New telephone scam: ‘PayPal account was debited with 999 euros’

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Spam calls have become an everyday nuisance for many Austrians. The scammers always adapt their approach slightly to deceive their victims. A scam circulating in a similar form in Germany for several weeks apparently spreads to Austria.

‘Your Paypal account will be debited with a payment of 999 euros. Press 1 to authorise the payment and 2 to cancel it,’ says the message on the tape. It doesn’t matter what you press, and you will be forwarded to a call center in any case. A supposed PayPal employee then tries to spy on personal data.

There are no comparable calls that actually come from PayPal. A company spokeswoman told the consumer advice center in Germany that ‘PayPal does not usually call its customers—and certainly not with a request to make payments’.

Hang up immediately
It is, therefore, advisable to hang up immediately and not press any buttons. It goes without saying that you should not give out any personal data—account numbers, passwords, or similar if you are called and asked for them without being asked.

Of course, it would be best not to pick up the phone first, but a spam call is difficult to recognize as such from the number. The reason for this is that the fraudsters use caller ID spoofing. This involves disguising the caller’s number, who is usually based abroad. Instead, an Austrian number is shown on the display. The number may actually be real, but the owners are unaware of it. However, more action is to be taken against this method in Austria.

Report and block a number
Even if you don’t usually receive multiple calls from the same number, you should block and report them after a spam call. With Android and iOS, this can be done directly via the smartphone. A corresponding menu item can usually be found in the phone app. You can also report the misuse on the regulatory authority’s website, RTR. This protects others from further calls.

It is usually impossible to determine where the fraudsters got their victims’ phone numbers from. They often come from large data sets that can be found freely online and are sometimes offered for sale. The information probably comes from such a source, especially if the caller also has the victim’s name in hand. In some cases, however, numbers are also tried out ‘on the off chance.’

  • source: futurezone.at/picture: pixabay.cam
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