For the past twenty months we have learned a lot about how authorities in Europe handle unsuspecting European consumers who happened to fall victim to cybercrime.
Our experience with European law enforcement agencies
On a daily basis we have learned about European prosecutors turning down criminal complaints made by boiler room fraud victims without even trying to look into the cases.
The reasons given on the rejections differ from that it is an international case and we do not work cross-border to it is no fraud as the victim deliberately transferred money to scammers.
We learned that cross-border does not necessarily mean other nations, it already means federal states in Germany: Prosecutors in Berlin turn down criminal cases for lack of traces (as it is cross-border), although Cybercrime Bamberg already opened a case regarding the same boiler room fraud and has been doing investigations for more than a year. (so sometimes you are lucky to be a citizen in Bavaria :)).
We had some quite interesting experience in the Nordic countries: After a Danish victim asked a Danish prosecutor to reopen her case as she learned that a Europol investigation is going on already for the scam she got victimized, the Danish prosecutor told the victim to contact Europol and to ask them to contact the Danish prosecutor. The same Danish prosecutor had originally turned down the criminal complaint due to lacking substance and after the Danish victim filed more documents in order to proof her case the Danish prosecutor turned down the complaint again for being cross-border referring to the documents provided being in English and not in Danish.
Our experience with European regulators
Before filing criminal complaints the victims try everything and go everywhere to find help and very often they address their bank or credit card company resp. the competent supervisory authority of the beneficiary bank.
During the past years we have been copied on hundreds of victims` emails sent to the different European supervisory authorities in charge of the banks or payment service providers the victims had transferred their life-time savings.
All of them turned down the victims request for help telling them – friendly but strictly – that they cannot help at all and the victims are supposed to refer to the relevant enforcement agencies. BAFIN´s response emails have always been especially friendly and lenghty explaining that they are feeling sorry for the victims for falling for the fraud, but actually BAFIN – for sure – is not the right address to complain and to ask for help.
Today several victims who transferred their life-time savings via Kobenhavn Andelskasse – a bank owned and operated by scammers – got a serial letter from the Danish supervisory authority telling them that they cannot help the victims as the bank has already been turned down and request the victims to pls get in contact with the scammers. To understand the full picture pls read our background story about Kobenhavn Andelskasse and learn that it took the Danish supervisory authority two years to find out the Jasper BAK and his people are not fit and proper and another two years to finally close down the bank after 1 bn EUR were laundered through this fraudulent bank and then read the answer of the Danish supervisory authority send out by a student assistent:
In our opinion the letter is a shame for the Danish supervisory authority, but it is a very good example to show how careless requests of European consumers are handled.
From now on we will publish on a weekly basis our experience about how requests and criminal complaints from European victims are handled by the European prosecutors resp. European supervisory authorities.
Evidently all of them just forget that their main purpose is to help European people in case as their salaries are paid by European people.