Phone scammers targeting pensioners in Zurich stole 6,7 million francs in 2022
Phone scammers targeting residents of Zurich succeeded in stealing 6,7 million Swiss francs in 2022, SRF has reported. The trick involves the scammers posing as police officers and calling victims to ask them to pay “bail” in order to release a relative from jail. Many of the victims were retired.
Phone scammers try to trick hundreds each day in Zurich
According to Swiss broadcaster SRF, phone scammers try to swindle the residents of Zurich out of their hard-earned money hundreds of times each day. The scammers often operate by posing as Swiss police and telling victims that one of their relatives has been arrested and needs to be bailed out. The scammers then ask the victims to transfer money into their bank account, leaving the victims out of pocket.
Another way that phone scammers operate across cantons is by tricking victims into believing one of their relatives has been hurt in an accident and that they now need the money to receive treatment in hospital. The financial gains from these fraud phone calls appear to have tripled in 2022, from 2,4 million Swiss francs in 2021 to a huge 6,7 million in 2022.
Swiss police say most of the perpetrators are based abroad
According to the police, most of the people behind the phone scams are not located in Switzerland. Despite this, the police say they are working hard to investigate these cases and have recently arrested a number of scammers with the help of law enforcement agencies abroad.
In October 2022, police in Turkey arrested a gang of scammers and fraudsters at the request of Swiss prosecutors. The operation saw more than 20 fraudsters arrested and a number of homes searched.