Be particularly careful if you are listed in a telephone directory, particularly a Monaco one. People in Monaco are a prime target. And there are smooth villains out there with clever techniques at the ready once they can get you on the telephone.
Sometimes, even a first name is a giveaway of someone of advanced age who is especially vulnerable. And that is where the villains first focussed. And the crooks are, of course, after money and bank transfers.
They pretend to be a Government official, a tax inspector or even the Police. Under threat of a huge fine you are then guided through the procedure for making a bank transfer; the transfer can even be to a foreign bank such is the sophistication of the scam. Alarm bells should always sound in your head when pressured to transfer money.
The crooks are becoming bolder and not just targeting the obviously vulnerable. They appear to be randomly targeting just about anyone in the Principality’s telephone directory.
So professional and so prevalent are these scams that the Government has had to issue repeat communiques warning about the scams as they come to their attention – with advice that you contact the police and your bank immediately of any such suspicious calls.
It is reported that there have been about twenty denunciations after the recent spate of scam calls. The investigative work of the judicial police division has made it possible to identify the potential victims rapidly and warn them not to make any banking transfers.
Unfortunately it is very difficult to follow the trail of the scammers who cleverly conceal their tracks. Looking for a needle in a haystack would be easier.
So to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Be alert. Watch out there are tricksters about!