All lies: Spoofing scams over the phone and by e-mail

A specific criminal act has become more widespread in the district of Tübingen in the past year: Spoofing (fraud). Fake police officers attempted 454 times to deceive (most often) elderly people. And exploit their fear of crime. That is 258 cases or almost 130 percent more than in 2018, according to the Reutlingen police headquarters in its current crime statistics.

The crooks claim might that there has been a break-in in the neighborhood and that the people called are on an address list. Therefore, they should hand over money and valuables to a policeman who would pick them up. On average, the victims incurred damages of 43,000 euros (2018: 17,000 euros).

This story is just as false as that of the grandchild (or other relative) who desperately needs money because of a car accident. A tall tale is also the story of a high monetary gain. The perpetrators only want to get hold of personal data such as pins or passwords. They usually operate from call centers abroad. This information is also what the alleged employees of Microsoft are after. Their trick: Thanks to this information, they can block a computer and only release it again when a ransom is paid.

Hackers also want to profit by spoofing. The Internet crooks infiltrate computers and send cries for help from the hacked e-mail account to people in the address directory. For example, it says: “I have lost my bag, passport and credit card”. The recipients of these e-mails are asked to lend money to the affected person abroad. So they can use it for a hotel room and a return flight ticket. In this specific case, the amount involved was almost 1000 euros. These then end up with the fraudsters.

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Impressionen zum Leben in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie: Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL; Mostafa Elyasian, 25.04.2020

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