They mostly pretend to be bank employees – and relieve their victims by thousands of francs. The Lucerne police are now urging caution. Here you can find out how the perpetrators proceed and how you can protect yourself.

The Lucerne police are warning of phone fraudsters. There have already been 15 reports since the beginning of the year. According to Urs Wigger, media spokesman for the Lucerne police, you are back in a phase in which there are many attempts at fraud. (Symbol picture)

From this scam-scam-Lucerne become actual dozens of victims

The fraudsters pretend to be bank employees and try to get the victims' sensitive bank details. (Symbol picture)

 Lucerne are currently victims of this fraud in a row

Tens of thousands of francs could be stolen from just two victims. (Symbolic picture)

That's what it's all about

  • The Lucerne police have already received 15 reports of telephone fraud since the beginning of the year. According to Urs Wigger, media spokesman for the Lucerne police, you are back in a phase in which there are many attempts at fraud.

  • The fraudsters pretend to be bank employees and try to gain access to bank details. Two victims already lost tens of thousands of francs in this way.

  • The Lucerne police urge caution. Suspected cases can be reported on the emergency number 117.

They act as alleged bank employees and have been able to steal tens of thousands of francs from two victims. The Lucerne police have already received 15 reports of phone fraudsters this year. The number of unreported cases is likely to be even higher. That is why the police are now urgently warning against this scam: “It is often older people who are harmed by the fraudsters,” says Urs Wigger, media officer for the Lucerne police. In the case of telephone fraud, there are also «waves»: «There are phases with a lot of messages, then again phases in which it is quiet. In December 2021 and January 2022, we had a lot of reports, ”Wigger continued.

Offenders mostly act from abroad

The fraudsters' approach is simple and yet effective: They ask for alleged bookings and then refer the potential victim to a fictitious bank clerk. This then tries to get the actual bank details of the victim by asking questions about the alleged booking. According to the Lucerne police, the previous fraud cases involved a booking for a large screen from an electrical supplier worth several thousand francs.

Another variant is to forward the victim directly to a wrong police number in order to then pretend that the victim can file a complaint. In this way, too, the perpetrators try to obtain bank details and account balances, among other things. With different stories they would also try to convince the victims to transfer money to the fraudsters.

According to Wigger, the investigation into telephone fraud is very difficult. Because: “The perpetrators often work with wrong phone numbers or unregistered prepaid cell phones from abroad. When it comes to arrests, it is usually the so-called 'runners' who are arrested when the offense is picked up, ”said Wigger.

You can do that against it

Accordingly, the Lucerne police have now communicated advice on how you can expose the fraudsters: Basically, you should be suspicious when an alleged bank employee calls. Questions for ID or information about the exact place of work and the supervisor help to uncover fraud at an early stage. It is also important to ask for a Swiss landline number to call back.

It is best, however, to end the phone call straight away and ask the relevant bank whether the employee really exists. Under no circumstances should you provide any information about your financial circumstances, bank accounts, valuables or, above all, passwords. If you're pressured on the phone, you should hang up right away. While this may seem impolite, it is there to protect you. If you suspect phone fraud, you can dial the emergency number 117.

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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