Category: Morally Wrong

Warning: Are You on a Sucker List

Scammers trade a list between themselves of people who have fallen for scams and it’s called a “sucker list”.

Sucker lists, which include names, addresses, phone numbers, and other information, are created, bought, and sold by scammers, spammers and some dishonest telemarketers. Scammers know that people who have been tricked once are easier to trick again. As a result, these people are flooded with letters, e-mails and phone calls about inheritances, lottery wins, health cures, investments etc.

In 2015, almost 200,000 people appeared on 13 different “suckers lists” that were seized by fraud investigators. Trading Standards said those listed were being sent mailshots inviting them to take part in lotteries, prize draws, competitions and special offers etc.

The average age of people on the list is 75. You can see how scammers target the elderly and vulnerable.

If you’ve ever been scammed, chances are your name could be on one.

How Do You Know if You’re on a Sucker List?

If you have been scammed online and get more scam messages and mail than others then chances are you are on a suckers list and there is no way to get off the list except by not responding to any scam messages for a long time. Evenetually they may lose interest in you.

How to Avoid Getting on a Sucker List:

Ensure you are registered on all mail and telemarketing opt-out or do-not-call lists.

The following article explains how to do register with the various preference services.

http://www.fightbackonline.org/index.php/fightback/17-how-to-fight-back/30-how-to-stop-spam-letters

Don’t reply to offers of money, miracle cures, competition wins etc. If you didn’t enter a competition then  you cannot have won one.

If you are truly being bombarded, consider changing your email address and/or phone number, and keep them confidential/unlisted.

In 2017, sucker’s lists held by National Trading Standards contained nearly 300,000 names.

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A Pre-Paid Funeral Is Not a Good Deal

The Fairer Finance consumer group has published a report into pre-paid funerals and concludes that the Funeral Planning industry is not working well for consumers and millions of pounds of consumer’s money could be at risk.

The average cost of a funeral is now £3,900 so it makes sense for many people to plan ahead to ensure there is the money for a funeral for a loved one or themselves.

Telesales companies have been bombarding people with calls about planning their funeral and an estimated six million people over the age of 50 have been contacted.

James Daley of ‘Fairer Finance’ said “the combination of a fast growing market, fuelled by high pressure sales to a potentially vulnerable customer base is creating a perfect storm. “

“A growing number of customers are likely to be let down when their plan is claimed on – with some funeral plan providers passing on significant extra costs to the families”

The people making the calls are usually commission based and charge up to £1,000 per plan sold so obviously that’s a big chunk of the money gone that was expected to pay for the funeral.

This market is basically unregulated and the report findings will be reviewed by The Treasury, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

There are reputable companies involved in the funeral planning industry and this can make sense for some people. But do not take up an offer from a cold caller and do your research to find the best plan for your needs and ensure you understand what it includes as it seems that 90% of people taking these plans do not fully understand what they will get.  Contact the relevant company directly – to avoid commission going to an agent.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Scumbag Awards 2017 Dating and Romance Scams

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. When the prospective partner stops paying then the scammer moves on to new victims.

This is cynical, nasty and immoral.

An Austrian woman (we’ll call her firefly) decided to give online dating a try. It had been about a year since Firefly got divorced. Firefly spent a lot of time on her profile, thinking she needed to be entirely honest and open if she hoped to really connect with someone. Within 10 minutes of posting, she had a handful of virtual suitors — and one stood out. He suggested they ditch the dating site and switch to email.

Her new boyfriend had a complicated backstory: He was an American soldier serving in Iraq, and he had a son living in Ghana. But she had revealed to her new online beau how much she wanted children, and soon his 14-year-old son was emailing her. (I know; red flag.)

Then, after about a week of heavy correspondence, Firefly’s boyfriend announced his son’s birthday was coming up, and suggested she send him a gift. So she wired a few hundred euros to Ghana. It was pretty gratifying, she says; the son was ecstatic.

But soon after, she learned that the son had had an accident at school and needed help paying hospital bills — urgently. “Of course I was sending money again to Western Union,” Firefly says.

Scarcely had the boy recovered when he was struck by cholera, which required another expensive course of treatment. Within the space of about three months, Firefly wired the equivalent of about $1,000 to Ghana. She decided to do a little research online and discovered that, yes, cholera is a problem in Ghana, and yes, treating it can be expensive — except that Ghana actually has a free cholera treatment program.

She finally realised she’d been scammed.

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.

http://fightback.ninja/the-fake-military-personnel-scam/

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. However, this is impossible to do and will just lead to more money being paid to another scammer.

Vote by email for your favourite to blog@fightback.ninja

 

Walkers Crisps 2016 Competition Scam

Walkers Crisps spent a fortune advertising their summer competition called Spell and Go, using Gary Lineker in the promotions.

The adverts claimed 20,000 holidays were to be won including trips to Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, Bangkok and lots more places. It all sounded great.

Simply buy a bag of Walkers and enter the 12 digit code on the bag into the Walkers website and it will give you a letter. You collect the letters until you have the destination name you want and you claim the holiday.

In case you cannot find all of the letters you want, there was a swap feature whereby you could swap a letter for another random one or swap with another person.

BUT, once the competition had got going, frustrated and angry people used social media to vent their feelings towards Walkers.

The problem was that all of the destinations contained one or more of the letters C,D and K and those just didn’t turn up. Nobody could find one and on the social media sites no-one could be found that had actually won one of the holidays. Eventually some people did claim to have won but it still seemed a virtual impossibility.

Figures provided by Walkers to the Advertising Standards Agency show that only 796 of the claimed 20,000 holidays were ever won.

Of the 12.8 million times people had entered a code on the website – just 98 letter Ks, 252 letter Ds and 278 letter Cs were given out.

PLUS, in the swap facility there were zero letter Ks, letter Ds and letter Cs – what a scam.

The Advertising Standards Authority received over a thousand complaint about the competition and ruled that because some of the valuable letters were released they couldn’t declare I the whole competition misleading but that the random swap feature was misleading and Walkers must do better in future.

Let’s hope that Walkers have learned their lesson and will not aggravate their customers with this kind of misleading Marketing in the future.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Business 2017 Show Marketing Lies

An email from ventuity.co.uk with the title

Meet Brian Tracy & Michelle Mone for FREE on 10-11 June, 2017

Sounds interesting.

Claim Your FREE Bronze Ticket of Worth £299

in This Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Meet New York Times Bestseller Brian Tracy along with Michelle Mone & Caprice at the UK’s Business Event of the Year

Do register now as the first 40 respondents to this email will get FREE BRONZE TICKETS of worth £299. Take action NOW to grab your £299 FREE ticket before it is gone. 

Now that sounds clear. There are 40 free tickets available worth £299 each.

However, when you click on the link to a web page, the message says

Welcome to the FREE ticket sign up form to win £299 worth of Bronze ticket .

It’s no longer a free ticket, but the chance to win a ticket. That’s cheating.

Drat.

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Instant Company with a Rebadged Product

This is about how companies can suddenly appear and have new “fantastic” products at bargain prices.

Creating a New Company

In the UK as long as you haven’t been banned as a director then it’s an easy, cheap and quick process. In some countries it’s even easier and people can churn out new companies as fast as they want.

Creating a New Product

Inventors and designers may spend years perfecting their product, but the simple approach is to find a product that already exists, rebadge it in some way – maybe just a different colour scheme. Then you give it a new name and that’s your new product. There are patent protection laws to prevent this but scammers operate quickly and aim to have disappeared before the law catches up with them.

Manufacturing Your Product

Lots of companies (mostly in China) will manufacture anything you want at very low prices. If it’s an item they already make and you just want a different colour or a version with your logo on – no problem.

Then comes the Marketing. Modern Marketing through email lists, social media etc. can be cheap and quick.

The method described above is very simplified of course and it’s not really this simple, but for people who do this regularly it is quick and easy.

Here’s an example.

An email arrived titled ‘Cleaning Scrubber Works for Arthritis”

Then a sales pitch for the Hurricane Spin Scrubber.

It’s a rechargeable device with a rotating head designed to make cleaning bathroom surfaces quicker and with less effort. It comes with an extending arm so the user doesn’t have to bend down – hence the claim that it helps arthritis sufferers.

Sounds good.

Strangely the email is from diabetichlp.bid whereas this product cannot be considered an aid for people with diabetes.

Following up on this shows that the product is real and does work. However, customers complain about faulty items, the difficulty of getting any money back and terrible customer service. The product itself is very cheaply made and generally not very good. The company selling this product only came into existence months ago and if the pattern is followed then is likely to disappear fairly soon, to be replaced by another similar company with a slightly modified version of the device. And the process starts again.

It is far simpler and quicker nowadays to create companies than it used to be, have a factory in the Far East make the product, make money then shut down and open up a new business doing something similar.

Buying this kind of product may be right for you, but be aware that if there are problems – you may wish you’d invested in a reputable make with good customer service.

If you’ve purchased this kind of instant product or dealt with such companies – do let me know by email.

Warning: Antibiotics For Sale Online

An email from cahiphop.com titled ‘Excite your communications thirst”

In fact the email is trying to sell antibiotics and is nothing to do with communications.

The main selling point is “Good antibiotics made with love and care

And it says

  • Shipping to anywhere worldwide
  • Lowest price
  • No prescription required

The statement about the drugs being good and made with love and care is worrying. No professional pharmaceutical company would state anything like that. As customers you want to know that a product is made according to the set standards not with love and care as if they are talking about cakes. You don’t want to know that it is ‘good’ but that it is verified to be at the required standard.

The seller appears to have no company name – just shortened urls advertising products.

I would not buy any kind of medicine from an online store such as this one. I would not feel confident that any products they supply have the correct active ingredients  and haven’t been cut with talcum powder, rat poison or whatever was to hand in the garage or slum where they were likely produced, to keep the price down.

This applies to any drug, but the world is increasingly facing antibiotic resistant bacteria and all antibiotics MUST be prescribed by a doctor and taken according to the instructions.

Allowing people to buy antibiotics online without prescription can only make the problem worse at a faster rate.

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The Pump and Dump Scam

There are reported to have been millions of emails sent out in the last week perpetrating a Pump and Dump scam for shares in a company names Incapta

Pump and dump is a very old scam whereby the scammer picks a relatively worthless and generally little known stock then uses whatever illicit means they can to push up the price as fast as possible. Once the price has risen then the scammer dumps all of their shares in the company and walks away with the profit.

In the old days, the means of pushing up the price was by getting journalists to promote the share in their newspaper and magazine columns.  Also by targeting dealers who could advise their clients to buy the stock.

These days, it’s quicker and cheaper to use spam email campaigns to push up the price really fast then bail out.

Brooklands Radio station has been receiving 1 or 2 such emails about Incapta stock each day.

e.g.  If you’re wondering why I’m emailing you now, out of the blue, after months of radio silence let me tell you that I have a good reason for that.

DO you remember the last time I sent you a tip? It was around November if I recall correctly.

If you bought that stock I told you about back then, you would have quadrupled your money at the very least.

And so it goes on. Some of the emails have stories about insider trading information or about a guaranteed buyout due next week etc.

These are well written emails and each one we’ve received has been from a different name, different email address and different words.

It is all fake of course and highly illegal. Do not buy the stock.

Incapta are nothing to do with this scam – they are just the unfortunate targets.

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Warning: e-Dinar Cyber Currency

E-Dinar is a cyber currency and it’s also described as an Internet community of people who use the e-Dinar   currency.

It is also an investment which people choose because of the promise that they will get 20% growth per month.

Is e-Dinar a ‘real’ cyber currency?

That is difficult to answer as there isn’t an agreed definition for a cyber currency. However, as with all cyber currencies there is a set limit to the number of coins available. In this case it was 22 million e-Dinars initially then last year after some changes to the currency, including an exchange to rename the currency as EDR, the value of people’s holdings dropped dramatically and the business now say the new limit is 22 billion e-Dinar  coins.

That’s an enormous increase and potentially devalues the e-Dinar dramatically.

If you want to get e-Dinars, you can buy them on the trading exchanges.

Can the Promised Growth Rate of 20% Be True?

They say that e-Dinar is the currency with a growth rate of 20% per month. Therefore, buying e-Dinar for the first two years of its existence, you will earn with the same rate, but you have to rely on that promise.

E-Dinar had delivered 0.65% per day for 3 months on the EDR but they recently changed everything  to EDC which shows very little trading volume.

The E-Dinar Compensation Plan

People are paid commission on the 20% monthly return. If you recruit people into e-Dinar then you get a share of their benefits and if they recruit further member then you also get a share (a little smaller) of their benefits and so on for up to 7 levels.  This is typical multi-level Marketing.

Is e-Dinar a Pyramid or Ponzi scheme?

E-Dinar’s only business activity seems to be the recruiting of people into e-Dinar.

The only source of revenue for the members is affiliate investment, made on the promise of a 20% monthly return

The promise of 20% ROI for two years may keep people in the currency for that period, but after two years – they may drop out. If a lot of people do that, then that’s when life becomes difficult. Will the scheme  pay out or stop?

http://behindmlm.com/mlm-reviews/e-Dinar-review-edr-unit-ponzi-points-cryptocurrency/

If you know anything about this currency and how it works, let me know by email.

Warning: Face Replen Free Samples Can Cost You

It looks quite straightforward – the advert says you pay just $5 for cosmetic samples that are supposedly worth a great deal more.

So, people order the samples and pay the $5 by credit card.

Then comes the bombshell – 2 weeks later your credit card  is charged for $161.35 and $154.23

Unknowingly, you’ve signed up to buy their products every month.

These figures are for Face Replen Image Revive anti-aging products, but this technique is used by other companies as well.

Lucy was caught out by this and was understandably angry as she hadn’t agreed to any such charges. On contacting the company about this – their reply stated that as she hadn’t returned the samples unused she must pay the real cost.

Lucy’s situation is difficult as the company does warn in very tiny letters that you are charged after 14 days.

To make matters worse, the company continues to take money each month until you cancel and it is basically impossible to get that money back.

Be very careful on any supposedly “free” offers that you take up. Once companies have got your credit card details – some are not concerned whether you intended to sign up to keep paying them every month.

If you check the Internet for information of whether Face Replen is a scam, the result is interesting as Face Replen has clearly created a number of posts on various sites asking that question but then simply putting their advertising material in as the post. This is to make it more difficult for people to find true  information about Face Replen and how they operate.

It appears that the company base for face Replen is called Digby Investments located in Ireland. Whether that’s just a shell company or the real thing is unknown.

This kind of trick is called the subscription trap and Chancellor Phillip Hammond has plans to stop this scam.

Be careful what you sign up for and always read the very small print.

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