OM demands prison sentences for suspects Marktplaats fraud
In a year and a half, two suspects have defrauded almost a hundred people via Marktplaats. The men contacted their victims via the trading platform to extract their bank details and to empty their bank accounts. The men abused the trust of their victims. That is why the public prosecutor is demanding prison terms ranging from 18 months to 40 months.
That says the Public Prosecution Service (OM) in a press statement.
This is how the suspects proceeded
The case came into play when several people from Gouda filed a report in the spring of 2021, in which one and the same form of fraud repeatedly emerged. The victims had all been approached by the suspects via Marktplaats after they had placed an advertisement online. They asked them to create a PostNL shipping label.
Then they received a message containing a link that led to a fake website. According to the public prosecutor, it was indistinguishable from the real thing. Through this page, the scammers tried to steal the bank details of their victims. We also call this method phishing.
The investigation led to two suspects: a 22-year-old from Beneden-Leeuwen and a 23-year-old man from Tiel. The suspects acted shrewdly: time and again they stole names and photos from existing Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Thus, it was impossible for the victims to determine the real identities of the ‘sellers’.
OM does not believe anything about the suspect’s expression of regret
Both men were in court on Tuesday in The Hague. The man from Beneden-Leeuwen said during the interrogation that he regretted his actions, but the public prosecutor did not believe that. “Instead of confessing everything with genuine regret, he tried to downplay his role in the investigation and lie about the extent and duration of the scam,” said the officer.
The Public Prosecution Service suspects that the 22-year-old man from Beneden-Leeuwen played the leading role. He is suspected of being involved in 96 cases. The 23-year-old suspect from Tiel was not involved in all cases but did play an important role, according to the public prosecutor. In some cases, he chose the victim and made first contact. He also provided several bank accounts that could be used for the scams.
‘Long aftermath for the victims’
The Public Prosecution Service accuses the suspects of grossly abusing the trust of their victims. “In a world in which you can hardly do without internet banking, the impact of these types of crimes is enormous. People no longer know which messages they can trust, there is distrust in society,” said the officer.
During his requisition, the public prosecutor said that the consequences for the victims of this marketplace fraud are enormous. “They watched their hard-earned savings disappear before their eyes. The sleepless nights they have had and the shame they have felt. The sense of insecurity that they are so vulnerable to these kinds of suspects. Something like that can have very long aftermath for the victims.”
If it is up to the Public Prosecution Service, the 22-year-old man from Beneden-Leeuwen will receive a prison sentence of 40 months, of which ten months are suspended. The public prosecutor demands 18 months in prison against the 23-year-old man from Tiel, of which 6 months are conditional. Furthermore, in the eyes of the officer, the men must repay the damage that the banks have reimbursed their customers.
The judge will rule in two weeks.
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