The 11 detainees were accused of the crimes of illicit association and repeated fraud (REUTERS / Agustín Marcaría)
Eleven people were arrested in the last hours in a series of raids in the province of Córdoba: they are accused of being part of an organization of criminals who posed, through profiles on social networks and websites, as Aerolíneas Argentinas operators and were looking for that way to obtain personal data from customers to defraud them.
The gang was even broader, since the detainees were joined by three prisoners who were the ones who directed them, as Infobae learned.
“The frauds were typical of the pandemic: they contacted the victims who had a need to talk to the company and deceived them. That’s how they ended up taking the card data or the home banking data,” a source from the investigation carried out by the Cybercrime Prosecutor’s Office, led by Franco Pilnik, explained to this outlet.
It may interest you: Who is the teenager from Lanús who scammed a crypto mega-company and fled to Europe
The maneuver was discovered by that fiscal unit, which required 25 simultaneous searches and raids. The operations took place in various neighborhoods of the capital city and also in the Bouwer and Cruz del Eje prisons, where the ringleaders are housed. Agents from the Department of Economic Crimes, Anti-kidnapping, Vehicle Theft and Homicide of the Cordoba Police participated in the proceedings.
The 11 people involved were arrested in the operations, who were accused of the crimes of illicit association and repeated fraud. They will be investigated in the next few hours.
Bouwer prison, one of the raided prisons
Two years ago, the Specialized Fiscal Unit in Cybercrime (UFECI) had already warned about this type of scam committed through social networks and WhatsApp, in which the victims were travelers urgently required to solve rescheduling and cancellations of air tickets issued by Aerolíneas Argentinas, in the framework of a time with several restrictions on flights, especially international ones, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Taking advantage of this circumstance, the criminals were attentive to the publications on the Instagram and Facebook profiles of the flag carrier and to the potential victims, who exposed their problems with tickets. Then they posed as employees of the airline and told them to contact an alternative phone number to solve their problems. Of course, those communication channels were not official.
What happened next? In the conversation, under the excuse of helping to change the ticket or its cancellation, the scammers obtained the bank credentials or the credit card details of the passengers and thus carried out different virtual operations.
Faced with these cases, when the deception has already been completed, the UFECI advised making a complaint immediately, both at the bank and/or card and at the nearest police station. In this sense, it is suggested to save screenshots of the publications and conversations, and not delete the information stored on the devices used, something key for a future criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, when faced with the need to reschedule or cancel a ticket, the recommendation is to resort to the airline’s official contact channels, which are detailed on its website.
It may interest you: The unusual case of Jaqueline de La Plata: she pretended to have a catering company and stole $500,000 worth of merchandise from a butcher
The company also warned of the situation at the time, recalled the phone number and their real network accounts, and stressed the importance of not providing personal information in posts. In addition, he clarified that “Aerolíneas Argentinas does not request nor will it request password data, credit card numbers or coordinates, CBU bank account number or aliases, through emails, text messages or WhatsApp, telephone or social networks ” . For this reason, the passenger who receives a request of these characteristics must reject it.
The state company also clarified that the scams are not linked to the purchase and sale of air tickets, since criminals do not have access to the reservation system.
“You can shit my life for bullshit,” the daughter reproached the stewardess, who will continue to be detained”I went to hell, but he was cruel”: the confession that the stewardess made to a friend after the bomb threat