Pokémon: they get rich by cheating card collectors, four Apulians are in trouble.
They posed as Pokémon collector card dealers, but once they received the money they ran away without paying. A lot of 440 thousand euros was seized.
The Guardia di Finanza of Milan has discovered a scam of large proportions on eBay. The business of fake Pokemon card trading: a group of alleged scammers would have sold online collection cards for a total value of over €400,000. Too bad the buyers never received what they paid for.
All in all, a rather basic scam that tells us more than anything about the value of the collecting market in Italy and about how not even certain passions related to pop culture – especially if profitable – are immune from the negative influence of unscrupulous people.
According to the investigators, the scam would have been implemented by a man originally from Taranto who had created several accounts on the platform, then using them to create a large number of advertisements. All concerning collectible cards extremely coveted by enthusiasts and, therefore, of rather high economic value. Some cards have been sold for several hundred euros.
As we said, the scam wasn’t particularly sophisticated: once the money was collected, the scammers simply didn’t send anything, closing the account and moving on to the next victim to be fleeced.
Fraudsters in the plural, because the main protagonist of this story, a man residing in the province of Taranto , had involved a group of friends who helped him hide and launder the proceeds deriving from the fake sale of Pokemon cards.
The Guardia di Finanza has identified the four perpetrators, all residing in the province of Taranto and now registered in the register of suspects. The investigating judge ordered the seizure for an amount equivalent to 439 thousand euros.
The scam went on for years, until the owners of the platform realized something was wrong and filed a complaint. This case demonstrates how micro-fraud, if implemented systematically and on a large scale, can lead to huge profits for the scammers and serious harm for the victims.