Identity theft is when someone collects enough information about you to pretend to be you in order to access your bank account, use your credit card details, open accounts in your name, take out loans in your name, block your access to your own accounts etc.
This is a very destructive form of fraud as it can be very difficult for the victim to prove it wasn’t them taking out the money and to get their identity back, including access to the various accounts.
UK Government statistics show almost 190,000 cases of identity fraud in a 12 month period with CIFAS (the fraud prevention service) recording increases of 8% per year.
The figures also show that levels for older people are rising faster, suggesting they are being targeted for this type of fraud.
Most people do not realise they have been a victim of identity fraud until bills start arriving and demands for repayment for loans they didn’t request.
To avoid becoming such a victim, you need to make sure you keep personal information to yourself – starting with setting social media network privacy levels to high, use strong passwords and never reveal passwords to anyone in emails or by phone.
Always be cautious of emails or websites or text messages offering anything too good to be true.
If you have any experiences with identity theft, do let me know, by email.
You might be surprised that anyone would spend a lot of effort on trying to sell woodworking plans/shed making plans on the Internet, but one person or group determinedly put out hundreds emails per year to each person on their scam list, year after year.
Does she make any money at this?
Who knows but she keeps trying so maybe she does or maybe she’ll give up when the first ever sucker falls for the sales pitch.
The actual offer is for 16,000 wood working plans, which is a ridiculous number of plans.
She uses a set pattern of messages that keep repeating ad infinitum.
The first in the set is a straightforward sales pitch about how wonderful the woodworking plans are and how you can make anything you want with little effort and how people will be queuing up at your door to buy your wooden products. Obviously rubbish, as building serious woodworking skills takes years and years of effort and a good teacher.
The message is clear that the offer of all 16,000 woodworking plans is only for one day and will never be repeated.
The second email is titled something like “Bad News” then goes on to claim that there was so much demand for Ted’s woodworking plans that his server computer fell over but they’ve got it fixed so you can place your order NOW!.
Rubbish of course, but entertaining at least.
This email generally repeats for several days.
Then back to the beginning of the message set again the following week or sometimes there is a week or so gap then the restart.
Sometimes the main focus of the offer changes to be 12,000 shed plans which is more ridiculous than the first offer – who in their right mind would pay for 12,000 shed plans and who would ever put together such an overkill.
This time the main claim is that the instructions are so precise the sheds practically build themselves.
Can you image a shed building itself? – not an easy thought except for a mad scammer.
The messages come from random name email accounts such as ducatric411op9opw21asd.icu
Whoever is sending out this drivel is filling the world with rubbish.
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The official website for renewing your TV licence, registering a change of address etc. Is www.tvlicensing.co.uk
You have to pay for a licence of course but address changes etc. are free.
Operators such as www.licenceplus.co.uk make money from offering free services at a premium price, such as TV licence address change and often users don’t realise they’ve been conned into paying for something that is actually free.
This is legal but it catches people out as they trust the first result on Google search and may unintentionally choose a service without realising they are being charged for it.
To try to combat this, the official site www.tvlicensing.co.uk pays for Google adverts, so they appear twice on the search results.
If you were warned in advance by the website that there will be an extra charge to pay then most people would stop and go to the official website, but often for people in a rush they expect Google to show up the official site and just start entering their details.
You will still get your licence renewed or address changed etc. by using one of these premium operators but it will cost you more for no good reason.
If you have any been caught out by these premium charge operators – do let me know, by email.
The Ketone diet is very popular and large numbers of scammers have their own version of the scam offering magical products or supplements or exercises to put you in the state of Ketosis whereby your body will burn fat. The principle is very simple and has been proven – if you are not eating sufficient carbohydrate then your body will start to burn fat instead. As with any diet it is difficult to maintain and means avoiding anything sweet so this latest scam describes a miracle supplement that you can drink and it will magically make your body burn fats instead of carbohydrates regardless of how much carbohydrate you eat. Nope – just the imagination of an evil greedy scammer.
Buying spam email addresses is sadly getting even cheaper. Latest offer is for 250 million email addressees of business people from across the world on sale for just $500. That’s $2 per million email addresses. It costs almost nothing to send out the emails so you can see why there are billions of spam email messages sent out everyday.
More emails from eToro which is a trading platform trying its best to cash in on uninformed “investors” of cyber currencies. It now claims over 10 million registered users but industry statistics show at least two thirds of non professionals who try this will lose money.
Some scammers go to great lengths to make their messages look authentic – like duplicating messages from a well know bank or famous organisation etc. and write a long story to draw in the victims. But some go for the opposite approach. A latest scam message just says the word Surprise and it’s a link to who knows what. I don’t want to find out.
The message says “Ciao! We make offer for you”. Sounds like someone has translated into English not so goodly. It is in fact an offer by someone wanting to send out billions of spam emails on our behalf at a cost of only $49 per million. No thanks – there’s enough crap in the online world without us adding to it.
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