Prague criminal investigators are investigating another case of fake bankers who convinced a trusting woman from Prague to deposit her money in a Bitcoinmat and lured five and a half million crowns out of her.
Police officers placed warning leaflets near Bitcoin machines.
| Photo: Police of the Czech Republic
In mid-October, the victim was contacted by a fake bank official from Liberec regarding a loan of a quarter of a million, which the woman said she wanted to take out and for which she was supposed to be at the branch in Liberec. The clerk also added that she sees another loan application in the documents, from the branch in Teplice at the end of September. She also stated the victim’s name, surname and ID number, which the victim should have provided when applying for a loan. The banker informed the woman that if she was nowhere, as she states, it would be a criminal offense and ended the call.
An almost eighty-year-old woman believed the banker that her money might be in danger and waited to see what would happen. Within moments, a colleague of the banker named Tomáš contacted her and introduced himself as an employee of the bank’s security department. He told the victim that this is definitely a criminal offense of misuse of security data, but he knows how to get out of it and is happy to help the woman.
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“The woman believed a second time and willingly cooperated with Tomáš over the phone. He advised her to install the Viber application through which they would communicate and ended the call. After a while, another man called from the same number, who introduced himself as David, and said that Tomáš had to deal with another customer with the same problem. David spoke perfect Czech and suggested two options to the woman. He will either block his accounts, but the unblocking may take seven months to seven years before everything is resolved, or he will withdraw all the money and send it via Bitcoinmat to the headquarters, which will create reverse accounts for the victim for this purpose. These will then be checked by the banker with verification number three and will then 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,” police spokesman Jan Rybanský said about the case.
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In the following days, the victim sent almost five and a half million crowns via Bitcoinmat. Mr. David continued to instruct her over the phone and send her more and more QR codes via Viber. At the moment when the financial limit for depositing into a Bitcoinmat was exceeded, he directed the woman to a Bitcoinmat in another part of Prague.
The case is currently being investigated for suspicion of fraud, for which the perpetrators can face up to eight years behind bars if they are caught and convicted.
Prevention seems to be simple, the best thing is to end the suspicious call, not communicate in any way and verify the information directly at your financial institution. Unfortunately, there will still be the damaged ones who will believe these scammers and irrevocably send all their life savings into the unknown via BITCOINMAT.
Employees in banking do not communicate through mobile applications, and they also never request to carry out such transactions, that is, for anyone to cancel the account and send the collected money somewhere.