The scam is not new and always follows the same pattern: an unknown caller pretends to be a police officer and makes the victim believe that his or her daughter or son caused a traffic accident – usually with one fatality. In order to avoid the arrest of the relative, the alleged police officers demand a high bail from the parents. A couple from Carinthia saw through the scam, played along for a while – and was able to hand over a 22-year-old scammer to the police.
It was last Thursday afternoon when the couple from Ebenthal in the Klagenfurt-Land district rang the phone. An alleged police officer called and demanded a deposit of several tens of thousands of euros from the seniors in the form of gold, jewelery and other valuables. These would be picked up by a colleague, it was said. If the amount is not paid, the daughter would have to go to jail, the caller tried to convince the Carinthians.
They acted as if they were being taken in by the trick and arranged a pick-up time with the “police officer”. The 22-year-old Pole appeared as a supposed civil servant. What he didn’t know, however, was that the couple had in the meantime called the right police, who were already waiting for the scammer and arrested him. The Pole was taken to the prison. The investigation into accomplices was still ongoing on Friday.
Gerald Sakoparnig, Head of the Fraud Department at the State Criminal Police Office, emphasizes the importance of such cooperation between the population and the police. “This makes it possible to catch these scammers in the first place.” Nevertheless, he warns against showing courage by hook or by crook. There should never be any danger to persons or financial loss. In this case, the call should be ended immediately.
But if the situation allows it, if another family member calls the police at the same time, advises Sakoparnig.