17.05.2021 - Last week, the NCSC once again received a slightly higher number of reports, which can be attributed to a spate of fake sextortion. Other notable reports included a fictitious hotel looking for employees and requiring payment in advance, as well as a crude text message aimed at collecting supposed debts.
Fictitious hotel looking for employees
Last week, the National Cybersecurity Centre (NCSC) received a report about a fictitious hotel in Ticino that was looking for employees. The vacancy was published on an Italian job portal, and communication was via WhatsApp. If someone was interested in the position, the fraudsters demanded an advance payment of between EUR 300 and EUR 1,000 for a Swiss permit or for taking out health and accident insurance. They used email addresses that gave the impression that the messages were from an official Swiss authority. In this case, for example, the email address email@example.com was used. The fraud targets mainly citizens from Italy who are looking for work in Switzerland. In this case, however, a Spanish citizen was affected.
Beware of job offers that require an advance payment. If in doubt, ask the authorities directly. The State Secretariat for Migration has published a corresponding warning: https://www.sem.admin.ch/sem/en/home/sem/aktuell/betrug.html .
Crude text message tries to persuade recipients to pay up
Fraud attempts usually become more and more sophisticated. A case reported to the NCSC last week shows that even simple and illogical stories are used to try to get victims to pay. A text message claimed that outstanding debts of CHF 175 had not been paid after several reminders, and that seizure proceedings could be avoided only if the amount was transferred immediately. To make the entire text message look official and give the impression that it was sent by the Federal Administration, the text message started with the words "Federal Council". No federal unit sends reminders by text message. At the latest, the fact that a Belgian number was displayed as the sender and that the amount was to be transferred to a German account should set off alarm bells for the recipient.
Be sceptical of emails and text messages that require action on your part, especially those that ask for payment and threaten consequences if you do not comply.
Last modification 17.05.2021