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Fraudsters are frequently claiming to be financial advisers and are approaching older people to tell them that they should withdraw their savings from the bank and transfer it to them. The funds are intended to be parked temporarily in a “secure cover pool account” until such a time that it is known how the market will develop after the Corona virus. Claims are made, that massive losses are about to occur. This information is a top secret tip from someone working at the FMA!

In addition, deposit guarantee no longer applies for money held in savings accounts and current accounts since 2014, but no-one knows that.

Currently falsified e-mails are frequently being sent to the employers of companies, which appear to have come from a member of the company’s management. Good fakes are often hard to detect, as the perpetrators are researching internal company details. The mails order, for apparently authorised reasons, to transfer large amounts to a foreign bank account, while circumventing the usual internal control standards. The currently prevailing challenges for employees and companies, such as remote working and working from home, are being exploited. Often the employees conducting the transaction are placed under time pressure and ordered to observe strict confidentiality, and in addition communication is to be restricted to e-mail only. Furthermore, falsified information and letters from renowned legal practices are frequently attached, including faked links and e-mail addresses, and/or references are made to instructions by supervisory authorities like the FMA.

As ever, particular caution is currently also advised regarding loan sharks or debt consolidation companies. Unfortunately trusting consumers frequently fall victims to dubious online providers. Advance payment fraud is a particularly common method of fraud in this regard. In this case a credit intermediary demands a processing fee in advance, e.g. for checking your credit rating etc. In the case of advance payment fraud, the money that is transferred is lost, and a loan is also not granted.

Currently dubious information services and investment newsletters are doing the rounds that provide “insider tips” about shares in companies that in actual fact are worthless. The companies are apparently on the verge of a market launch for a Covid-19 drug or a Covid-19 vaccine, and the share price is destined to go through the roof as a result. Beforehand financial fraudsters assume control or a high proportion of or all of the worthless shares, which are usually only listed on exotic stock exchanges for mere pennies. Then the price is boosted using fake Corona-related news, and the worthless stocks are then sold to retail investors who fall for the scam for a high price.