SOROCABA – A Baixada Santista lives a wave of occurrences of blows with the use of the platform Pix of instant payments. In saints, the Civil Police is investigating the case of a 78-year-old woman who has already lost more than R$30,000 after being the victim of a coup. The damage could be even greater, as invoices for purchases made by scammers using their bank details appeared. The criminals posed as employees of her agency and informed the woman of an alleged attempt to hack into her bank account. The retiree was convinced that she would need to change her password and adopt other security measures.
The elderly woman sought out the bank branch and received confirmation that, in fact, there was an attempt to access her account on July 17th. As soon as she left the bank, the supposed employee spoke to her again on her cell phone and guided her on how to proceed to re-register the Pix. The retiree discovered that she had fallen for a scam when she tried to use the card to pay for medication at a pharmacy and had no balance.
When she opened the application, she saw that a transfer of R$24,700 had been made to another account, via Pix. Criminals also used about R$6,000 of their overdraft balance. She believes that the fake banker obtained information to access other services on her account, as she has already received invoices for purchases she did not make. The retiree filed a complaint with the bank and is still awaiting the decision. The case is being investigated by the 3rd District of the Civil Police of Santos.
On the 14th, a 54-year-old woman had her cell phone stolen in Guaruja and bandits made several transfers via Pix that totaled R$ 8,800. The victim was approached by two criminals who were on a bicycle. The next day, she went to an ATM and found that the criminals carried out four operations via Pix and also made the payment of a title, totaling a deviation of R$ 8,800. The case was registered at the police station in the municipality of Guarujá.
On the last 4th, a 53-year-old woman, resident of Big beach, had a loss of R$4,000 when transferring, via Pix, the money to criminals who impersonated his son. The scammers cloned the Whatsapp of the son and asked her to transfer the money, as she had a problem with her bank application. The victim only suspected the coup and went to the police when the bandits asked for a new transfer for an even greater amount. A month earlier, another resident of the coastal city had transferred R$ 9,100 through the application to a cousin who allegedly had suffered a car accident.
In Sorocaba, a 24-year-old girl was the victim of a scam after announcing the disappearance of a pet cat on the internet. A woman got in touch, said she knew where the animal was and asked for R$100 to rescue the feline from the house where it was kept in captivity. The young woman made the transfer, but the person made contact again saying that the man would only hand him over if he received another R$100,000. She made another payment for Pix and, shortly thereafter, the person blocked the contact. The number used for the coup was from Rio de Janeiro and the Pix key was from a fake email.
The same coup was applied in several cities in the interior. In Araraquara, a 27-year-old man received a cell phone message from his sister saying he needed to make some payments and his Pix wasn’t working. He had no doubts about making four transfers that totaled R$5.8 thousand. Her WhatsApp was cloned. In Indaiatuba, a businesswoman fell for the discount credit card scam. She received an SMS message to adhere to the bill payment via Pix, with a 40% discount. The website I had been directed to to pay the bill was fake.
Among the means used by criminals is WhatsApp. Criminals send a message through the app pretending to be from companies the victim is registered with. They request the security code, which has already been sent by SMS by the application, claiming that it is an update or registration confirmation. With the code, the crooks can replicate the WhastApp account on another cell phone and send messages to the person’s contacts, impersonating them and requesting money transfer via Pix.
In another scam, the criminal chooses a victim, takes his photo on social networks and sends messages to friends and family, claiming that he had to change the number due to some problem, such as a robbery. From there, he asks for a transfer via Pix, saying he is in an emergency situation. Other scams are fake banking and fake bank telephone exchanges. Impersonating an employee of the agency, the criminal offers help for the customer to register the Pix key, or even says that the user needs to test the instant payment system to regularize the registration and induces him to make transfers.
More than a hundred criminals have been arrested, says secretariat
The Public Security Secretariat reported that, from January to July this year, 206 reports of lightning kidnappings were registered in the state of São Paulo, an increase of 39.1% compared to last year, when there were 148. , victims are taken in their own cars or in the criminals’ vehicles and forced to make transfers, via Pix, to the suspects’ accounts. The victim is only released after the money is withdrawn by the bandits. The folder does not have the criminal statistics broken down by cases of embezzlement (non-violent crime, such as the cloning of WhatsApp) applied using Pix.
According to the SSP, from January until this Wednesday, 25, security forces arrested more than 100 criminals, identified another 74 and apprehended four minors involved in the criminal modality of lightning kidnapping. The Civil Police recommends that technology users (Pix) establish a limit on their bank account. If you have been a victim, you need to gather all documentation of the transaction, such as extracts and vouchers, register a police report in any police station or at the electronic police station, and inform the bank for possible compensation, after analyzing the documents.