The 55-year-old man who was handed to Cyprus police by Spanish authorities on Thursday over an internet scam involving the theft of almost €25,000 from a 57-year-old woman, is not cooperating and is likely a member of an organised crime ring according to authorities.

Talking to the Cyprus News Agency, CID head Lefteris Kyriacou said: “He does not answer to any questions posed by investigators,” Kyriacou said.

“Information indicates that we are dealing with an organised ring active in online platforms employing a method known as ‘romance scam’,” he added.

The suspect was arrested in Madrid pending an international and European arrest warrant issued after the victim, a Limassol resident filed a police complaint against him.

She had met the man via an online dating platform back in 2018 where he introduced himself as an Italian, deceiving her with various tricks ultimately persuading her to wire money out to four different bank accounts in Spain.

The head of Limassol CID appealed to the public to be more careful as there is an increase in online fraud.

“Yesterday we had two additional fraud complaints. Citizens must become more suspicious. Don’t trust strangers easily and especially don’t give out your personal and bank details. Online frauds have become a daily phenomenon with many citizens having fallen victims to trickery loosing large sums of money,” Kyriacou said.