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Spanish police arrested 76 people nationwide on Sunday in what is being touted as the country's biggest ever investigation into internet fraud.

Investigators reckon some of the suspects made more than €3m through auction fraud. They would apparently offer expensive goods such as plasma TVs and cars for sale online, scarpering once the deals were made without handing over the goods, according to local reports. Others allegedly used stolen banking credentials to transfer money into their accounts, possibly as a part of a wider phishing scam.

More than half of those arrested and detained are Spaniards. Five Ukrainians, four Romanians, two Russians, two Moroccans and five people from Guniea were also hauled in for questioning in the same investigation, AFP adds.

Spanish police are urging consumers to be careful when buying goods online. They have complained that a lack of resources and weak judicial penalties against convicted fraudsters is hampering police efforts to stamp out the problem. ®

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