Marbella pensioner scammed by fake driving license seller and fined by police

Published:  27 Oct at 6 PM
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An American pensioner living in Marbella has been fined by police for using a fake international driving license purchased in good faith from a prominent expat businessman.

Andrea Barnett was fined a total of €500 by local police after she was found with a fake international driving license she’d bought from local expat businessman David Klein. She’d paid Klein €300 for the license, and had no idea it was a forgery available online from Taiwan. Local police recognised the poorly-printed documents as they’d convicted another driver for the same offence in 2013.

Furious she’d been scammed, Barnett has been attempting to get her money back from Klein without success, and has now decided to consult lawyers as to her next move, admitting she’d been somewhat naïve in the first instance. She told the Olive Press newspaper she’d seen an advert for the license in a local paper and arranged to meet up with Klein at a gas station near Benahavis. She paid him the money in cash after showing her USA license and passport.

Two weeks later, she received the license, but still had no idea she’d been conned as she’d had no previous experience with international licenses. The document was poorly printed, unprofessional and its validation refers to a non-existent Auto Club Association. Printed on the license was a statement saying the association is not affiliated with the UN or any other quasi government organisation. Police believe Klein will have purchased the document from the internet for €100.

The Olive Press had investigated the fake license scam some three years ago after a writer on motoring in Spain had his website hacked. The site responsible was warning about fake driving licenses and mysteriously redirected users to Klein’s website for a ‘Costa del Sol Action Group’. The newspaper reported a number of people had bought the fake licenses over several years, mostly through classifieds quoting Klein’s mobile number.
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