of 2024, the increase reached 4% compared to the same period last year.

In this sense, no one can be completely sure not to fall into one of these traps.

An increasingly common scam on Wallapop

the Sonia Fall victim to the Wallapop scam that is becoming more and more popular. He offered a guitar for sale for 90 euros and He ended up losing €1,500 from the account. One of the alleged buyers asked him to send an email to close the deal under the pretext that the shipping company had asked him to do so.

I received an email from Wallapop With a Wallapop domain, Wallapop sender and everything with a link. “Your Wallapop card has expired,” says Sonia. “And it was true because I hadn’t made any purchases on Wallapop in a long time,” she adds.

“I entered my card details and they actually charged me the money instead of entering the product amount.”

Phishing scams like this are relatively low-tech, but they are very effective because they take advantage of victims’ lack of time or bad timing.

There are groups in different specialized places. They work as a company, they’re in a building with other companies, and the workers have scripts for what to do if the victim says this, and how you should react.” Who says that? Stephen Kempa professor of criminology at the University of Girona and an expert in online fraud, who last January published a book about these crimes.

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Shame, brakes to report

The true scale of this phenomenon is absent from police data. According to his studies, which were conducted through victimization surveys, with calls to samples of the population, Only one in four victims report it.

One of the reasons is The shame that accompanies the scam. “It’s a feeling of brutal helplessness. Of course, I’m almost ashamed of myself, aren’t I? ‘Eostris, Sonia,’ she says, ‘but how could you fall for this!’

Sonia has filed a complaint, but she has no hope because of all the complaints Only a small portion end in conviction.

In Spain, in 2022, the 335,995 complaints filed resulted in only 1,500 convictions, i.e. Only 0.5% were resolved. Kemp sees this as a serious problem because there are so few convictions that the criminal law does not ultimately have the desired deterrent effect.

The research is global in scope

According to the head of the Mossos d’Esquadra virtual police station, Ruger salesThe difficulty with online police investigations is that their scope is global.

“There is always a line to follow. Almost every scam has a line of investigation because you either have to look for where the money went, or you have a phone, or you have an email, for example. The problem is where this research ends.”

because They often end up in uncooperative countriesEither because they don’t have the means or because they are lenient with online scams.

European regulations to limit cyber fraud

In order to be more effective in confronting these crimes, The European Commission has just approved a new regulation: Banks are required to verify that the IBAN holder and the recipient or company name match when transferring.

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To have more incentive, if they don’t, they will have to return the money to the fraud victim. like him, They make banks accountable Of the frauds that its users are exposed to.

Regulations Approved by the European Commission Last year it also passed through the European Parliament, where it was approved by 599 votes to 7 with 35 abstentions, so banks will have to implement it within 12 months at most, at the end of February 2025.

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