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Scam Survivors Help

www.scamsurvicors.com

The website says it exists because: Scammers will take your money with no cares about the lives it ruins.  People are nothing but a money amount to them – a living, breathing ATM machine.

The site is run by volunteers and has three goals:

  1. To make scammers’ lives harder by exposing their details and scripts to search engines.
  2. Educating the public, thus removing scammers’ sources of income as scams will continue as long as there are victims.
  3. Helping people to see that, even after being scammed, they CAN move forward and things DO get better.

They cover a wide range of scams including:- 419, fund transfer, tax refund, beneficiary/inheritance/next of kin, hitman, parcel, gold/diamond, charity, love/romance/catfish, dying widow/widower, military, lottery, secret shopper/work from home, business/investment/supply invitation, loan, ATM card, tax refund, recovery/compensation, conference, Craigslist, webcam blackmail, phishing, grandchild/friend in distress and car wrap.

The website staff offer  non judgmental help and advice for those scammed online.

For many people who have been scammed, the psychological effects are worse than the monetary loss.

There is an active forum with 145,000 posts.

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The Missed Parcel Delivery Scam

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, huge numbers of parcels are delivered by Royal Mail and if you’re not at home when the postman calls then she leaves a card telling you where and when  you can pick up the item and a phone number for more information.

But scammers have been creating fake ‘missed delivery” cards that look very similar to the original Royal Mail version which is called the ‘Something For You’ card.

The scammer posts the fake card through your door and hopes that you phone the number on the card.

If you do, it’s a very expensive call to a long recorded message and you will may only notice when your phone bill arrives just how expensive it was.

There are other variants on this scam, including one where the delivery is claimed to be highly valuable and you must phone urgently or one where you have to phone and pay a charge for re-delivery. Of course there is no such item.

Take care before calling the number on any mail delivery cards put through your letter box.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Doorstep Safety

There are many genuine trades people and sellers who knock at your door offering legitimate services and products. But, there are also many scammers who want to talk you into bad deals or just steal your money.

For many older and vulnerable people, doorstep sellers can be frightening or too convincing.

If you don’t feel safe answering the door to someone you don’t know then don’t. Someone calling unexpectedly has no right to your time or courtesy. It’s your choice to answer or ignore.

The following precautions may help:-

  1. Keep your doors locked even when at home
  2. Have a chain on your front door so you can safely open it just a few inches
  3. Have a spy hole (or electronic eye) fitted in the door so you can who’s knocking
  4. Get a Trading Standards sticker ‘NO COLD CALLERS’

Trading Standards say you should never sign anything on the spot, never agree to allow any work to start right away and remember that you normally have a 14 day cooling-off period during which you can cancel any work and receive a refund of money paid.

They also say that you should never agree to have work done by someone just passing by. If some work is needed, get at least two quotations from reputable traders. Your local Trading Standards Service may operate an ‘approved trader scheme’ or use check-a-trade or similar review website.

Bogus callers may turn up on your doorstep and say that they have come to investigate a water leak or they are lost and need a drink of water. Sometimes they may say they have a child who has lost a ball in your back garden. They are probably trying to trick you to let them into your home so they can steal cash and valuable items. Don’t let them in.

It isn’t rude to ask someone to leave – it is your right.

Do Neighbourhood Watches Help to Reduce Door-to-Door Scammers?

The anecdotal evidence is that they do reduce this type of crime. This is largely because people are more aware of possible crimes and do keep an eye out for unexpected visitors to their doors. Also, door-to-door crooks tend to avoid areas where there are any signs of organisation against crime.

Stay Safe.

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Online Watch Link

Online Watch Link known as OWL is an online service for Neighbourhood Watches, the Police and associated bodies involved in preventing and stopping crime.

It’s designed to keep people informed of what’s going on locally relating to crime prevention for both the public and the Police.

It’s used by a lot of the Neighbourhood Watches across the UK but not all so if you input your postcode in the Find a Watch scheme box on the home page – you may well get the message “Sorry that postcode is not covered by OWL”.

OWL has been featured on Crimewatch and is growing in popularity.

The website is https://www.owl.co.uk/

Q. How does OWL help?

Local authorities send out alerts via OWL about crime and local issues in your area. It can help to prevent burglary, find missing people, makes people feel safer and catch suspects.

OWL Has National Police Approval

There is some advice on the website relating to various categories of crime, but the website is all about the OWL service.

Searching the Internet shows that many communities have incorporated OWL into their local information websites and neighbourhood watches.

Owl was created by a British company based in Hatfield.

It seems a useful tool in crime prevention and the more communities and Watches that us it the more useful it will become.

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Patriot Power Generator

There is a genuine product called a Patriot Power Generator and it’s for sale in America.

It is like it sounds but also things you don’t expect. The basic version contains:-

  • a power generator
  • Solar Panels
  • a 72 hour survival food kit
  • water filter
  • multi tool
  • reports about the power grid problems etc.

There are endless spam emails trying to sell these devices.

I can’t imagine these things selling well in the UK except for camping or caravans. But in America some people have the mind-set of not trusting the government and thereby wanting to take precautions against various extreme eventualities such as a long term power outage.

Californians already know what power outages are like – thanks to the days of the Enron Corporation.

The email selling these power generators focuses on creating paranoia

“It’s 8:47 am and people are panicking in the streets…

We are now in a state of emergency.

The look of fear in your family’s eyes hits you like a punch in the guts”

There’s lots more of this stuff.

Seems a very nasty way to sell power generators.

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