A woman from Mindelheim tells how she almost became a victim

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Victim E. Bruns (right) talks about his experiences shocked by a phone call. Psychologist Frank Lohmann (left) explains what happens to victims in such cases. © Spielberg

Mindelheim / Kempten – Criminals know exactly how to cheat their victims: during so-called shock calls, people make random calls and tell a terrible story about their family environment, which callers ultimately want to use to extort money from their victim. E. Bruns from Mindelheim also received such a call last week. Yesterday, Monday, she went out with the police to urgently warn of phone scammers.

At E. Bruns, the criminals tried to extort 25,000 euros. It almost succeeded because the criminals – apparently very credible – pretended to be police officers. On Monday, a Mindelheim woman sat in the press room of the Kempten Police Commissariat and described her traumatic experiences after a shock call to BKH Kempten psychologist Frank Lohmann, Chief Inspector Tanja Molocher and members of the press.

the number of cases is increasing

Police spokesman Dominic Geißler has previously committed criminal offenses in the area of ​​fraudulent calls in general, as the number of shock calls, grandchildren’s tricks, fake lottery prizes and false calls by key words “fake police officer” increase. drastically despite all preventive measures. The South / West Swabian police headquarters also recorded an increase in shock calls: in 2020. There were 117 calls (5 successful) and € 116,000 loot in 2022 alone. there are now 279 calls in the first half of the year (45 successful). EUR 471 463 in damages. “The increase is worrying and we are reaching the limits of our preventive work,” says Geißler.

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The police advise not to provide any personal data or information about property and assets by telephone. If there is the slightest doubt about the identity of the caller, it is always possible to find out the matter at any police station. As some callers even call 110, police officer Tanja Molocher gives advice: “The police never call 110. Distrust is not rude at the moment.

Scam Tricks

Criminals often obtain victims’ landline phone numbers from phone directories that search for older names. In the case of mobile phone numbers, scammers obtain numbers from both legal and illegal address sellers, as well as from websites, e-mails. letters or advertisements in newspapers. Search engine robots browse online ad markets and send SMS automatically. Mobile phone numbers are also assigned randomly: automatic SMS is sent, for example, to all numbers from Tel.0177-1111111 to Tel.0177-9999999.

Criminals are suspected in the background by German police at call centers in Turkey and Albania. “People are working behind the scenes from abroad, we can send one of their money envoys here and there. However, these are small fish that do not bring us closer to the real criminals, ”says a spokesman for Geyser. Nevertheless, the Kempten Police Inspectorate asks for as many details as possible, such as the presumed age, gender, nationality and display number of the caller, to be remembered in the event of shocking calls. “The more information we have, the more successful the search for criminals is,” Molocher said, adding: “All scammers use one thing: if they pretend to be fake police officers, they first make the person they call feel like they are. are police officers. ” An institution like the police is unquestionable at first, because normal citizens usually have little contact with them and are willing to cooperate. Criminals use it. “

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes

Affected describes the shock call

The same was true of Bruns of Mindelheim. An unknown number called her. The caller introduced herself to a police officer, who explained to E. Bruns that her daughter had just killed a pedestrian in a traffic accident. E. Bruns was then apparently associated with a daughter who described the case, screaming in despair and barely understandable. During a further interview, the Mindelheim woman was asked to collect a deposit of € 25,000, which she had to hand over to two police officers at the agreed meeting place. Bruns, to …

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