Planegg - 30-year-old Anika Bichlmeier prevented a case of fraud with attention and persistence.
Thomas Sorgalla, First Police Chief Inspector and Head of Inspection in Planegg, thanked the Munich resident for her exemplary behavior and presented her with flowers and a "police bee honey" from the service dog squadron in Munich.
Anika Bichlmeier, who works in Planegg, witnessed the fraud during a lunch break in a supermarket in Planegg. When she stood there at the cash register, she was puzzled: The older man in line in front of her put several voucher cards worth a total of 900 euros on the tape. At that moment, Bichlmeier remembered an article in which she had read about a perfidious scam: In this, scammers would call citizens via the telephone directory, pretend to be a computer company and tell people on the phone that their computer was threatened by a virus. To protect the device, the computer must be locked. That costs money - and should be transferred to the alleged computer company in voucher cards.
Anika Bichlmeier responded promptly and asked the cashier if the purchase of the 89-year-old from the Starnberg district didn't seem strange to her. The lady replied in the negative. But Bichlmeier couldn't get the incident out of his head. When she left the store, she called the local police directly. Shortly after, and at the same time the 89-year-old was leaving the supermarket, a police officer arrived. On the spot it turned out that Anika Bichlmeier had correctly assessed the situation and had been able to prevent the fraud through her active intervention.
"The fraudsters of such PC locks work like a call center, are well structured and are mostly based abroad," says Chief Inspector Sorgalla.
The perpetrators are difficult to trace and their method is "very perfidious".
According to Sorgalla, there are more and more fraudsters who announce PC lockdowns, pretend to be false police officers, collect money through shock calls or make false profit promises on the phone.
"In Munich alone, the fraud cases in 2020 were in the millions," says the head of inspection.
“Reputable companies don't ask for prepayment over the phone.
The police should be informed immediately of such calls. ”Although only one person would fall for the scam and transfer money in 100 attempts, the earnings would be enough for the perpetrators.