The National Police investigation has ended with the arrest of 94 people for engaging in blocking and reselling online appointments for public procedures.
The National Police has managed to capture and dismantle a criminal network that used bots to block appointments available for procedures in the Public Administrations of Spain. Of course, the criminal network focused on the online Immigration service. Why did they do this complex task? For money since later they dedicated themselves to selling appointments to online procedures.
Yes, you read it right. This criminal network had created an illegal network which was completely nourished by the desperation of the different citizens who needed to access these services. As the National Police itself explains, the criminal network used a series of bots with which to block previous appointments, online appointments or any type of appointment.
These appointments were almost completely blocked and for many months, being impossible to access the users who needed them. By not being able to access any appointment, what happened was that a situation of supply and demand was generated, taking advantage of citizens who needed access to the service.
The criminal network sold dates with prices that could range from 30 euros in the closest appointments in time or 200 euros when it was a distant appointment in time. This criminal network made appointments in a really professional way: they used VPNs that allowed them to hide and change their IP so that the server wouldn’t block their access.
Bots, online procedures and illegal sales: the National Police put an end to a criminal network that took advantage of desperation
The criminal network dedicated to selling appointments to online procedures took all the available appointments, eliminating any possibility of making a previous appointment. The total number of people who have been identified is 94with 69 of them being detained and 25 being investigated for the different facts.
The bot used to obtain the citations worked autonomously, allowing the people behind the organizations that were dedicated to marketing with these citations to only have to make small changes in a spreadsheet. Blocking and unblocking of online appointments was done automatically.
In the event that a user paid, what was done was to place the name of the person requesting the citation at the end of the document so that they could find the available citations and access them automatically. He fraud it involves a huge number of people and all of this makes us reflect on how appointments work and how they are obtained.