Fake calls pretending to be from the police are on the rise. In the last few weeks people in Germany have been receiving fake calls from Europol or Interpol! Watch out. It’s a scam!
Fake calls from Interpol or Europol:
“This call is from Europol. We would like to inform you that your identity number is in misuse. For more information, please press 1.“
For several weeks there have been an increasing number of calls from Europol and other police authorities. According to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), these are not real calls from the investigative authorities, but a scam. Find out what to look out for when receiving such calls and what to do if the worst comes to the worst.
Scammers want money and personal information
The person called is prompted by computer voice to dial “1” on the phone. If this happens, you will be forwarded to a person who often asks in English for personal data and financial circumstances. Failure to do so will result in the call being terminated immediately. Attempts to persuade callers to transfer money immediately or hand it over in person are also increasing.
How does the scam work?
► The scammers randomly call numbers that they suspect they acquired illegally on the Internet. Real-looking mobile phone numbers or even the numbers of an authority appear on the display of the caller. The perpetrators use special software to falsify their identities.
► Anyone who accepts the call first gets a taped announcement in English. This gives the impression that you are involved in a scam or a crime. You are then asked to be put through to an employee of the supposed authority by pressing a dialing key (usually 1).
► This in turn tries to persuade the person called to hand over personal data or to transfer money, also in English. If you hang up or reject the call, the scammers will try again with a different number sometime later.
Cleverly exploited fears
Your identity has been stolen and someone else is using it for serious crimes such as money laundering: the fraudsters have cleverly adapted the scenario for their call scam to current news
Thousands in Germany complain about fake calls from Interpol or Europol
According to the BKA, the fraudsters use a special procedure for the calls that displays actual police numbers or a cell phone number that is similar to your own. According to the Federal Network Agency, the authority has received more than 7,000 complaints from consumers since the end of February. In general, the Federal Criminal Police Office gives the tip that police authorities would never ask for a transfer of money.
This is how you recognize fake calls from Interpol or Europol
The call starts with a computer voice. It says that your ID or other documents were used by you. Then you should press the key “1”. This will direct you to an alleged Europol employee. He will then speak to you in English. According to reports, scammers often have an Indian accent.
What to do in case you receive these calls
The BKA gives these tips:
- If a robotic voice claims that Europol is calling, you should simply hang up immediately, the BKA recommends.
- Do not give out personal or financial details over the phone.
- Don’t follow callers’ requests, don’t engage in conversation, or pressure yourself – just hang up.
- Also, never give money to strangers.
- If you receive such a call, file a criminal complaint with your local police station. Research the phone number of the police station yourself and dial the number yourself. Never use the callback button.