Two scroungers who chopped off their own hands and tried to claim the insurance payout have been exposed as cheats - because they performed the amputations so well.
The unnamed men who are Spanish, whose cases are not linked, both thought they could pocket up to £2million if they could hoodwink insurers into believing unforeseen accidents had caused their injuries.
They are among a wave of penniless desperados in recession-ravaged Spain who are increasingly turning to more extreme measures to make ends meet.
Power fool: Incredibly, one of the men used a chainsaw to amputate his hand but told insurers it had been torn off in a car crash
Authorities said the first claimant removed his hand with an electric saw but told insurers it had been ripped off in a car accident.
He then made claims to 11 insurance companies demanding £2million in compensation.
But when medics examined his wound, it became clear that the cut was 'too clean' to have been torn in two.
José Luís Nieto, president of Gesterec, which investigates accidents, said: 'The cut was too clean between the bone for a car crash, which is never so clean.
'This man might have got someone to use a saw to cut off his hand. A surgeon would never have done it.'
The second man chopped off his arm above the elbow and claimed €600,000 from insurers, saying that he had suffered an accident with an electric saw.
Both cases come amid a steep rise in the number of false insurance claims that have been revealed since Spain plunged into recession in 2008.
The Investigation Co-operative of Insurance Companies (ICEA) said that there had been a 50 per cent increase in the past five years.
'There is no doubt that there has been a rise in false cases because people do not have any money in the crisis,' Mr Nieto said.
Even Spain's criminal gangs are getting a slice of the action, simulating car crashes and reaping the insurance money under false names. Investigators said they should have won Oscar, such was their web of deceit.