Shortly before the start of the new year, many students are still looking for housing or have just moved in. This is exactly the time when many scammers are on the housing market.
Especially at the moment, one particular scam is being pulled off: Someone pretends to be a representative of a well-known electricity, gas or Internet provider and asks for access to the apartment at the door, e.g. to check the pipes. Recently, people have been particularly reported pretending to be representatives of Stawag. The aim is to steal valuables or to scout out the apartment for a possible later burglary. Especially young people and people with foreign-sounding names are targeted.
How do you recognize a scammer?
Normally, an electricity, gas or Internet provider announces when technicians or representatives have to come to the apartment. If someone comes to your door, you should always ask for identification, because people sent by a provider can always identify themselves. In addition, you can call your provider yourself and make sure that this person was actually sent by the provider. The number of Stawag for this is: 181-1222.
If the person at your front door does not have identification, do not let them in and tell them that you will not do so until your provider announces the visit and the person has identification. In addition, no money will be asked at the front door. If your electricity, gas or Internet provider has an open bill with you, it will be settled by mail and no cash will be given to anyone.
What do I do if I am a victim of fraud?
First of all, contact the police and report it. You can also notify the company from which the scammers allegedly came so that they can take security measures. Finally, we encourage you to talk about it and not to remain silent out of shame. In this way, you may be able to prevent your friends from falling into the same trap.