Through access to personal data, the fraudsters in Kurzeme stole 150,000 euros from a woman and cheated more people elsewhere in Latvia, according to LETA from the Kurzeme Regional Office of the State Police.
Criminal proceedings for fraud cases have been opened in Kurzeme. The amounts of money transferred to fraudsters are considerable, ranging from 700 euros to tens of thousands of euros. The largest cash check by a Liepaja citizen this year is € 104,000. The woman also applied to the State Police earlier this year for a transfer of 150,000 euros at the end of last year.
Explaining the fraud scheme, police said the fraudsters offered victims a phone or skype to make money by applying for and investing in the Forex market.
People are instructed to download one of the remote access applications. During the call, they are also required to log into their bank account. The fraudsters then withdraw large sums of money from their bank accounts, which are verified by the victims themselves through their internet banking details. Money transfers are made to foreign accounts of individuals and legal entities. Victims do not always see the right actions on their computer screens, but what scammers want to see is in some cases a pre-made movie.
Initially, callers pretend to be managers of various existing companies. They are mainly called from other people's phone numbers or communicate via Skype and the call is in Russian. Callers receive information about the person being called – receiving Internet bank details, payment card images, identity documents, virtual signed commitments and confirmation agreements.
The fraudsters tell the victims that the money is said to be directed to a possible specific market platform where the funds are invested in the forex market. Fraudsters state that when a person makes a profit and wants to receive it, they have to pay the money transfer commission, the interest the victim has to pay.
In these cases, people believe that they will receive the money, so they decide to transfer the amount requested. Then the caller makes even more reservations about why the money cannot be credited to Latvian accounts yet, so an additional commission has to be paid to get the money back.
The police are aware that in many situations people have borrowed from banks to transfer only the money they have requested to their callers and to repay larger sums of money, but this does not happen. Conversely, if victims refuse to transfer money, fraudsters are subject to various charges and threats.
The next step in this scheme is that after a while another company appears and announces that the broker of that particular client has lost his license but has a chance to get his money back. To do this, you need to make money transfers – commissions and interest.
Police remind citizens that they do not agree to download remote access programs or engage in suspicious transactions. Police also ask you not to divulge your personal information, provide IDs and copies, disclose your password and Internet access codes to anyone, or send such details in emails.