In mid-October, the poor woman received a call from a fraudster who introduced herself as a bank clerk, Mrs. Š. from Liberec. She informed the woman that she could see in the documents that she wanted to take out a loan of a quarter of a million, for which she was at the branch in Liberec, and before that she also applied for another loan at the branch in Teplice. In order to create more credibility, the fraudster brandished the woman’s personal information – she knew her first and last name as well as the ID number, which she said she should have provided when applying for a loan. The fake clerk added that if the victim was nowhere, it would be a criminal act.
“The damaged Mrs. Š. believed that her money could be in danger and waited to see what would happen. Within moments, a colleague of Mrs. Š. contacted her, introduced himself as an employee of the bank’s security department, Mr. Tomáš, and told the victim that it is certainly a criminal offense of misuse of security databut he knows how to get out of it and is happy to help so that she doesn’t lose money,” described police spokesman Jan Rybanský.
The trusting woman thought he wanted to help her, so she willingly cooperated with Mr. Tomáš over the phone. The man advised her to install Viber, through which they would communicate. Before long, another man called from the same number, who introduced himself as David. According to him, Tomáš has to attend to another customer with the same problem, and that is why he is calling. “David spoke perfect Czech and suggested two options to the woman. Either it freezes the accounts, but the unblocking can take seven months to seven years to sort it all out, or it will collect all the money and send it via bitcoinmat to the head office, which creates reverse accounts for the injured party for this purpose. These will then be checked by the banker with check number three, and then they will be returned to her account with interest. The woman believed the third time, and since she couldn’t be without money, she chose the second option,” said the spokesperson.
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She sent millions
Then it went from one time to another – in the following days, the woman sent almost five and a half million crowns via bitcoin machines in Prague. David assisted her over the phone, instructing her and sending her QR codes. If the Bitcoinmat’s financial limit was exceeded, he directed her to a Bitcoinmat in another part of Prague. “The case is being investigated for suspected fraud, for which there is a risk of up to eight years behind bars,” added Rybanský.
How to defend yourself in such cases? According to the police, the best thing to do is to end the suspicious call, stop communicating and check the facts directly with your bank. “Employees in banking do not communicate through mobile applications, nor do they ever request to carry out such transactions, i.e. for anyone to cancel the account and send the collected money somewhere,” the police officers warn.