Agents of the Social Security Research Section of the Central Unit of Economic and Fiscal Crime (UDEF) of the National Police, in collaboration with the Secretary of State for Social Security, have uncovered this fraud of almost six million euros through the improper collection of pensions of deceased persons. The agents have arrested nine of the 46 people identified in 10 autonomous communities as alleged perpetrators of a total of 53 crimes of falsification of documents, fraud and misappropriation.
"To get the money hid the death of the pensioner to the Administration to falsify the certificate of faith of life and state and even the deceased's own signature, in order to make cash withdrawals," the police said in a statement. The investigation began after receiving several complaints, in different parts of the country, which reported possible fraud to the General Treasury of Social Security. "With the first inquiries it was found out that they were relatives or friends of deceased pensioners who continued to illegally collect their pensions," the authorities explain.
Cases in 17 provinces
Advanced the investigation, the agents, according to the police account, located similar cases in 17 Spanish provinces -Acoruña, Albacete, Alicante, Barcelona, Burgos, Cádiz, Las Palmas, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia, Ourense, Pontevedra, Santa Cruz de Tenerife , Seville, Tarragona, Valladolid and Vizcaya- and quantified almost six million euros as a quantity defrauded to Social Security. In addition, 46 people have been identified as responsible for a total of 53 crimes of Social Security fraud, forgery, fraud and misappropriation.
"Among the most common reasons people who received the benefits unduly paid to commit the fraud were ignorance of their payment (even though they made use of that money), economic necessities for their personal or family subsistence, or the belief that, once the bank had solved the fraud of the last four years, you could enjoy the money accumulated in previous years, "he explains.
Roommates or family members in disguise
The police have some very famous cases in their statement today. For example, explains that in the province of Albacete was found that an employee of a bank, where the account of the deceased was located, would have illegally charged almost 10,000 euros. To seize the loot he took advantage of his position, making cash withdrawals for his own benefit since the death of the pensioner in 2003 until 2017.
Another significant case occurred after a complaint made in the province of Madrid about a pensioner of Ukrainian origin who died in 2010, to which the amount of 91,926.50 euros was improperly paid for approximately six years. Once the agents analyzed the bank movements, 209 purchases were observed, paid through a digital financial institution, after the pensioner's death. It was concluded that the pensioner's bank card had been stolen by a compatriot roommate, who in turn shared the card number with several friends of his.
Disguised as an elder to go to the bank
In the province of Malaga, the collection of more than 129,200 euros was investigated for undue benefits of a pensioner who died in 1999, and which were paid up to the year 2017. Thanks to the analysis of the banking information, several transfers were observed after the death. identify several relatives of the same as responsible for these events.
Those investigated as trick to continue charging the illicit pension, took advantage of the resemblance of one of them, who had physical characteristics similar to the pensioner, to pass himself off as the deceased. In addition, for the extraction of benefits, it was characterized by wearing older person's clothes and carrying as a complement a walker that helped him to pass by the nonagenarian pensioner.
Computing, a more effective weapon
The Police assure that the development of technological applications has been key to improve the controls. At present the different organisms of the Secretariat of State of the Social Security count on new technologies that allow the telematic interconnection between administrations. In such a way that they periodically carry out controls on the faith of life of the beneficiaries of periodic benefits. "These advances mean that many of the verifications are carried out in real time, which makes it more and more difficult for fraudsters to obtain undue payment of benefits".
Two years ago, the Court of Accounts said it had detected that almost 30,000 people listed as deceased they continued to receive a pension in 2014 for a total amount of 25 million per month. This is about 300 million euros per year. In a inspection report corresponding to 2014, the body found a series of "gaps and deficiencies" in the control exercised by Social Security over the deaths of pensioners and, consequently, recommended improvements to prevent benefits being paid to people already dead. LSocial Security considered that the results that the Court had obtained regarding the control of the deceased were not reliable, and that in their opinion they did not correspond to the reality.