According to the criminal department of the Linz City Police Command, several people in Linz have recently become victims of a new scam and have lost thousands of euros as a result. The procedure is well known: the perpetrators use SMS with links to fake online banking websites, which look confusingly similar to those of Austrian banks, to obtain the account details of their victims. The fraudulent SMS are sent exclusively via Austrian numbers from two mobile phone providers, which also appear on the cell phones of the randomly selected people, according to the officials
Under a pretext, such as a security check, those affected are asked to disclose their user number and PIN code. Once in possession of the data, the criminals now have access to the bank accounts and the credit and debit cards linked to them.
What is new is that this electronic bank data is then stored on mobile phones, which the perpetrators use to make illegal purchases in shops using the NFC function (“Near Field Communication”). Using the contactless payment function, high-priced mobile phones are often bought in consumer electronics stores with the victims’ money. The accounts are debited for as long as the overdraft limit is reached or the account is blocked.
The injured parties are then unable to explain when they report why and how their cards, which they never let out of their hands, were used to make purchases in different shops. Most of the time, it is not admitted, also out of shame, that the fraudsters have been taken in by the described modus operandi.