The police in Vienna have said that three fraudsters, who posed as officers persuaded pensioners in the area to hand over their savings worth 2.5 million euros (or 2.8 million dollars).
The police department in Austria’s capital made this known on Wednesday.
Criminals across Europe had been using this ruse for several months, but the three men – two from Serbia and the other Turkish – have been detained.
They seemed to have worked independently of suspects in other countries, a police spokesman told dpa.
Since November, the three men had called elderly people on the phone, pretending to be criminal police investigators, who were working on burglary cases, according to Vienna’s real law enforcers.
To add credibility, they used manipulated telephone connections that mimicked Austria’s police emergency number 133.
While one of the suspects told their victims that their savings would be safer in the hands of police, an accomplice would have arrived at the door with a fake police badge to take over the money.
Out of hundreds of fraud attempts, they were successful in at least 38 cases, police said.