Telephone scams have become a major social problem and it is mainly the elderly who are affected. Last year alone, almost 30,000 crimes were reported, which is an increase of 3.6 percent compared to the year before.
– You shouldn’t let yourself be stressed, you have all the time in the world to check if this is true, says Lotta Mauritzson at the police’s national fraud centre.
In SVT’s latest Uppdrag review, the reporter Diamant Salihu visited a Swedish league with telephone fraudsters in Marbella. He has been told the conversations and how the scams in exchange for them being allowed to remain anonymous.
– There was someone who had been victimized by phone scammers that I spoke to before I came here, who said that when she saw this she almost wanted to throw up because she saw what it looked like inside. Seeing how they behave made her feel bad, says Diamant Salihu.
He says that the two days he got to accompany the Swedish league really made him understand how it works, how manipulative they can be and how to go about it.
That’s how the scams work
Often, phone scams start with sending out a mass mailing that someone has ordered an item in your name. It is usually pensioners who get in touch and become worried. Then conversations begin where you are tricked into giving your information to the fraudsters.
Diamant Salihu believes that he did not feel that the fraudsters felt much shame or remorse for what they did.
– They are proud that they do something they think they are good at, they cheat the banks, they stay away from the police, he says.
Most justify it by saying that they need to make money and that the defrauded will receive compensation from the bank.
– That is not true. A great many who are affected are not compensated by the banks. I have received as many emails as possible saying that they have not received a penny back, says Diamant Salihu.
Police: “Hang up”
Lotta Mauritzson of the police’s national fraud center says the fraudsters are very skilled.
– They have a total lack of empathy, she says.
Last year, the police received almost 300,000 reports of telephone fraud, which is an increase of 3.6 percent from last year. The fraudsters earn 708 million each year and less than eight percent are caught.
– This crime is developing all the time. The one we saw a couple of years ago is not the same as today, says Lotta Mauritzson.
She believes that they have many reports that need to be investigated and that telephone fraud is a crime in flux.
– It can be difficult for us as an authority and all actors who have an influence on the fact that these frauds can take place, says Lotta.
Her tip for not being deceived is to hang up as soon as you suspect something and not to log in to any accounts such as Bank ID when you get a call from someone.
– It’s not in such a hurry, you shouldn’t let yourself be stressed. You have all the time in the world to check if this is true, says Lotta Mauritzson.
Phone scams on the rise: “Anyone can fall for this”
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