Time and again, scammers try to rip people off over the phone. They want to scam data or persuade people to transfer money. Now there is a new scam that even the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) warns against.
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.
The Europol scam on the phone
The scammers, who pretend to be employees of Europol, inform on the phone about an alleged identity theft. Data has been stolen from those affected, which is now being used for criminal acts, the warning goes. In the course of the conversation, the scammers therefore ask for data themselves in order to match them. In addition, they sometimes try to trick the callers into transferring various sums of money.
What makes the telephone scam particularly dangerous is not only the alleged sender Europol, which intimidates some. With the help of a technical process, the scammers have also succeeded in displaying Europol’s real phone number on the phone when they call. This makes them look deceptively genuine.
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 best to hang up immediately. Do not allow yourself to be drawn into a conversation under any circumstances. It is also best to report the call to your local police station.