Austrian police have warned the public about a new scam happening in the country, with most cases occurring in the state of Carinthia.
According to the authorities, the suspects show up at a victim’s home (usually a house) and start doing cleaning work with a high-pressure jet until the person finally agrees to the service.
The police spoke of a case concerning a 93-year-old woman in Villach who paid several hundred euros to the scammers.
Before the job is done, though, one of the workers pretends to be injured during work or does something else to distract the victim. At the same time, the other man goes unnoticed inside the house and steals jewellery and whatever he can find.
The police say that men and women have been noticed several times near Villach offering cleaning services and distributing flyers, with at least three different cars.
The authorities are asking anyone with information on the crimes to contact the Villach-Landskron police department.
Other scams in Austria
Several other scams and crimes are still happening in Austria and depend mainly on the “goodwill” of the victims.
The so-called “fake police officers” trick is still happening, with the suspects calling victims pretending to be police and finding different ways of getting money from them.
Most recently, this week, a 59-year-old woman in Graz received a call from alleged police officers who, over three hours of conversation, convinced her that there was a corrupt employee in her bank and she would have to get her valuables and leave them in front of her door.
She was told police officers would pick up the bag and keep it safe.
⚠Falsche Polizisten! Bei Anrufen, vermeintlich von Interpol, werden Opfer unter Druck gesetzt ihr Erspartes auf das Konto der Täter*innen zu transferieren. Es handelt sich um die Betrugsmasche "Polizistentrick". Näheres und Tipps ➡Presseaussendungen: https://t.co/BnVBAwAkt2 pic.twitter.com/ceFebeyxbd
— POLIZEI WIEN (@LPDWien) June 16, 2022
The scam is unfortunately quite common in Austria and many incidents have been reported to the police in recent weeks.
The authorities reiterated that they never ask you for money or valuables, that they will not ask you to transfer money to a bitcoin account (or any other account), and ask people to hang up the phone as soon as they get calls like this.
The police also ask people to notify older relatives and friends and make them aware of the scams.