Beware of calls from Europol or in the name of the police.
The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is currently warning against fraudulent calls in the name of Europol or alleged international investigation teams. The perpetrators falsely claim that victims’ personal data or identity has been stolen s and that criminals are now using that information.
Two of our colleagues already received one of these calls. The first call was an automated greeting that said that their data had been stolen and that they should press number 1 to speak to a Europol employee. The colleagues were then connected to a real person. According to the BKA, a special technical procedure is used for the calls, which is why the recipients are shown a phone number that actually belongs to Europol or a German police station. Our colleagues, on the other hand, were called from regular cell phone numbers.
One colleague, who we’ll call “Sarah,” received the call when she was on the road and distracted on a Saturday afternoon. She thought, “Europol is calling? It must be serious!” The automated message at the beginning was credible and the woman on the phone sounded thoughtful. She even had answers for many of Sarah’s questions.
"Even more so, the way the lady spoke on the phone was believable and serious,” Sarah says. “Only after the conversation did I realize that she had asked me for my name at the beginning, which she should actually know if my identity had actually been stolen.”
In the process, the callers wanted to obtain the following personal data for alleged verification of identity:
We assume that the scammers could use the information requested to open a bank account in the victim's name, possibly at a bank where the victim is not yet a customer. The BKA also reports requests for payment by the fraudsters.
Finally, please share this post with your friends or family so that others also learn about this scam, so we can all stay protected.
The concept of digital identity is fairly new and might sound complex, but it’s pretty easy to grasp. What’s more, most of us have one and it’s a lot more valuable than you think.
Social media and other online platforms are here to stay. Have that safety conversation with your child, and gather and activate security tools like Discord’s Family Center.