Time and again, scammers try to rip people off over the phone. They want to scam data or persuade people to make bank transfers. Now there’s a new scam that even the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is warning about.
The phone rings and an employee of the European police authority Europol answers. Anyone who experiences something like this should be careful. Because instead of the police, it’s fraudsters behind the calls who are after personal data and money.
This is what Europol’s telephone scam is all about
The scammers, who pretend to be Europol employees, inform people on the phone about an alleged identity theft. Data has been stolen from the victims and is now being used to commit crimes, they warn. In the course of the conversation, the scammers therefore ask for data themselves in order to match them. In addition, they sometimes try to entice those called to transfer various amounts of money.
An atechbook editor was also recently called by an alleged Europol employee and informed about an identity theft. The person on the other end of the line spoke English with a heavy accent. The number had even tried to call several times throughout the day. In this case, fraud was also easily identified by the fact that it was a cell phone number: +49 176 23816914.
However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, with the help of a technical process, scammers even manage to display Europol’s real phone number on the phone when making calls. This makes them look deceptively genuine. This makes telephone fraud particularly dangerous and further intimidates those called.
How can you protect yourself?
In general, callers should never disclose personal data on the phone unless they know the caller personally and precisely. The BKA also points out that the police – regardless of which department or authority is involved – never ask for money transfers on the phone or ask about financial circumstances. Nor does it send over people to whom you are supposed to hand over a sum of money in person.
If you receive such a call or a similar one, it is therefore best to hang up immediately. Under no circumstances allow yourself to be drawn into a conversation. It is also best to file a criminal complaint with the local police station.