Young people (16 and 17) became criminals thanks to TikTok videos

Young people (16 and 17) became criminals thanks to TikTok videos
Amnesty classifies TikTok as a danger to young people.

Victims paid for a music box or vouchers for an international online mail order company without ever receiving them. Styrian IT investigators discovered the two teenagers, the Styria State Police Directorate announced on Wednesday.

  • more on the subject: Consequences for users: Music dispute over TikTok escalates

The Styrian investigation goes back to August 2023. At that time, a 16-year-old Styrian reported to the police in Riegersburg. He said that he had been the victim of a scam via an online sales platform – he had paid 240 euros for a music box, which he had never received. After failing to contact the provider, he went to the police.

21 cases of fraud

The Styrian district IT investigator came across the first lead in Lower Austria on the digital marketplace and, with the support of analysts from the Styrian State Criminal Police Office, various Austrian police stations and in particular the Perchtoldsdorf police, brought together similar cases nationwide. In total, 21 similar cases of fraud were found that had already occurred in the period June and July 2023. In addition to victims in Styria, Carinthia, Lower and Upper Austria, Salzburg and Vienna, victims were also identified in Germany and Finland. Some of them were still waiting for the music box or still thought they had purchased a valid voucher.

It turned out that the two young men from the Mödling district were using different “nicknames” on the sales platform. They have already made a full confession and told the police that they became aware of the scam through a TikTok video in which a user bragged about the scam. The two young people were reported on suspicion of multiple fraud.

The damage amounts to a low four-digit euro amount. According to the police, the money has already been paid back to all known victims.

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