Police reveal gang grifting tourists
Çetin Aydın ISTANBULTurkish police have detained 71 alleged gang members who swindled some 10 million euros from more than 1,100 German tourists by telling them that they had won a car.
Istanbul police discovered that the gang had launched false call centers in order to grift tourists. The gang then took the phone numbers of German people who were visiting Turkey for touristic purposes, while also acquiring their own German-based phone numbers. They then called the phones of German tourists via the German phone numbers using an internet application called “voice over.”
The gang members told the tourists that they had won a luxurious car from a lottery they were entered into as part of their visit to Turkey, but had to pay 6,000 euros for the expenses and taxes of the car. The gang members then demanded more money, claiming problems with Bulgarian customs or Turkish authorities. Turkish police began an investigation after receiving complaints and detected false call center offices in Istanbul and İzmir. The police detained 71 people on the morning of Dec. 23, but the number of suspects is expected to rise.