The scams of telephone scammers: How to protect yourself from nasty tricks Procedure and victims No false shame Read the article in c’t 14/2023
It begins seemingly harmlessly with an SMS or WhatsApp message: “I have a new number” or “Customs duties are due for your shipment” along with a link. Or you get a call from an alleged police officer or customer service representative at the house bank. The scammers have long ceased to have only seniors in their crosshairs with the grandchild trick: middle-aged parents receive so-called shock calls, saying that their child has caused a fatal accident. With the phone calls, the criminals are reacting to the increased security requirements for online banking or other online access: The two-factor authentications that are common today are technically so sophisticated that it is easier to start with the human factor.
Phishing continues to be an important method for scammers to cash in quickly, for example by selling the stolen login data. Already functioning access data for online banking is worth ten to 15 euros. The data serve as a stepping stone for buyers to use in more complex and significantly more lucrative methods such as online banking fraud and money laundering.
There is also pure telephone fraud, almost offline. The best-known method is the grandchild trick, which is primarily aimed at senior citizens. To do this, the fraudsters rummage through the traditional telephone books for particularly short landline telephone numbers, because this is an indication of a particularly long-standing telephone connection, and for first names that were popular around 70 years ago. Then a well-trained call center agent calls; we were able to see the training documents. For example, the conversation starts with: “Hello grandma, do you know who is here?” By asking open-ended questions, the caller then elicits as much information from the victims as possible in order to build up a coherent set of lies.
More and more knowledge.
The digital subscription for IT and technology.
All exclusive tests, guides & background information
One subscription for all magazines: Read c’t, iX, MIT Technology Review, Mac & i, Make, c’t photography directly in your browser
No risk: first month free, then monthly from €9.95. Magazine subscribers read even cheaper! Start a FREE month Try it now for FREE & continue reading right away!
already subscribed to heise+?
Register and read Register now and read the article immediately To the start page