Beware of Pension Scams: How to Protect Yourself from Phone Call Fraud

2023-12-06 17:40:00

A couple of pensioners from Nandrin had 740 euros stolen following a phone call that seemed larger than life, emanating (supposedly) from the FPS Pensions. Another pensioner (from Wanze), also approached, avoided the trap. Never communicate the numbers that appear on your card reader. – F. DE H. By Françoise De Halleux Journalist in the General Editorial Staff Published on 08/14/2023 at 06:55

We think that scams only happen to other people. We believe we are sufficiently informed and vigilant to avoid falling into the slightest trap and yet… When the script is well written and the actors are good, when the story seems so true, we can still be trapped.

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Yves, a pensioner from Nandrin, tells us about his mishap that occurred last week. “On Wednesday around 3 p.m., we received a call on our landline,” he says. “My wife, who was alone at the time, answered the phone and a lady introduced herself as a Pensions official. She explained to him that the Pensions had to pay him unpaid allowances, linked to Covid. She was talking about €50 per month per person, which in total and given the number of months that had passed, corresponded to a total of €800 for the two of us.”

“She already had all of my wife’s data”

The sum is attractive but what gives the Nandrinoise confidence is what happens next. “The lady on the phone explained to him that she already had all of my wife’s data. She listed her name, first name, date of birth, account number, card number… She added: as you are with ING, I will pass you Ms. Becker who will make the payment directly with you.”

Read also Natalie and Charlie, from Nivelles, scammed for six years by telephone insurance taken out at Fnac: “It’s a perverse system”

Another lady (the so-called Mrs Becker) takes over and asks the pensioner to simply bring her ING card reader, insert her bank card and enter her PIN code “in complete discretion” . This security precaution undoubtedly gives the pensioner even more confidence… Her interlocutor asks her what numbers appear on the reader screen to finalize the operation. And that’s when our victim falls into the trap: she dictates the numbers allowing him to sign the payment.

Without revealing his PIN code

Except that at the other end of the phone, Madame Becker does not pay the promised €800 from the SPF Pension, but… empties the Nandrinoise’s account, in two payments (450 and 290 euros). “Ms. Becker told my wife not to go and check her account too quickly, otherwise it might be buggy… She also told her that she was going to receive a confirmation email for the tax return. In the meantime, I returned home and when my wife told me the story, I found it strange. I went to the account, it had been emptied! I called Stop Card. The next day, the ING fraud department had already spotted the suspicious transaction: they have the address of those who made the transaction, and it corresponds to a store in Amsterdam. ING will try to recover the money…”

Read also Eugénie, 96 years old, lost all her money: “I was told that I was €500 unpaid”, she ultimately found herself with almost €200,000 less…

Yves bites his fingers. “We know that there are scams, phishing, etc. As we often shop online, we also know that our banking and other data are undoubtedly shared. But here, the scenario was well put together. Where this should have alerted us is that everything had to go very quickly… Fortunately, we use this account very little and we had just made several payments the previous days. It could have been worse…”

“A call center behind all this? »

Two days later, it was Lorète, a 69-year-old from Wanz, who received a call from Pensions. “A lady showed up and told me that I was entitled to a Covid bonus and that she needed my account number. I found this suspicious and hung up. I had the impression that she was calling from a call center, there was an incredible noise behind. It really looks like there’s a big organization behind all this. Do telephone operators even know what they are working for?

#Marcel #81yearold #Belgian #cremated #Germany.. #family #didnt #dead

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