Scams such as the long-known grandchild trick or callers pretending to be police officers caused millions in damage in Lower Saxony in the first half of 2022. With the police scam alone, the fraudsters were able to steal more than two million euros – and the number of cases in this regard is increasing: In the entire previous year, the damage caused by this fraudulent trick amounted to 2.9 million euros.
Current case figures
Fraud attempts with alleged police calls were reported to the LKA Lower Saxony in the mid four-digit range. However, the perpetrators only managed to commit fraud in the upper double-digit range. Since telephone fraud is not recorded separately in the police crime statistics, no more specific case numbers could be given.
The number of ads regarding the grandchild trick is in the lower four-digit range. The perpetrators were successful in a middle double-digit range of cases and stole almost one million euros. With the still young WhatsApp scam, the criminals were able to rip off more than two million. She seems even less well-known, having been successful in the high three-digit range of cases. Although the amounts in the individual cases are comparatively low, they add up to this considerable sum.
The “social engineering” behind the scams in which alleged police officers or grandchildren call potential victims is often based on a story that a relative has caused a fatal accident and needs cash to avoid a fine. The scammers also like to talk about seriously ill relatives who are in the hospital and have to pay for expensive treatments themselves. Another fairy tale revolves around a notary appointment, where an amount has to be paid in cash immediately in order not to lose a property.
With the WhatsApp scam, the scammers claim to be relatives such as sons, daughters or grandchildren and to have lost their own mobile phone. Therefore, the phone number has changed and access to online banking is not possible. In most cases, a product has to be paid for directly, which would be more expensive if the transfer was not made immediately, and the victim should take care of that quickly – the bank details are also enclosed.
In a scam that has been new since the beginning of this year, the fraudsters pretend to be Europol or Interpol police officers. Due to a potential identity theft, the targeted victims would have to reveal personal information. In addition, the criminal callers claim in individual cases that the person called would have to pay money in order to avert criminal proceedings against them abroad.
The aim is always to put emotional and temporal pressure on the victims. This is to prevent them from being able to weigh up and think in peace and ultimately take them by surprise.
To home page