Grandchildren's trick

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As a grandson of Trick or nephew trick one is deliberate action referred, in which con artists over the phone, mostly to older and / or helpless persons, as their close relatives spend to get under false pretenses to their cash or valuables. The inventor of the grandchildren's trick, Arkadiusz “Hoss” Lakatosz (* 1968), was released several times after being arrested.


The fraudulent callers do not give their own name and choose the you salutation. With a friendly intoned initial question “Guess who's speaking here?” , Potential relationships can be explored immediately. Depending on the response of the possible victims , the callers pretend to be grandchildren , nephews / nieces, even children or other fairly close relatives or good old acquaintances.

They ask the potential victim for an amount of money for their alleged plight. Difficult circumstances such as an accident , overdue bills or buying a cheap car or a cheap apartment are often given as reasons for the lack of money . Repeated calls at short intervals deprive the victim of the opportunity to think about what has happened or to consult with other people. Under emotional pressure, the victims finally consent, withdraw money from their bank and then meet with an accomplice who was sent by the supposed grandson to collect the money at the front door. Sometimes the victims are also urged to transfer money to a (foreign) account or to hand over easily transportable valuables ( jewelry , coins , etc.).

Victims are usually selected via telephone directory CDs or telephone books or their counterparts on the Internet. Here, first names are specifically sought that suggest older cohorts, e.g. B. Erna, Klara, Hedwig, Josef, Alfred. Vulnerable victims are elderly, lonely, hard of hearing, visually impaired and demented people.


The specific and new feature of the scam known today as the grandchildren trick is contact via the telephone. The procedure of impersonating a relative or old acquaintance to a victim was already widespread after the Second World War. At that time, older expellees in particular were sought out and exploited by alleged friends from their old homeland. Often the perpetrators had already provided information beforehand by inconspicuously eavesdropping on neighbors that made their appearance credible.

Other groups of perpetrators work today with similar, slightly modified pretenses over the telephone, reminiscent of the former horrific ambassadors who frightened and manipulated their victims with fictitious bad news. For example, a group operating from Turkey stolen 2.5 million euros within seven months. This variant currently particularly affects Germans from Russia and repatriates . The perpetrators mostly have knowledge of the relevant languages ​​and special customs. This acts z. For example, the news that a relative had had an accident or was arrested in their former homeland is particularly credible.

The transfer of these older forms of fraud to the telephone presupposed that telephones were widely used in private households, including older people, and that telephone numbers, names and addresses were readily available in electronic form (first on CD, later via the Internet). This enabled the perpetrators to search specifically for potential victims with old-fashioned first names and to work from a greater distance or abroad without having to obtain a phone book for the city concerned. The grandchildren's trick is said to have been registered for the first time in 1998.

Frequency and damage

In Switzerland in 2013 of 763 reported attempts at grandchildren's tricks, 74 were successful from the point of view of the fraudsters, with a total of around 4 million francs being stolen, which corresponds to an average of over 50,000 francs per case. In 2012 there were only 369 cases, of which 55 were successful.

In Germany, on the other hand, there are no central statistics on the number of grandchild-trick cases, as the crime is not reported separately at the Federal Criminal Police Office , but is recorded as fraud. The LKA Hessen recorded a total of 145 cases with damage of 254,000 euros between February 2008 and August 2009. According to the LKA Brandenburg , the number of offenses is steadily increasing every year. While there were a total of 75 grandchildren trick cases in Brandenburg in 2007, in which money was actually paid in only 14 cases, in 2009 there were already 187 cases in which the money was actually handed over 31 times.

The cases are falling in Upper Austria. In 2015, there were 19 attempts up to October 6th, and the perpetrators made large prey twice, in one case € 500,000 from a 70-year-old to an allegedly old friend from Germany. The police locate the hierarchically organized perpetrators who work in a division of labor and who always act in groups, almost exclusively in Poland. A boar masters the victim's language perfectly, groups of exchangeable collectors are organized by middle management, couriers quickly bring the money to the client , according to the police analysis.

In Austria, the damage sums are falling slightly - from 2011 it was € 3 million, to 2013–2015 € 1.3–1.5 million annually.

Arrests and convictions

End of May 2014, 49 people were arrested in a large-scale and cross-border police operation, including in Warsaw also Arkadiusz Lakatosz , "godfather" of a Polish Roma - clan , which is considered the inventor of the grandson tricks. In addition, 13 masterminds and 35 henchmen, mostly those collecting the money, were arrested in Germany and Poland. According to the Hamburg police , calls were made mainly from Poland , and the victims are mainly in Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In addition to large amounts of cash, paintings and vases were also seized in Poland.

In February 2016, the police reported about an 82-year-old Viennese woman who enabled the police to arrest a 40-year-old messenger who came to pick up € 5,000 for the alleged nephew who was in financial difficulties because of an alleged purchase of an apartment. She had already seen through an attempted fraud in 2012 and turned on the police. At that time, a 39-year-old who posed as a niece wanted to pick up € 45,000 for an apartment and was also arrested.

In February 2017, Arkadiusz Lakatosz was arrested for the second time in Warsaw. At a subsequent detention test, however, he was surprisingly released again on bail. Apparently, he did not have to submit a certificate for his allegedly poor state of health. He then only noticed the first of the reporting appointments to the police. In March 2017, Lakatosz was located by the Polish police and finally arrested again.

In January 2018, one of the backers and son of the grandchildren's godfather, Marcin Kolompar called "Lolli", was sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison by the Hamburg district court .

Prevention chain

Vigilance of potential victims

If you ask about money, you should break off the conversation and call the alleged relative on the usual phone number, continue to insist on a personal meeting and not be satisfied with a deputy, even if this is justified with an alleged emergency. You shouldn't let strangers into your house or apartment. If a suspicious transfer of money has already taken place, one should try to memorize the person and the key data of an automobile. As a check, you should ask the strange caller about things that only your relative can provide information about. Money should never be given to an unknown person. Time pressure is suspicious.

Control by bank employees

In Austria, on February 18, 2016, the police, the National Bank (OeNB) and the Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ) presented a video for more than 20,000 bank employees in order to win them over as the last supervisory authority in the interests of customers. If someone wants to withdraw a surprising amount, the bank employee could ask the customer confidentially “out of gut instinct” whether he is familiar with the nephew's trick, point out the risk of losing the money and inform the police amicably. Other anomalies are old-fashioned first name, the desire for a quick loan, for quick payout, an unclear purpose, conspicuous secrecy and the observation of the process by a younger person.

See also


  • Joachim Ludwig: Grandchildren's trick. Collective thwarting of punishment through lack of jurisdiction? In: Der Kriminalist, Vol. 38, 2006, ISSN  0722-3501 , 2, pp. 55-60.
  • Joachim Ludwig: Grandchildren's trick. Limits to investigation and prevention . In: Der Kriminalist, Vol. 41, 2009, ISSN  0722-3501 , 1, pp. 4-9.
  • Joachim Ludwig / Bernd Hagen: Strategic challenges in the fight against organized crime using the example of "grandchildren's trick" . In: Der Kriminalist , 11/2014, ISSN  0722-3501 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Grandchildren's trick  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Investigations in Poland: Police arrest inventor of the grandchildren trick ,, May 30, 2014, accessed October 6, 2015 (including series of images).
  2. a b c d Police crime prevention of the states and the federal government (Ed.): Enkeltrick. Information sheet for employees of banks and financial institutions. Stuttgart, approx. 2015.
  3. grandchildren trick: Called and cashed ( Memento of 30 December 2014 Internet Archive ).
  4. Eduard Zimmermann: Der Ganoven Wunderland , Darmstadt 1967, pp. 234–240.
  5. Der Spiegel : Millionaire business of the call center mafia: "Older ladies believe everything too" The 80-year-old former cook fits exactly into the scheme of the fraudsters: He is a pensioner and single, and is in the phone book with his old-sounding first name. “There was a man from the Federal Criminal Police Office. He said there was a mole in my bank, a woman who wants to empty my account. ” , Dated November 1, 2015.
  6. What protects senior citizens from fraudsters with grandchildren trickery ,
  7. Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport (ed.): Report on Internal Security in Lower Saxony 2001 , pp. 104–195.
  8. Grandchildren trick fraudsters loot 4 million ,, December 17, 2013, accessed on January 19, 2015.
  9. Cases are increasing dramatically in Berlin: Damage worth millions through grandchildren's trick ( Memento of the original from August 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, August 2, 2010, accessed October 6, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. Psychological pressure: Grandchildren trick fraudsters are becoming more and more sophisticated , FAZ , August 4, 2009, accessed October 6, 2015 (advice from the police).
  11. Brandenburg police record an increase in cases of grandchildren trickery . ( Memento from March 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  12. 500,000 euros with grandchildren trick ,, October 6, 2015, accessed October 6, 2015 (Keiler, telephone recording).
  13. With bank employees against nephew trick ,, February 18, 2016 accessed 18 February 2016.
  14. Christoph Landolt: The tricks of the Roma clan Lakatosz. Weltwoche Verlags AG, accessed on June 1, 2017 .
  15. Hamburg police catches Enkeltrick-Clan ( memento from May 31, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), May 30, 2014, accessed October 6, 2015 (searched telephone directory, list of links to online press articles in the forum post from June 2, 2014).
  16. POL-HH: 140530-1. Joint press release of the Hamburg public prosecutor's office and police - Strike against organized crime - Polish gang arrested by grandchildren fraudsters , Hamburg police , May 30, 2014, accessed October 6, 2015.
  17. a b 82-year-olds convicted trick thieves ,, February 11, 2016, accessed February 18, 2016
  18. ^ Roman Lehberger: Not liable: "Enkeltrick-godfather" after arrest again at large. In: Spiegel Online . February 6, 2017, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  19. TV about the release of the grandchildren trick godfather "Hoss". In: Spiegel Online . February 13, 2017, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  20. Poland: Grandchildren trick fraudsters arrested again. In: Spiegel Online . March 21, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2018 .
  21. ↑ The man behind the "Enkeltrick-Mafia" captured ,, accessed on January 29, 2018.
  22. No mercy for "Lolli" ( memento of the original from January 30, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,, accessed on January 29, 2018. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  23. With bank employees against nephew trick ,, February 18, 2016 accessed 18 February 2016.
  24. Police, OeNB and WKO are fighting together against the "nephew trick" ( memento of the original from February 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Oesterreichische Nationalbank , information video (2:25 min.), February 18, 2016, accessed February 18, 2016. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  25. Bundeskriminalamt Neffentrick Master 1080p MP4 H264 HD , channel from BundeskriminalamtOE, YouTube , February 18, 2016, accessed February 18, 2016.