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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Man charged in new fraud scheme through Instagram


By The Star Staff


The Department of Justice and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau on Monday revealed a new fraud scheme executed through the social network Instagram, using the photo deposit mechanism, which has caused millions of dollars in losses to banking institutions on the island.


“The scheme consists of a person contacting users through said social network, by direct message, offering them from $1,000 to $1,500 in exchange for providing their bank account number and credentials of the application of the banking institution to deposit an amount of money. Once the user facilitates access, the person makes the photo deposit of a check in their account,” said Rodney Ríos Medina, director of the Justice Department’s Economic Crimes Division. “Subsequently, the owner of the account withdraws the money before the institution detects the fraud and restricts transactions.”


The alleged perpetrator in the case is Ángel J. Morales Medina, who was charged with aggravated illegal appropriation, fraud and possession and transfer of forged documents under Puerto Rico’s Criminal Code.


Morales Medina executed the scheme and deposited a check belonging to the commercial account of an insurance company, illegally appropriating an amount exceeding $7,600, according to an investigation by agent Abraham Lebrón Hernández of the Police Bureau’s Division of Banking Theft and Fraud Investigations, Financial and Cooperative Institutions, along with prosecutor Jahnny Rodríguez Malavé of the Economic Crimes Division.


After evaluating the evidence presented by prosecutors Yolanda Rodríguez Torres and Elimaris Rivera Martínez, San Juan Superior Court Judge Brenda Sala Rivera determined cause for arrest and imposed a bail on the accused of $30,000. Morales Medina faces a sentence of eight years in prison. The preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 30.


Police Lt. José Ayala reminded citizens that “sharing passwords to access their bank accounts, as well as any personal information, including social security and account number, increases your risk of becoming a victim of fraud.”

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