Already in the fall of 2021, the police provided information about the most important forms of fraud and precautionary measures when shopping online with the national campaign #ufpasse. It will do this again with various measures on the Internet and stand actions on the street from May 3. The focus will be increasingly on the latest scam, in which victims unknowingly activate a mobile payment system.
In principle, shopping on the Internet is safe, he said. Card processors and banks invest heavily to keep debit and credit card security systems up to date and stay one step ahead of fraudsters. "Unfortunately, despite many warnings and prevention measures, we find that debit and credit card users are careless with their personal information every time fraud occurs. Often, payments are confirmed without cardholders even reading what they are confirming. They simply press okay or continue," explains Captain Rolf Nägeli, head of prevention at the Zurich City Police. "Or cardholders pass on personal data or even confirmation codes without a second thought."
This is precisely where the police's "#ufpasse" campaign comes in. "Our goal is to use concrete examples to wake up card users and show that caution is also required when shopping online," Rolf Nägeli explains further.
The national campaign was first launched in the fall of 2021 and met with great interest. "We received a lot of positive feedback. Our videos in which victims of card misuse tell what happened to them were viewed very often," Nägeli said. "Within five weeks, we were able to reach around five million Swiss people with the campaign. And almost 40,000 people signed up during the campaign on the website card-security.ch informed more precisely." The aim of the police is to raise more awareness of the issue among the population and thus be able to prevent such crimes in the future.
New nasty scam with false additional payment
Towards the spring of 2022, the campaign website was card-security.ch and the campaign videos were expanded to include a current scam that has become more explosive over the past few months.
This new scam makes it clear that the fraudsters spare no effort to steal money from their unsuspecting victims. In doing so, they exploit the gullibility or carelessness of the victims. Specifically, this is a case of a young woman being asked to make an additional payment for a package she is expecting these days. Since she has actually been waiting for a delivery for a while, she quickly follows the instructions she receives and enters the confirmation code - but without reading what she has actually confirmed. The scammers have cleverly set up the whole thing so that the young woman activates a mobile payment system instead of making an additional payment. This now gives the scammers a free hand to make further purchases without her victim noticing. The rude awakening comes much later when the bill is settled.
"We have encountered this new case several times in recent months. It makes it clear how unsuspecting some card users are and how brazen the fraudsters are," says Rolf Nägeli. "Fortunately, however, many mistakes can be avoided by following a few precautionary measures."