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Banknotes: Account statements and telephone support from supposed bank advisors as part of the new fraud scam

Photo: Monika Skolimowska / dpa

The police are warning of a new investment scam on the Internet: It involves fraudulent web portals for fixed-term deposits, which are difficult to distinguish from legitimate offers at first glance, explained the police in Ravensburg. They would promise “fantastically” high returns for a short term. The customer invests his savings for a specific period of time. But at the end of the investment period, the money is gone. An investor from the Lake Constance district lost 700,000 euros in this way.

The IBAN trick

In order to appear serious, the fraudsters would also use the so-called IBAN trick. "The victims transfer their savings to their own name with a foreign account details and thus believe that they have an extra account abroad," explained the police. However, the money often ends up directly with the fraudsters. Because only the IBAN counts for the recipient banks and they do not have to compare it with the name, neither the bank nor the victim noticed anything about the fraud.

The names of the fraudulent investment companies would also lead investors to believe that they are investing their money in Switzerland. "This exudes a sense of security that the victims misjudge and allow themselves to be blinded by the high return." Part of the scam also included "somewhat attractive" account statements and telephone support from supposed bank advisors, it said.

The Friedrichshafen Criminal Police Directorate has already reported several investigations involving this form of fraud to the public prosecutor's office. The detectives advise investors to be suspicious of offers that sound particularly tempting. »Invest your money only in reputable banks and credit institutions.«