Karlsruhe Police Headquarters warns of those scams

Scammers are getting bolder

Every day, criminals rob their victims of their savings through bad scams. We explain the tricks they use and how those affected should react.

Bad scam: With shocking calls, scammers want to pay the elderly in particular to transfer money to them.

Photo: Carl Josef Hildenbrand / D

Laundry washing, WhatsApp hoax, carpet cleaning: Criminals are always targeting their victims’ money with new tricks. Karlsruhe Police Headquarters is also busy with perennial cases such as grandson hoax and phony police officers.

According to crime statistics, citizens reported about 900 shocking calls in 2021 alone – 45 of which succeeded. We give an overview of the most sinister scams used by scammers.

grandson trick

The classic scam exists in many forms. However, it almost always works the same way: scammers usually call the elderly and say “Guess who’s talking here”. They pretend to be grandchildren or good friends and ask for money.

As an excuse, callers present an emergency situation, such as a financial shortfall or a car repair. Recently – Trending shock calls: A relative is said to have caused an accident and needs bail to avoid going to jail. Those affected are usually pressured by repeated calls to either transfer the required amount of money or hand it over to a messenger.

fake cop

This trick is also available in different forms. Scammers often pretend to be police officers at the front door with fake IDs in order to gain access to the living space.

They stole jewelry and cash from there. By phone, they persuade unsuspecting citizens to hand over cash and valuables to the postman, because it is no longer safe at home.

WhatsApp scam

Fraud cases in which criminals contact their victims via the WhatsApp news service have been increasing in the region since January. Senders without an unknown number pretend to be relatives and ask the addressee to delete their old number.

The perpetrators usually pretend to be in an emergency situation and ask for a sum of money to be transferred.

Wrong bank employee

Scammers pretend to be bank employees over the phone and claim that there is a security issue with the victim’s online account. They put a lot of pressure on their victims and demand the disclosure of sensitive data like IBAN, card number, internet banking password and transaction numbers. The offenders then use this to transfer funds to offshore accounts.

fraud request

Anyone accepting parcels from courier mail to neighbors they don’t know should be careful. Scammers like to take advantage of this willingness to help. Under someone else’s name they order expensive branded items on the account and give an address as the delivery address under which they are not registered.

They are taking advantage of the holiday-related absence of actual residents or putting someone else’s name on an empty mailbox. Since there is no one at the receiving address, the courier delivers the parcel to the neighbor.

There, the scammers pick it up on the pretext that they have just moved or that they are keeping it for the absent. If the invoice is not paid, the costs will be borne by the replacement recipient.

wrong doctor

This is a different kind of classic traumatic phone call: a supposed doctor calls his victim and explains that a relative is in the hospital. To get the much-needed treatment, relatives now have to transfer money.

Carpet cleaning

Questionable companies advertise on flyers claiming to be professional carpet cleaners. Goods are picked up to be repaired or cleaned for exorbitant amounts. pay cash.

Typical feature: No business address or tax number can be found on application forms. Only when they are brought back do the victims realize what they allowed themselves in for.

Often the costs are higher than expected, the appropriate bill is rejected or the carpet is not clean.

Fake Microsoft employee

Supposed computer experts claim over the phone, often in broken English or German, that their victim’s computer has been infected with viruses or has been hacked and offer their help.

For this purpose, owners should install purported remote maintenance software on their PC. With this program, fraudsters can gain access to the device and can, for example, spy on passwords for online banking.

wash wash

Scammers convince their victims that they can use mysterious chemicals and blank banknotes to create fake money. Instead, they tell business partners that they are staining the money to smuggle it through customs. To “wash” you need a miracle chemical and real banknotes.

The alleged purification of banknotes is often explained to the subsequent victim. In fact, the prepared notes are usually colored with iodine. The magic powder is vitamin C, which makes iodine colorless. The victim receives the washed – but fake – bills while the perpetrators put the original bill of the injured party as a commission.

False promises of profit

Before handing out the prize, victims are asked to give something in return – for example, pay a fee or call a fee-based phone number. Scammers usually call by phone and claim that their victims have won a large amount of money, a car or other valuables in a sweepstakes.

However, the award can only be delivered after the so-called “processing fee” has been paid. The perpetrators are mainly from Turkey and primarily target older citizens.

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