Police rumble bank swindlers

A gang of three fraudsters managed to swindle nearly half a million euros from the bank account of an elderly woman by impersonating the victim and a relative to gain access to her personal details, according to police, who suspect that bank clerks may also have been involved.

One of the three suspects, an elderly woman, is alleged to have posed as the holder of the bank account while a second suspect impersonated her nephew, ostensibly the holder of the second account into which the cash was being transferred. No details were provided about the third suspect.

The perpetrators were caught after successfully completing a 20,000-euro transfer and subsequently requesting another transfer of 15,000 euros, raising the suspicions of bank staff. The trio are said to have netted nearly 500,000 euros over several months of practicing the scam, which police say is gaining in popularity among extortionists.

Officers also reported an increase in cases of elderly women making cash withdrawals from banks of deceased account holders by using forged identification documents.