Category: Morally Wrong

The Re-Shipping Scam

This scam starts with you searching for a work-at-home job and you seem to find the ideal opportunity.

It involves accepting parcels from an overseas company then putting a new delivery label on and sending the parcel off to its intended destination.

There is a convoluted story about why this is necessary rather than the company shipping the items to the desired destination themselves.  The story makes no real sense but you are so keen to get a job working at home that you accept the premise.

The scammer promises to pay per item or maybe a flat monthly salary.

You are then happy to accept the incoming items, attach pre-paid postage labels and send them off to a new destination – likely to be in a different country.

For some victims things progress smoothly receiving and sending out packages. For others things go wrong straightaway. The problems can start with the first delivery you receive. Seems a normal small package and you add the delivery label you’ve been sent and drop the package off at the Post Office.

But then it is returned you to because the delivery label was a fake.

You email the scammer and are told it was a mistake and she sends you another label to use. Maybe that works or is another fake and so on until one does work. The pre-paid post

Sometimes the package receiving and sending goes on for a month then you expect to be paid but of course that doesn’t happen – the scammer has disappeared.

The worrying part is that the packages may well be illegal and the Police may get around to investigating your part in this re-shipping scam which is of course illegal.

You then have to prove you were duped or face being prosecuted for a criminal offence.

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British Scammers Caught in Spain

There is a scam prevalent in parts of Spain where hotel or restaurant customers claim to have food poisoning caused by the hotel or restaurant. This is fairly easy to claim as no evidence is required for a civil suit seeking damages against the establishment.

According to the Spanish hotel owners association (CEHAT), cases of tourists on all-inclusive packages making false complaints of stomach problems have soared over the past 12 months, with tour operators in Mallorca reporting a 700% rise. Spanish hoteliers say this racket cost them £52m in 2016 across Spain.

CEHAT estimates that the 90% of the claims – usually made through small-claims management companies who target tourists in resorts or after they have returned home – are bogus.

Were food poisoning really so widespread in Spanish hotels, it added, “a worldwide health alert would have been declared and yet the number of cases registered with the health authorities continues to fall because of the increasingly high levels of quality, hygiene and safety put in place by the Spanish hotel industry”.

CEHAT says it will gather the necessary evidence to prosecute anyone involved in the fraud and use Spanish law to target “organised groups in the commission of a crime.

Claims Management Companies

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) said UK holidaymakers on all inclusive trips were being targeted by “unscrupulous” claims management companies.

“They encourage people to submit claims by saying that they are ‘entitled’ to compensation if they’ve been ill on one of these holidays, often coaching people into what to say,” he said.

Abta says anyone approached by a claims company representative in a resort should tell the hotel management. If approached back in the UK through social media or on the phone and encouraged to lie or exaggerate their experiences, people should report them to the police.

The British Fraudsters

Debbie Cameron, 59, and her daughter Laura Joyce,  were taken into custody after a raid on the family villa overlooking the Mediterranean on Tuesday.

The operation was part of a series of raids on properties  and businesses on the island in an investigation into allegations that British holidaymakers have been filing false legal claims for food poisoning.

Mrs Cameron, who describes herself on Facebook as “the happiest networker in the world”, is  well known on the holiday island and has been at the centre of British expat life there for more than 30 years.

She is the daughter of a wealthy businessman, who ran car dealerships in the UK, and made her own fortune in Mallorca as an entrepreneur and lifestyle guru. Her own blog called “Rich Mum”, contains the mantra: “Have Fun. Make Money. Do Good.”

Judicial sources have been quoted in the Spanish media claiming that the British women were suspected of being ringleaders in the alleged fraud, which involves deploying touts at hotels to entice tourists into faking gastric illnesses in return for compensation.

Police sources said the arrests followed months of investigation after complaints from hoteliers, and that a “wealth of material” including computers and documents had been seized and was being analysed.

One local hotel operator alone reported fraud to the tune of four million euros.

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UK Mystery Shopper

Respectable websites carry adverts for UK Mystery Shopper.

Such as a picture of the Aldi supermarket sign plus the words “Free £100 Voucher”

Sounds interesting but it’s a link to the UK Mystery Shopper website where the story is rather different.

UK Mystery Shopper describes itself as a website where consumers can access and read our member’s reviews of some of the UK’s most popular restaurants and stores.

Surprisingly there are very few reviews to be read.

The sales lines follow:

  • Earn £10 per hour with our jobs.
  • Mystery Shopping Jobs Giveaway £100 in free shopping if selected.
  • Free food shopping

And so on

There is an APPLY Now button. Simply enter your details and they’ll let you know if you’ve been chosen as a mystery shopper.

But you have to pay £34 to register.

Why?

If you have to pay to register an interest in a job then it’s a scam.

What do you get for your £34?

They may send you a list of companies that supposedly use mystery shoppers.

But the companies that do this are easily found on the Internet and they pay peanuts because there are so many people who want these jobs.

Is this in effect an illegal lottery where hundreds or thousands of people pay £34 but there’s little payout or maybe occasionally someone gets a voucher.

Not a good deal. Better to play the actual lottery.
As for getting a job through them as a mystery shopper – there’s probably more chance of winning a jackpot on the lottery.

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Lexapro For Sale Online

The Internet is full of scams and spams about Viagra and herbal equivalents, but recently there have been a lot of emails and web sites trying to sell Lexapro.

This is an anti-depressant  and is widely prescribed.

The scammers and spammers appear to want to convince people that it’s like taking smarties – just buy as much as you want without prescription and take them anytime.

But, Lexapro is a powerful pharmaceutical and must only be taken on the direction of a doctor.

It is dangerous to use any such drug as if it were entirely benign – only a doctor can tell you if this is the right drug for your circumstances.

Common side-effects include:-

  • Constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • dry mouth
  • gas in the stomach

but there are also less common more serious  side effects.

Do not buy drugs on the Internet – you have no idea what’s in the tablets.

And do not self-medicate – trust your doctor.

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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.

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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.