So-called "false police officers" deprive those they target, elderly people in particular, of their life savings. Two recently captured alleged fraudsters are now on trial in Munich.
The trial of two alleged tricksters began at the Munich I Regional Court. They allegedly posed as false police officers and defrauded several elderly people of a fortune. They are charged with commercial and gang fraud and gang theft. The trial of other alleged members of the gang had already begun the day previously.
The crime scenes of the accused offenses are Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. In one case, the accused men allegedly made an elderly woman from Munich deposit gold coins and banknotes on a grass verge behind her house, where were then picked up. Time and again, elderly people in particular fall for the widespread scam in which fake police officers - mostly from call centres in Turkey - call and trick their victims into handing over money, jewellery and other valuables. The police warn against this type of crime repeatedly, but the scammers are nevertheless often successful.
According to the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office (LKA), this is also due to the fact that when calling with the help of manipulated numbers (so-called call ID spoofing), the local area code is often displayed in connection with the police emergency number or the central number of the LKA, or the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). Usually, the called person is then asked to hand over valuables to a colleague - supposedly either to protect them from theft or because alleged traces such as fingerprints need to be secured.
"The technique employed is developed over hours and the injured parties are put under increasing pressure," the LKA informs. "In this process, the aggrieved parties are directed to have a constant telephone connection so that the perpetrators maintain control of the situation." According to LKA data, the number of these or similar fraud crimes is on the rise. In 2018, 17,000 cases were reported, in 2019 it was already 21,000. On average, the fraudsters stole around 8,000 Euros. "However, some cases have already been reported in which the victims were defrauded of six-figure sums," said an LKA spokesperson.