Saturday, February 24, 2024

More and more scams, online and offline. Tell us your story

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Investigation. False acquaintances, fake police forces, street scams, mysterious door-to-door sales, fake checks and so on: scams are rampant in the Bergamo area, and in recent years, criminals are increasingly preparing to exploit even new technologies, from messages on Whatsapp To reports on social accounts, without giving up the old tricks.

Recently in L’Eco di Bergamo we covered some scam stories and techniques that are also taking hold in the Bergamo area, such as Yeses stolen from call centers to exchange electricity and gas contracts or fake cops targeting the elderly.

mirror scam

Recently, last Saturday, another mirror scam, fortunately thwarted by an elderly gentleman who did not fall into the trap: this fact allegedly took place in Via Olimpica, in the area near the Bobadilla disco. Here the 82-year-old was chased by a stranger who complained that his rear-view mirror was broken. According to the man, the damage would have amounted to 500 euros, but he explained that it could have been “settled” for 150 euros without finding the result, to avoid being overinsured. His eighty-two-year-old son sensed that something was not right, and instead of giving in to the request, he called his son. At that point, the stranger walked away, saying he had received a call from his wife. The son, who arrived at the scene of the accident, found that there were no plastic residues on the ground, a possible trace residue, while his father’s car was scratched: perhaps an attempt by the attacker to lend more credibility to his story. Meanwhile, traces of the man were lost.

data

In absolute terms, the number of reported scams throughout 2022 registered a decline, perhaps ultimately due to the restrictions imposed by Covid, a period in which the numbers rose: between 2020 and 2021, computer fraud increased by 35%, with 224 complaints in the whole of 2021. The drop has returned values ​​to pre-pandemic levels, which are still high compared to a few years ago: confirmation of criminals’ predilection for crimes committed online. However, there is no shortage of criminals who still resort to “classical” methods, as evidenced by the stories of deception against lonely or elderly people, who did not stop even during the pandemic, when – even in the Bergamo area – health checks and vaccinations became the perfect excuse to contact unsuspecting victims.

Submit your reports

Given the problematic abundance and variety of potential scams, we decided to collect the testimonials of our readers to conduct an investigation on this topic. We therefore invite all our users to respond to our social survey about scams: Have you ever been scammed? Online or offline? What kinds of scams are you most afraid of? Find the poll on our Instagram page stories, here.

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Wynne Dinwiddie
Wynne Dinwiddie
"Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst."
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