The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Prevention Campaign Warns Against Grandparent Scam and Shock Calls

Swiss authorities have already registered 2800 shock calls or grandparent scams for 2023. A national prevention campaign is warning against the rapidly increasing phenomenon starting Thursday. Since the beginning of the year, three times more telephone fraud attempts have been registered than in the previous year, as the Swiss Crime Prevention (SKP) and the Conference of Cantonal Justice and Police Directors (KKJPD) announced on Thursday. The damage amount in 2023 was thus eight million francs. Shock calls are currently in high demand. Unknown persons, for example, pretend to be doctors on the phone and demand an advance payment for an alleged emergency operation of a family member. Or the fraudsters pretend to be lawyers who want to get the daughter out of custody due to a debt-incurred traffic accident. Calls from false police officers have also occurred. The shocking news is always false. The aim is to put the victim in a state of stress that makes rational action difficult. SKP and KKJPD advise in these cases to end the phone call immediately and contact the allegedly affected person. Under no circumstances should money be handed over or transferred. A report to the police is also desired - even if the fraud attempt was unsuccessful. Most of the offender groups operate from abroad, which requires cooperation with foreign law enforcement authorities. The prevention campaign launched by SKP and KKJPD with the motto "Just hang up!" consists of a TV spot, posters and social media information. Since the fraudsters mainly target older people, the prevention campaign is supported by Pro Senectute.

©Keystone/SDA

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