Today it is not a problem to open a new current account, with internet banks the video identification procedure is often enough. Criminals are currently taking advantage of this for their fraud. In Berlin alone several hundred cases of Ebay fraud are reported to the police every month, as reported by the consumer magazine “SUPER.MARKT” from Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb).
This is how the fraud works: Goods are placed on Ebay classifieds under a false name at a lower price. To complete the purchase, buyers must transfer the money to an account. The IBAN is real, but the account holder is an invention or a stolen identity. After the money has been withdrawn, the account is canceled and the goods are never sent.
The Berlin State Criminal Police Office registered a total of 6,740 cases of fraudulent orders for goods. Many financial institutions allow you to open an account using video or photo identification. Since they don’t even ask for an ID for this, the risk is highest there. The police therefore advise using payment service providers such as PayPal or direct debit, which grant buyer protection.
According to the consumer magazine “SUPER.MARKT”, the money in such cases of fraud was often transferred to accounts at Bank N26. This in turn stated that it is not their responsibility to check “whether the account is due to the named transfer recipient.” Only from 1,000 euros will be checked.
The specialist lawyer for banking law, Ulrich Schulte am Hülse, asks the financial institutions to check whether the name given corresponds to the account holder’s actually stored data in order to reduce the number of cases of fraud. Because Ebay itself can do little against fraud with 43 million advertisements annually, some of which are only online for a few minutes or hours.