Incident time: September 2019, incident location: Milan, Styria.
Vienna (OTS) – In September 2019, a man allegedly responded to an advertisement on the Internet in which a pair of brothers (34 and 36 years old) had offered their luxury sports car for sale. It is said to have been agreed that, before it comes to the purchase of the car, as “side business”, the alleged buyers buy a luxury watch and gold coins from the brother couple.
In mid-September 2019, it is then said to have come to a meeting between the pair of brothers and two representatives of the alleged buyer in a posh hotel in Italy. There then against payment the agreed valuables are to have been handed over. It was only later that the brothers realized that the cash they had received was counterfeit, which is why they filed a complaint.
The Vienna Rip Deal Unit of the Vienna State Criminal Police Office, which was set up specifically to deal with this type of crime, then went into full swing. After months of intensive investigations, with the support of the Federal Criminal Police Office and police officers from Switzerland, it was possible to track down the two suspected fraudsters. In April 2022, one of the two suspects, a 41-year-old Italian national, was arrested in Croatia.
At the end of May 2022, the suspect was extradited to Austria, where he is now in custody. The second is still being sought.
The mode rip-deal is a form of crime, which is almost exclusively used by experienced gangs and clans of the Western Balkan region.
It is a fraudulent legal transaction in which the perpetrators usually intend to purchase luxury goods such as high-priced watches, gold coins or gold bars, but also cryptocurrencies. In return, however, counterfeit money is almost always handed over for the coveted luxury goods. Furthermore, the perpetrators usually intend to carry out the fraudulent legal transaction abroad – preferably in Italy.
Such acts also occur in the sale of real estate, boats or high-priced automobiles: The perpetrators, who usually act as intermediaries between the victim and the alleged buyer, usually claim that they want to receive a commission for the mediation to a third party. Usually in the form of cryptocurrencies or, for example, gold or gold bars. In return, and after receiving the brokerage commission, the perpetrator would then transfer the purchase amount or will again hand over counterfeit money to the victim as the purchase amount.
– Do not travel abroad/be lured abroad for the sale of your own – especially luxurious – belongings.
– Be careful and become suspicious if the potential buyer does not make any effort to negotiate the purchase price.
* Make inquiries about your business partners and ask for references of the buyers – especially when selling luxury goods.
* After a rip deal, report the matter to the police in Austria and not only abroad.
* If you are suspicious, contact the nearest police station or refrain from the pending transaction.
Vienna Provincial Police – Press Office
+43 1 31310 72133
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