Quote: ‘In Valencia, the High Court propose the Audiencia Nacional investigate, underlined by very serious damage caused to confidence and to the image of Spain’s tourism industry’.

By Andrew Atkinson

Holiday rental fraud is committed from Murcia to Madrid – with property rented out by scammers who are raking in thousands of euros annually.

“We arrived at our house in San Javier to find that people had been in residence – without our knowledge,” said a victim, who wished to remain anonymous.

Speaking to the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida Leader the victim said: “We also had items, including bedding, that went missing.”

Amid hundreds of cases the Audiencia Nacional High Court in Madrid has taken charge of an investigation into the fraudulent selling of holiday rental accommodation.

Courts in Spain have been presented with cases of a type of fraud that has now become extremely common.

The rental scams pop-up on media websites setting up cloning businesses, from that of legitimate companies, lifting photographs of properties.

Once bookings were made, and holidaymakers arrive, they were hit with the fraudulent rental scam – losing deposits, or full payments made.

Some 300 cases of rental fraud form part of the current investigation, referred to the Supreme Court, which has now decided the High Court has jurisdiction.

In Valencia, the High Court have proposed that the Audiencia Nacional should investigate, underlined by the very serious damage caused to the confidence and image of Spain’s tourism industry.

Most of the holidaymakers scammed are from European countries, along with Mallorca, Ibiza and the Canaries.

The court in Valencia established that much of the money gained fraudulently was going into bank accounts in Valencia and Madrid.