Phone scammers are still very active in Switzerland – mainly targeting the elderly.
The prosecutor’s office of the canton of Basel City estimates that more than a million francs were stolen in their half-canton alone.
Many calls follow a similar pattern. The subject receives a call informing them that either a close family member has been involved in an accident or they have been the victim of a potentially fraudulent payment at their bank and need to transfer their money.
The calls are given extra credibility because the phone number from which the call is coming can appear to be a legitimate bank number, even the local police station – this is known as “number spoofing”.
Cantonal prosecutors say that a bank or the police will never ask people to withdraw money or hand over valuables – for so-called “safe keeping”.