Reporting Internet Scams & Phishing in Germany/Munich

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How do I report a case of possible identity theft via phishing scams in Germany? The events occurred within the last few weeks in Munich via email, and they are related to 3 apartment ads.

 

There's a lot of judgmental people on here, so I'm purposely leaving out all other details about the situation. ;-)  I tried looking on the police website, but my limited German skills didn't get me very far. 

 

 

Thanks!

 

 

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Are you reporting potential ID theft in which you might be the victim or an advertisement you feel is searching for potential victims?

I understand your desire to leave out details, but it's then difficult to assist without knowing more.

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19 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

Are you reporting potential ID theft in which you might be the victim or an advertisement you feel is searching for potential victims?

I understand your desire to leave out details, but it's then difficult to assist without knowing more.

Yes and yes, related to 3 ads searching for victims. 

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1 hour ago, SerratedEdge said:

The events occurred within the last few weeks in Munich via email

 

I report all of those to my email provider.

 

Has you identity been stolen for real or did you realize that you maybe shared to much personal info?

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

 

I report all of those to my email provider.

 

Has you identity been stolen for real or did you realize that you maybe shared to much personal info?

(Almost) all of the maklers ask for passport copies, personal info, and proof of income. So at least one of these scammers has that info from me. That's pretty worrisome. 

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technically there is nothing much you can do. i tried to report to the police but they said they can't do much and advised to keep the copy of emails in the event you suddenly receive suspicious bills to your address if you have divulged this kind of information too. it depends on what kind of information you have shared but to keep all your grounds covered, check with your bank to ensure no one else will have access to your account, and if you have also shared your passport details and if you are a foreigner, just alert your embassy that this incident has happened. i learned it the hard way so next time no such thing as sharing your passport details and personal info with anyone before meeting them face to face. 

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6 hours ago, SerratedEdge said:

(Almost) all of the maklers ask for passport copies, personal info, and proof of income. So at least one of these scammers has that info from me. That's pretty worrisome. 

 

Do you give these Makler the copies via email or in person? Do you know that they are legitimate Makler? NEVER send such information per email. EVER. 

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3 hours ago, msnys said:

 i learned it the hard way so next time no such thing as sharing your passport details and personal info with anyone before meeting them face to face. 

 

That's the key thing (although easy for us to say).   We need to have validated their identity before we start giving out ours.  

 

Also I know it is easy to push back on sharing details because others may judge us, but isolationism (doing things alone without talking to others) also makes us vulnerable.   Fraudsters and bad sorts know there is one set of people doing stuff alone, and there is another set people feel embarrassed and do not want to feel mocked, and often both.    Isolation, silence and false pride are three of their biggest weapons.

 

I'm an individualist but I see being open about what I am doing as one of my better shields against being messed around.  I get more advice, people look after me etc.

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20 hours ago, swimmer said:

 

 

Also I know it is easy to push back on sharing details because others may judge us, but isolationism (doing things alone without talking to others) also makes us vulnerable.   Fraudsters and bad sorts know there is one set of people doing stuff alone, and there is another set people feel embarrassed and do not want to feel mocked, and often both.    Isolation, silence and false pride are three of their biggest weapons.

 

I'm an individualist but I see being open about what I am doing as one of my better shields against being messed around.  I get more advice, people look after me etc.

Being part of a trusted community does help to avoid such occurrences. One challenge that I often have to deal with is inconsistent information so sometimes I'd rather find things out by myself, in this situation however, I would agree that I could have at least asked someone if it was a usual process to share personal information. I guess at that point when one is desperate + thinking this can never happen in this country gave in and even now I am still worried about getting cheated even if it involves face to face transactions. 

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On 6/25/2018, 10:58:57, fraufruit said:

 

Do you give these Makler the copies via email or in person? Do you know that they are legitimate Makler? NEVER send such information per email. EVER. 

 

Unfortunately, the housing market in Munich is so completely ridiculous/ competitive right now that it's necessary to give personal information very quickly/ via email in many cases.

 

When I tried to push back/ delay giving information, they would not give me appointments to see the apartments. 

 

I have a dog (who is well-behaved, quiet, and lazy), so I'm literally begging for a place to live here. I had no idea it was this bad until I moved. 

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As per that, I think there is little risk as long as you have made a real life contact with the person and established they do exist in this context.    Validate their data by looking on the web - all respectable agents have a presence.  Call them up (randomly spot check), find them (or their agency) on facebook or twitter, or the person's linked in contact etc.

 

We do understand this.  Last I did this (buying remotely), that's what I did and, in the case of a bigger name, I had to make sure it was them, not a clone.  And you know what?  That was just the start.   I had to keep doing it later - making sure payments were going to the right account, that potential suppliers were "real" suppliers etc :blink:.    These days, checking something is genuine and / or secure is sadly a normal thing we have to include in our routines.  And despite the general reputation of the profession and the hot market, the good agents will give you the time of day, at least directly (electronic is less impact).  They know what it's like.

 

So we are very much doing this to look after our interest - but perhaps others may not see this?     At one point I had a month of collosal fighting with a very senior Berlin politician (in his professional capacity)...because no way was he getting the fee he asked for until I had validated his identity and entitlement, and that it was him (not an imposter), just the same :lol:.   I threw god knows how many strops (huge huge ones) and I am still following it up with his profession because, in this era of such wide fraud, professionals should know it's no longer acceptable to turn up and ask us for stuff.   And that was a perfectly valid transaction as I thought it would probably be - but no way was I handing over anything without validating.  A lot of us are having to spend a lot of time protecting our resources (cash, identity etc).   In that case, as per what I said above, I ran it past my bank advisor who gave me input and supported me - I did not try and deal with it alone.

 

Otherwise, think long and hard about giving out your info.  We know it's tough but ultimately it is your best interest.  When it comes to looking after your interest, do what it takes.  I remind myself that a lot of people will just take my hard-earned cash or my identity and they won't care a hoot about me or my family  - how dare they steal our resources?   They can f*** right off. (At least one German politician is now fully appraised of my stance on this :wub:).

 

And, of course, it's easy for we detached sorts to say, but fraudsters play on desperation.   They certainly know people are that, at the moment.    These fraudsters are not randomly all over the online property market.  Bees to the honey.

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1 hour ago, SerratedEdge said:

When I tried to push back/ delay giving information, they would not give me appointments to see the apartments. 

 

I hear what you're saying about how tough it is. That is true.

 

You may not be getting appointments because of the dog if you have already informed them that you have one.

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On 6/27/2018, 1:10:33, fraufruit said:

 

I hear what you're saying about how tough it is. That is true.

 

You may not be getting appointments because of the dog if you have already informed them that you have one.

 

I didn't tell anyone about the dog until the end, except in the very beginning. 

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The issue of providing Passport/ID proof by email is becoming much more prevalent and is a real worry for example British Airways (and maybe other airlines)  will not complete online ticketing for flights to the UK without passport details and you have to email a copy of your passport if you want a Shuffa report. It is not helpful to say never send this info by email!:unsure:

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Sending your passport number (just a number of a travel document) is not the same as sending your passport details page (date of birth, birthplace etc) in terms of identity.  Nothing like the same.  I just had to send mine for a travel booking.  They ask you about the document (also expiry date etc).   They specifically said "no need to send a copy of your passport, you'd not want that circulating on email".  (And yes, that's an audit institution, so it should know).

 

I am unfamiliar with Schufa but I would presume that's got fairly trusted and secure process around it. Organisations dealing with your identity data properly assure you on that.   However, if we for some reason found ourself in contact with "imposter-with-an-address-that-looks-almost identical-to-the real-one@schufa...", we'd proceed with just the same caution advised here.   We are not talking about the real Schufa here, rather a fake one.

 

This is another reason fraudsters thrive - widespread false equivalence.   A genuine estate agent or Schufa person is usually perfectly OK to give your passport details to (although you might try and avoid it if possible) and so is a travel agent wanting just a passport number.  These are not the same as a fake estate agent or Schufa person, or a request for your whole passport details page from an unvalidated source.  But a large part of the populace does not treat them differently, as fraudsters know.   This is exactly why it is so messy and can be laborious in making sure it's all OK. 

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2 hours ago, swimmer said:

 

This is another reason fraudsters thrive - widespread false equivalence.   A genuine estate agent or Schufa person is usually perfectly OK to give your passport details to (although you might try and avoid it if possible) and so is a travel agent wanting just a passport number.  These are not the same as a fake estate agent or Schufa person, or a request for your whole passport details page from an unvalidated source.  But a large part of the populace does not treat them differently, as fraudsters know.   This is exactly why it is so messy and can be laborious in making sure it's all OK. 

 

Precisely but how do you know it is not a fraudster when genuine organizations are requesting the same information?  I suggest that providing documents or information to confirm your ID online is completely unnecessary . I don't have to give passport info. if I buy a train ticket from Munich to London from DB, I know the airlines have to check you have the necessary documents before you travel but what is wrong with doing that at the check in, it gets checked again anyway at passport control. And I'm sure the Schuffa could easily prove a name matches the address and send the results by post.

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5 hours ago, keith2011 said:

The issue of providing Passport/ID proof by email is becoming much more prevalent and is a real worry for example British Airways (and maybe other airlines)  will not complete online ticketing for flights to the UK without passport details and you have to email a copy of your passport if you want a Shuffa report. It is not helpful to say never send this info by email!:unsure:

 

5 hours ago, swimmer said:

Sending your passport number (just a number of a travel document) is not the same as sending your passport details page (date of birth, birthplace etc) in terms of identity.  Nothing like the same.  I just had to send mine for a travel booking.  They ask you about the document (also expiry date etc).   They specifically said "no need to send a copy of your passport, you'd not want that circulating on email".  (And yes, that's an audit institution, so it should know).

 

I only have to give my passport # and expiry for booking international flights. Never a photo of it.

 

As for Schufa and the rest, I just haven't experienced that.

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On 6/27/2018, 11:39:32, SerratedEdge said:

 

Unfortunately, the housing market in Munich is so completely ridiculous/ competitive right now that it's necessary to give personal information very quickly/ via email in many cases.

 

When I tried to push back/ delay giving information, they would not give me appointments to see the apartments. 

 

I have a dog (who is well-behaved, quiet, and lazy), so I'm literally begging for a place to live here. I had no idea it was this bad until I moved. 

 

I feel you. I get info disclosure forms that ask not only for authorization to check SCHUFA, but also for bank info and authorization to check directly with the bank if you have enough for the deposit and rent. Of course it's all voluntary. But if you don't fill it out and sign it, you don't get the apartment. Of course, if you do fill it out, you still don't get the apartment. Pretty soon they'll be asking for online banking credentials and bank card pins. Utterly exhausted and faced with imminent homelessness, I'm putting everything in storage and am going to check out one of the three camping sites inside the 99. At least I don't have a dog to worry about. Good luck and may the force be with you.

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At our local animal rescue centre there is an info board for private adverts for things like looking after someones pet during the holidays etc. There are also adverts for dog owners looking for an apartment. Maybe you could do something similar at your own local rescue centre, offer to pay or donate something beforehand.

 

You could also take a photo of you and your dog and post a” looking for a flat” advertisement in your local newspaper or pet shop windows.Property owners are interested in future tennants who have a permanent contract and a regular income, so be sure to mention these things. Google dog clubs in your vicinity, often it is a case of knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone….

 

People who have pets themselves are not so bothered about having cat or dog hairs on the sofa as people who don’t have a pet. Hope you and your wet nosed friend soon find somewhere nice to live.

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and here i am in a new place..with a complete clear transaction with signed contract and paid deposit + 1 month rent  but no keys because the previous tenant has not receive back their deposit and unable to hand over their keys to me. i am literally stuck inside my new place with no sign of my new housemate coming out of the room to explain to me about what is happening. well although there are a set of keys left at the general area but they are still not mine and i don't like the idea of having to go out and leave the keys in the post box which seems to be a common habit here...strange strange encounters :D 

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