Five arrested in chat-scam bust

On Tuesday the police broke up a chat-scam scheme and arrested 4 suspects on suspicion of theft, fraud and money laundering. 

In a large police action, consisting of 35 police officers from Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam, the police also searched 6 locations in Utrecht and Rotterdam. Tens of thousands of euros, jewelry and expensive watches were confiscated. The arrested suspects are 3 women and one man aged between 21 and 45 years from Utrecht and Spijkenisse.

The police were alerted to this case after a report by an 87 year old woman from Amsterdam. In April she was visited by two ladies posing as healthcare workers. They told the woman that she was getting money back from healthcare and the woman let them in.

Once inside one woman led the victim away by asking her to open her taps so that she could check for mold. While the elderly lady's attention was averted, the other woman pocketed her bank card. Some time later a "bank employee" called the lady and convinced her to give up her pin. The scammers then withdrew large sums of money from her bank account.

According to the police, these suspects ran their scam in Amsterdam, but also in other cities in the country. The suspects are still in custody. The police believe that more arrests may follow.

The police warn that these so-called chat-scams - in which strangers talk their way into your home with a nice story and then proceed to steal money and other valuables - are increasingly common in the Netherlands.