Unknown caller: the risk of scams is increasing

If an unknown number calls, it can have harmless reasons: a friend has changed provider, you forgot to save a new contact yourself or it is a dealer or an authority that you hadn't had in mind. But more and more often there are scams behind the calls.

Spoofing is also popular and the phone number of a local bank appears, if you like, but the truth is that there is a criminal on the other end of the line. The Federal Network Agency is currently warning against such tricks, as RP Online has picked up. Even fax machines are not spared and unexpected spam messages are often received that advertise, for example, corona quick tests and protective masks.

Alleged SMS messages from logistics companies that contain alleged tracking links but only lead to malware and phishing websites are apparently also popular. But the number of calls with fake phone numbers is also increasing. Authorities, police officers, public prosecutors or bank employees want to sit at the other end, but they are fraudsters. Ping calls are also still common: your phone rings briefly, you call back out of curiosity and suddenly pay high fees because you landed on a chargeable line.

The Federal Network Agency wants to have already switched off 700 numbers this year. Over 8,500 have been banned from accounting and collection. In addition, payment bans were imposed on around 4,000 phone numbers. From December 1, 2021, new protection mechanisms for consumers are to apply. Then the Federal Network Agency expects such reports to decrease. I myself was bothered with such scams this year: One time an alleged bank employee called the landline – although I do not have an account with the specified bank. At another time, there should be an office on the phone from a ward I've never been to. The ominous “package SMS” also came to me every day for a while.

In the meantime, things have calmed down for me – how are you doing? Of course, as always, warn your friends, especially people who are less tech-savvy.

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