Two people were taken into custody Tuesday morning in Amsterdam suspected of keeping a million euros in charitable donations when a legitimate foundation was the intended recipient. A 32-year-old man from Velsen and a 27-year-old woman from Diemen were arrested on suspicion of money laundering and computer-related crimes.
An investigation dating back to October 2019 led to the discovery that the money was being transferred “under false pretenses” to an account the suspects managed. The duo allegedly pretended to represent a charitable cause, and sent spoof emails with fake invoices to unsuspecting donors.
The money was directly transferred to their account where it was used to buy expensive cars and other luxury goods, police said. An unspecified high-end passenger car and luxury items were seized from one suspect.
The real charitable foundation which the duo posed as never saw any of the cash which donors believed was going to be put towards several charities.
Police advised people in the country to always be careful when receiving a notice from an organization that their contact details or bank details have changed. Verify the information before accepting the change.
“Use the telephone number that is already known to you, not the number on the invoice or stated in the e-mail,” police said.