POLICE are probing a bogus social media account set up by an identity thief posing as the widow of ex-Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes who is begging for cash.
Grieving Noelia Lopez warned fans about the scam earlier this week after the fraudulent Instagram account was set up nearly two months after the car crash death of her husband.
Cops today confirmed they were investigating who was behind the account after mum-of-two Noelia lodged a formal complaint.
Regional government officials said the complaint had been made at a Civil Guard station in Jose’s home town of Utrera.
The fake Instagram profile was taken down overnight.
It features several pictures of the footballer with Noelia and their daughters Noelia and Triana thought to have been copied from photos posted by the widow on her official social media.
Reyes, 35, died after his Mercedes Brabus S550V went off the A-376 on June 1 near the town of Alcala de Guadaira close to Seville, overturned and burst into flames.
Whatever my financial situation, I would never ask for help and especially in this way
The real Noelia Lopez
His cousin Jonathan Reyes, 23, also died instantly in the horror crash and another cousin was seriously injured.
The fraudulent post Noelia alerted fans to said in Spanish: “Hello, greetings to you and your family.
“I hope you are having some much needed holidays.
“I am Noelia Reyes, the wife of the ex-Arsenal and Spanish player Jose Antonio Reyes, who died two months ago, and I am raising money for me and my family, reaching out to the people who loved my husband and knew him as a good man.
“Bringing up my children alone won’t be easy for me but I will do all I can because it is God’s purpose, because God knows best.”
The real Noelia Lopez added along the allegedly fraudulent post, made by someone using the name Noelia Reyes who used the footballer’s surname even though married women in Spain keep their birth surnames.
She said: “I don’t know who could be behind this account in which they are pretending to be me.
“No-one knows the reality of the situation we are experiencing and the immense pain that comes with the loss of someone so important in a family.
“Whatever my financial situation, I would never ask for help and especially in this way.”
Well-wishers backed Noelia, with one calling the messages “detestable”.
Another added: “Sons of b***h, wanting to profit like this.”
The suspect account, set up on Wednesday, had a message at the top which was partly based on the message the footballer’s widow uses on her genuine account.
It says in Spanish alongside two heart emojis: “I hope that when we see the night sky, you up there and me down here, you will always be in my heart. I will never forget you.”
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Reyes was returning with his two passengers after a training session at Extremadura, the club he was playing for, to his home in Utrera.
He joined Arsenal in January 2004 and was part of the Invincibles side that went through the 2003-04 season unbeaten and won the Premier League.
Spanish sports paper El Mundo Deportivo reported two days after his death that he died after losing control of his Mercedes when it punctured while he was doing 147mph.
Reyes and Noelia Lopez at their 2017 wedding at Virgen de la Consolacion church, Utrera[/caption]
Thousands lined the streets of the city as the star’s casket was carried by family and friends[/caption]
Francisco Reyes is helped as he attends the funeral for his son[/caption]
A photo of Reyes with his two daughters was placed on top of his coffin with the message reading ‘I love you dad’[/caption]
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