Already in April, many people were victims of fake calls. Now there is a new wave of scams. The callers pretend to be officials from security agencies such as Europol or Interpol and use German numbers to inspire trust.
Sometimes real telephone numbers of the authorities were misused for the so-called “spoofing” or only the last digits were changed. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), a special technical process is used for this.
With spoofing, fraudsters pretend to be reputable authorities, companies or institutions on the phone – and want to tap sensitive or personal data of the person called. According to information from the “Spiegel” in Germany, the Federal Network Agency has already received 12,470 complaints about such calls with automatic announcements – but the number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher.
In the method, now known as the “Europol scam”, a computer voice reports first with the information that the identity of the person called has been used for a crime. For further information one should dial 1. You will then be connected to a real person.
The cyber security authority warns against giving personal data to the wrong callers or complying with other requests. The supposed “Europol” callers often ask for the ID number. It can be assumed that the calls have an “abusive background”, according to the authority.
In some cases, callers are said to have threatened “serious consequences” up to and including imprisonment if the person called is not willing to cooperate. Finally, there is often a request to transfer a large sum of money to an overseas account or cryptocurrency account.
The BKA made it clear that a demand for money was never to be expected from the German authorities. The authority advised to simply hang up and report the matter to the local police authority. It is also helpful to ask for the name of the caller.