Credit card scammers target Malmö drivers

Dozens of drivers who refueled at petrol stations in southern Sweden have been caught up in a credit card scam, with more than 40 reports pouring in on Thursday alone.

Police first received word about a new type of ‘skimming’ operation on Tuesday. Drivers who filled up at an unmanned Shell station in Malmö soon discovered huge sums suddenly being withdrawn from their bank accounts.

Several of the withdrawals appeared to originate from New York.

“I’ve had about 45 reports already and I know there are more on the way, Stefan Olsson from the Malmö police’s fraud unit told the TT news agency on Wednesday.

Police suspicions that more gas stations had been targeted were confirmed on Thursday after they were bombarded with dozens of additional reports.

All told, police in Malmö have received between 70 and 80 complaints which they believe are connected to the credit card skimming scam, the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) reports.

“This is the first time in Malmö that cards have been skimmed at petrol stations,” Olsson told SvD.

It remains unclear just how much money has been stolen from the accounts of unsuspecting motorists.

According to Olsson, amounts have ranged from 2,000 to 12,000 kronor.

So far police have no suspects and haven’t been able to determine how the skimming operation has been carried out.

“Normally you have to attach a piece of equipment that reads the magnetic strip. But now it’s in principle sufficient to take a picture of the card in order to use it,” Olsson told the newspaper.

He advised individuals to be vigilant when taking money out of cash machines or paying for items with a credit or debit card.

“Look closely to make sure the machine doesn’t look odd, that there isn’t something that deviates from the norm,” said Olsson, who added that there is little likelihood of the perpetrators being caught.

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Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents

German police have set up a special team to fight a growing number of forged vaccine certificates being sold in the black market

Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents
People who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Police in Cologne have warned of a group of fraudsters selling fake vaccination certificates, a growing problem the scale of which is still unclear.

The police said the fraudsters worked in encrypted Telegram chats, making investigations difficult, and were selling fake documents with all the stamps and signatures, including a mark about vaccination with BioNTech or AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Germany probes Covid-19 testing centres for fraud

The fraud involved both real traffic in fake documents as well as scams luring customers into paying €100.

People in Germany who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Those who don’t have a booklet get a piece of paper.

Covid health passes are currently being rolled out across the EU, with a European health passport expected to be available from mid-June.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

Over 44% of the adult population in Germany has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 18% of Germans have been fully vaccinated.

German police have said forged coronavirus vaccine documents are becoming an increasing problem.

Last month, a couple in Baden-Württemberg was accused of selling fake coronavirus vaccination certificates.