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OFFBEAT

‘Fake’ grandkids defraud elderly Swedes

Two men have been apprehended by police after a long search for the fraudsters who had been duping elderly Swedes into believing they were giving money to their grandchildren.

'Fake' grandkids defraud elderly Swedes

“We’ve put down a lot of work to find out who the perpetrators were. It was an extensive investigation that led us to the men,” said Mikael Hedström of the Gävleborg police to the local Hudiksvalls Tidning newspaper.

The men, aged 44 and 46, were taken by police after a long car chase in Gävleborg, eastern Sweden, on Tuesday.

The pair had been operating a widespread con in Sweden since January, in which they contacted elderly Swedes, convinced them that they were their grandchildren, and then fleeced them of their money and valuables.

According to the paper, the men had succeeded in conning people at least 15 times and had amassed fraudulent goods up into the hundreds of thousands of kronor.

The criminals allegedly convinced the gullible grandparents that they were in need of quick money to settle a one-off problem, and that they would be paid back straight away.

However, when police started to receive very similar complaints and tip-offs from across the country, they realized they were dealing with repeat offenders, and tracked the pair down.

According to police, the men were able to avoid detection in party by laying low after carrying out their con before then moving onto another area and repeating the scam.

The men have been detained on suspicion of serious fraud, and police have begun further investigations.

“We have had preliminary interrogations with the men. Now we’ll begin working on searching their homes, doing line-ups and collecting material,” said Hedström to Hudiksvalls Tidning.

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FRAUD

‘Discount’ phone scammers steal thousands from elderly woman in Sweden

A 75-year-old woman in the Håbo municipality lost over 120,000 kronor (11,200 euros) on Friday after falling victim to a telephone scam.

'Discount' phone scammers steal thousands from elderly woman in Sweden
File photo: Anders Wiklund/ TT

The woman received a phone around lunchtime on Friday from a man who claimed he was calling from a telecommunications operator.

Following a method similar to others seen in telephone scams which target the elderly, the man is reported to have informed the woman that she had unused discounts and was required to log on to her online banking in order to activate them.

“He must have been persuasive, given that he convinced her to log on to her online bank,” Uppsala Police press spokesperson Linda Wideberg told Radio P4 Uppland, who reported the scam.

The incident is now being investigated as fraud, police said.

Other recent scams in Sweden have seen fake emails and text messages which purport to be from the Skatteverket tax authority. 

“Skatteverket will never ask for your account details via email or text message,” the tax agency said in a statement in June this year.

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