The Fightback Ninja has created the Scumbag Awards 2017 for the scammers and spammers who make our lives miserable through theft of money, time and even identity.
Each week, the Fightback Ninja will select and publicise one or more categories of scam or spam and a list of contenders for the award. You pick the winner by voting online and the awards will be announced in July.
For further information go to http://fightback.ninja/scumbag-awards-2017/
Category: Nastiest Scam
Every time there is a natural disaster, charities and other organisations appeal for help and the public always respond. But there are always scam appeals as well.
Bogus Hotel Bookings
Up to one in every 16 online room bookings is a fake, according to official figures.
Imagine flying to somewhere only to find your hotel booking was fake and you have nowhere to stay. That’s bad.
Investment in Burial Plots
An unscrupulous business offering burial plots in Rainham Cemetery and promising 40% Returns within 24 months.
Category: Most Public Ransomware
May 2017, this stopped several hospitals, doctors surgeries and much more for days before it was stopped.
This nasty piece of work encrypts your files and they cannot be decrypted by anyone else plus it deletes any backups. Very common through 2016
This targeted specific computer games and charged $500 in bitcoins for the decryption key. In mid-2016 the developers shutdown the ransomware and published the master decryption key and just the word ‘Sorry’
Category: Holiday Scams
This company specialised in setting up fake websites offering holidays in the Canaries. A new website each month using the same photos and offers pulled in a lot of people who paid but didn’t get a holiday and often were out of pocket further on flights that couldn’t be cancelled last minute.
The Vistafun Ryanair Scam
Vistafun used the lure of £250 Ryanair vouchers to trick people into signing up for a subscription to their service. There were no vouchers and Ryanair had nothing to do with the scam.
The Airline Credit Scam
Thieves use stolen credit cards to buy airline tickets and then cancel them, in order to get a flight credit and a confirmation number. They then sell these online on sites such as Craigslist or Gumtree.
Walkers Crisps 2016 Competition Scam
Not strictly a holiday scam as it was a competition but the Marketing people at Walkers outdid themselves with this nasty cheating piece of Marketing that backfired as it angered many previously loyal customers.
Category: Financial Fraud
The Traffic Monsoon Ponzi Scheme
Pyramid investment scheme worth £160 million shut down after taking money from 162,000 people.
The Trading Options Scam
Trading options on the stock market is a job for an expert or at least a very well informed amateur, not a beginner.
The Banks and PPI
We’ve all had hundreds of cold calls about PPI (payment protection insurance) and this has been going on for years. Millions of people have had their PPI cost refunded by the banks, credit companies and 3rd party brokers who have had to pay back over £26 billion so far.
Category: Dating and Romance
1. Online Dating
There are countless people looking for love, romance and commitment and scammers think these people are easy marks. Numerous scammers spend their days pretending to be in love with various people and building a relationship to the point where they ask for money and sometimes get it.
2. The Fake Military Personnel Scam
This follows the usual path of fake dating online leading to the fake military man asking for money to get leave or to visit the person.
3. Fake Investigators:
Once someone has been scammed, they are labelled as easy prey and some scammers will approach them with a new story and offer help. There are fake investigators offering to find the original scammer and get the money back and have the perpetrators brought to justice
Category: Biggest Time-Wasters
Lifestyle Survey Calls
Endless calls “I’d like you to answer some simple questions please. It’ll only take 5 minutes”
Mystery Shopper Offers
Endless emails offering a job as a mystery shopper in any shop you want – you just have to fill in a survey first.
Remote Working Jobs
Scammers know that huge number of people are desperate for a job they can do at home and make some money to improve their lifestyle or just to cope with bills. But it’s always a scam and the victims end up paying for nothing.
Category: Biggest Phone Scam
The Computer Support Call
You receive a call from Microsoft/Virgin/BT to tell you your PC has a virus.
The Missed Call Scam
Someone calls you but stops the call too quickly for you to get to the phone. If you call back you’ll find you’ve called a premium rate number and its costing you up to £4 per minute.
According to figures from Citizens Advice, 30 million people, or two thirds of British adults, have already received messages about PPI – and 98 per cent did not give permission to be contacted.
That’s all of the nominees in this years Fightback Ninja Scumbag Awards.
Vote by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and specify category and your chosen candidate.
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