East Hesse police warns – tricksters active in messenger services

Osthessen (oz/as) – Tricksters are currently using messenger services to pretend to be close relatives or relatives to East Hessian citizens – with the aim of robbing them of their savings. After two independent cases in the Fulda and Vogelsberg districts, the East Hesse police are warning citizens of the procedures and giving tips on how to behave correctly.

“Mom? Is that you?” With these or similar formulations, the perpetrators report to the scam on the phone. They pretend to be relatives, good friends or close family members who are in an emergency situation and ask for cash. Expensive purchases (car, kitchen) or emergencies (car accidents) are given as reasons for the financial bottleneck. The situation is always presented as extremely urgent.

Increased use of messenger services

Also in the new year, the swindlers in the eastern Hessian districts increasingly use the messenger service WhatsApp to get the savings of citizens. The scammers write their future victims a short WhatsApp message in which they pretend to be close relatives or acquaintances whose old cell phone broke. Sometimes, however, the later victims initially received an SMS in which they were asked to contact the alleged relative on WhatsApp. In the reports, the swindlers claim that the phone number displayed and previously unknown to the victims is the new availability of the relative. Due to the defective mobile phone, the relative can no longer access his online banking, but has to make an urgent appointment transfer. He therefore asks for temporary financial support in that the potential victims should make this transfer to an unknown recipient – often abroad. Careful, this is a trap.

With this scam, fraudsters were successful on Tuesday with two elderly people in the districts of Fulda and Vogelsbergkreis. In both cases, they pretended to be the daughters of their later victims via WhatsApp and stole an amount in the upper three-digit to lower four-digit range.

The police therefore urgently warn:

– Never hand over or transfer money or valuables to persons or accounts unknown to you! Be particularly skeptical if you are supposed to make an immediate transfer.

– Be suspicious if someone on the phone or via messenger services does not introduce themselves by name or pretends to be an acquaintance/relative, bank employee or police officer or person from the judiciary whom you do not recognize as such!

– Do not automatically save supposedly “new” phone numbers from contacts. First try to contact the people on the “old” phone numbers you know!

– Just hang up the phone and cut social media contacts as soon as your interlocutor asks you for money!

– Call your relatives on the number you know or the police on 110!

Scam is multifaceted. The perpetrators adapt their approach to the fears of the potential victims, thereby affecting their highly personal area of ​​life. Consequences such as withdrawal from society and a sense of shame provide con artists with a platform. Speak openly about what happened, anyone can become a victim. Well-informed people are not so easily unsettled and can correctly assess the corresponding situations. Do not be afraid to inform the police if you suspect fraud. Those interested can find information on the scam on the website www.senioren-sind-auf-zack.de

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