Monaco police are calling for citizens to be on alert for a telephone scam artist who is attempting to swindle large sums of cash by posing as a police officer or a Monegasque government employee.
So far, there has only been one actual victim, though several attempts have been made.
The offender appears to be targeting those whose phone number appears in the directory and who have a name that suggests they could be from an older generation.
The scammer uses scare tactics, such as risk of a large tax fine, to get the unsuspecting target to hand over large sums of money through a bank transfer to a foreign account.
The set-up is virtually the same in all instances. The perpetrator opens a bank account abroad in the name of the person being taken advantage of, who is expected to deposit vast sums into this unknown account. The victim is prompted on how to answer any questions posed by bank managers or advisors who may question the reasoning for such a withdrawal.
If you receive such a call, do not give any details to this person and immediately call Monaco Public Security on +377 93 15 30 15 who will direct you to the specialised services department.
If you know someone who may be an at-risk target, please pass the word to them not to give any personal details to anyone via telephone or otherwise to protect their assets and their safety.