Czech insurer VZP warns clients of worrying new WhatsApp scam

The head of VZP's security department says the new scam is 'sophisticated' and tells people to block suspicious senders.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 14.06.2024 10:00:00 (updated on 14.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia’s General Health Insurance Company (VZP) is cautioning its clients about a new wave of fraud attempts through the popular messaging application WhatsApp. 

Don't press the link

According to the insurance company, scammers are using random phone numbers and a profile picture that closely resembles an official VZP employee to deceive unsuspecting clients. The fraudulent messages – which include a link to a fake website impersonating VZP – offer rebates or refunds from health insurance. The scammers ask people (in Czech) to fill in their personal or bank details in an attempt to commit fraud.

Head of VZP's security department Jan Svoboda warns: "By filling in any personal data, you expose yourself to a high risk that the information will be misused to drain funds from your account," Svoboda explains. He also called the new scam “very sophisticated.” He urges clients to ignore such messages, block the sender, and contact the insurance company if they have any doubts.

An example of the scam (Photo: VZP)
An example of the scam (Photo: VZP)

In light of this recent incident, VZP is reminding its clients to be vigilant and to never share personal or banking information through unsolicited messages or calls. The insurance company also advises clients to monitor their bank accounts for any suspicious activity regularly.

Scams becoming more prevalent

This is not the first time VZP has been targeted by scammers. Last October, the company warned clients about fake SMS messages that asked for money. Unfortunately, this type of fraud is not limited to VZP alone.

Other well-known companies and authorities, such as T-Mobile and the Czech Social Security Administration, have also been victims of similar schemes in recent months.

Czechia has been victim to several scams recently – those that exclusively target foreigners have recently made Czech headlines. There has, for example, been a trend of people from outside Czechia calling foreigners in the country, pretending to be the Czech police in an attempt to defraud someone.

Another example is the rise of faux messages from scammers impersonating the Finanční úřad (Tax Office) with the false promise of a hefty tax rebate. Like the VZP WhatsApp scam attempts, the messages are usually in the form of instant messaging. 

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