Under the pretext that there has been a serious accident involving a close family member, the called victims are usually asked in German to deposit bail.
Only then could the family members in custody be released. The alleged victims are put under such pressure during the calls that they finally agree to hand over their valuables, such as jewellery or cash. The perpetrators pretend to be police officers, employees of the public prosecutor's office or close relatives. With the help of a special technique, fake telephone numbers are also displayed on the victim's phone.
The loot is then collected from the victims' homes or from a previously arranged location by alleged court employees or police officers.
In this context, we would like to underline that such a practice for posting bail is not used in Luxembourg. In addition, the Police or other offices do not ask you by telephone to hand over cash or valuables, nor do they collect them from you.
There are simple precautions to take to avoid becoming a victim of such a scam:
- Avoid letting third parties know too many personal details about you.
- Have your first name shortened in the telephone directory by your telephone provider or leave it out altogether. This will make it more difficult for the phone scammers to find you.
- Ask for their telephone number and check it.
- If necessary, try to reach your allegedly implicated family member by phone.
- Hang up if in doubt.
- Never make a decision impulsively.
- Do not give any information about your assets.
- If you receive or have received such a call, we ask you to notify the Police immediately and under no circumstances to respond to the perpetrators' demands.
- It should also be noted that Luxembourg police officers always speak Luxembourgish.
- If you have any doubts about the credibility of a person claiming to be a police officer, do not hesitate to contact a police station.
- If you have been the victim of such a scam, contact a police station immediately and file a complaint.
We also ask you to inform and educate your fellow elderly people in particular about this scam.