Latvian police warn about scammers active on the pet market

Lately Latvian State Police have received multiple reports from residents about scammers. Most residents reported scammers attempting to acquire their payment card data – mostly unsuccessfully. In some cases, however, scammers succeeded, police report.
A resident of Liepaja, for example, reported that a woman, claiming she is from Estonia, responded to the advert he posted about selling puppies. They communicated in Russian language over Whatsapp mobile app. She told him she wants to buy the puppies but her account is with another bank, and that this would make money transfer impossible somehow.
The woman asked him to send her information related to his payment card, including the CVC verification code printed on the back of the card, which he did.
The woman then convinced him to tell her his banking data, which he did as well. Shortly after he received a notification from Smart-ID to approve a payment. As a result, he lost EUR 400 from his account.
The story turned out similar in another case – a supposedly Estonian scammer contacted some other man selling puppies. Again Whatsapp was used and correspondence was done in Russian language. The man was sent a fake website address. This website was almost identical to the website of DPD Latvia. The man put in his payment card information to pay for the service and delivery. This provided scammers access to his finances and EUR 600 was stolen from the man’s account.
An elderly woman received a call from scammers. The people spoke Russian language and claimed to be bank employees. They told the woman that someone tried to withdraw EUR 140 from her account. Thankfully, they told her, they can prevent the withdrawal if she told them her payment card information. As a result, the elderly woman lost EUR 650.
A resident of Ventspils reported to the police that money was taken from his account and a loan was registered on his name. The victim outlined in his request to the police that some man contacted him. The man told him that he is a bank employee and that money was taken from the victim’s account, stressing that immediate action is needed. The scammer acquired all bank data and the victim received a request from Smart-ID to approve an action, which he did. Shortly after he received another call. The scammer told him of some other problems and that another action needed to be approved in Smart-ID.
A loan of EUR 800 was registered on the victim’s name and EUR 1 150 was stolen from his account.
If residents fall victims to scammers and lose money from their bank account, they should immediately contact their bank and then report everything to State police. Because such scams are generally international and scammers seem to prefer to speak in Russian language, Latvian residents are asked to inform their family and friends who speak Russian to be careful. This is especially true for elderly people!
To avoid becoming a victim of a scam, State Police urge residents to not disclose personal data, electronic payment tool data and other personal information to third parties.