Stupidest Scam or Spam of the Week – Impossible Loans

Lots of scam messages offer loans of various kinds as an enticement.

The more intelligent ones offer loans tied to circumstances and ability to repay etc. so as to make them more believable.

But there are other scammers who take the opposite view and offer loans for anything, with no collateral and at virtually zero interest. These are very obviously scams but still some people fall for them in their desperation to get an affordable loan.

A latest set of such scam messages appear to come from Poland (i.e. the domain suffix is .pl)

The title is something like “Your Bank Says No”.

Then the message goes on about how banks regularly turn people away or charge too much.

The link you are invited to click on (labelled as preliminary verification for a loan) is of course to a phishing site. The whole point of the email is to get your personal details so they can used to hack your accounts and/or sold to other scammers.

The email sender is tktelekom.pl which is a non-existent company and obviously a Telecomms name not a bank.

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New Banking Code on Fraud

Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud is where a fraudster convinces the victim to transfer money to them, usually under the guise of an authority, the victim’s bank or a supplier. Once transferred, the money is likely to be transferred again and then difficult if not impossible to retrieve.

Traditionally the banks have treated these frauds as being the victims own fault and normally refuse to provide reimbursement. However many of these frauds are very sophisticated and difficult for the victim to know they are being defrauded until it is too late.

Also, the banks practice of simply following instructions and sending money to anyone at any account without any checks means they do little to prevent these frauds and often act too late after they are informed of a problem and the money and the fraudster are gone.

A new draft voluntary code for banks aims to make it more difficult for the perpetrators of these frauds and more likely for the victims to get recompense.

The new code establishes the principle that if customers take “the requisite level of care”, they should be reimbursed by their bank.

However, the code does list eight ways that banks can justifiably refuse to reimburse customers who have been defrauded. These include cases where customers:-

  • refuse to heed warnings from their bank
  • “recklessly share” their security credentials
  • fail to take steps to make sure they person they paid was who they thought they were
  • fail to be honest with their bank
  • are “grossly negligent”
  • fail to heed a confirmation of payee result (see below)

Questions also remain about who is liable when both the bank and the customer appear to have taken all the necessary steps to prevent fraud.

Customers were scammed out of £503.4m between January and June, according to the finance industry’s own research.

Favoured methods include duping victims into paying in advance for a product or service that doesn’t exist or impersonating a trusted organisation such as the police.

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Unexplained Wealth Orders

New powers under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into force on 31 January 2018 relating to unexplained wealth orders (UWOs).

The purpose of such an order is to require the designated person to account for the origin of their assets.

This new power has been designed to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through the UK.

Investigators from the National Crime Agency believe there are billions of pounds of dirty money invested in British property – but it is almost impossible to charge the owners with a crime or seize the assets because of a lack of evidence.

Only the High Court can issue an Unexplained Wealth Order when it is satisfied that there is reasonable cause to believe that the respondent is a “politically exposed person” who has been involved in serious crime or that a person connected with the respondent is, or has been, involved in serious crime.

A “politically exposed person” means an individual whose prominent position in public life may make them vulnerable to corruption. This category includes heads of state, heads of government, members of parliament and members of the boards of central banks.

The enforcement agencies with the power to apply for these orders are the Financial Conduct Authority, Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the National Crime Agency (NCA), HM Revenue and Customs, and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The First Unexplained Wealth Order

Originally from Azerbaijan, she is the wife of an ex-state banker, Zamira Hajiyeva is the first person named on an Unexplained Wealth Order.

She risks losing her £15m home near the London store and a Berkshire golf course if she fails to explain the source of her wealth to the High Court. Mrs Hajiyeva must now provide the National Crime Agency with a clear account of how she and her husband, Jahangir Hajiyev, could afford to buy their large home in the exclusive London neighbourhood of Knightsbridge.

Jahangir Hajiyev is the former chairman of the International Bank of Azerbaijan and amongst other expenditure spent £16 million in Harrods using 35 credit cards issued by her husband’s bank.

Oh Dear!

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Noel Edmonds and Lloyds Bank Fraud

The website at http://noel.world/  Is Noel Edmonds website covering his battles with Lloyds Bank.

http://banklloyds.claims/   is about media coverage of Noel’s fight with Lloyds.

Noel Edmonds is well known as a radio presenter from the 70s and latterly as a TV presenter and game show host. He was also a businessman who built several businesses but then lost almost everything due to the actions of his bank HBOS.

Lloyds bought HBOS bank in 2009 to rescue it from bankruptcy and with it came a Pandora’s Box of issues including corruption and deliberate damage to many of Britain’s small businesses.

What Happened

The Reading branch of HBOS carried out practices that deliberately and systematically ruined small businesses and the team led by Mark Dobson made a great deal of money from this.  Mark Dobson was jailed for dishonest conspiracy in February 2017.

Tthe bank had referred small businesses to a corrupt turnaround consultancy, Quayside Corporate Services, where they were then loaded with debt and looted.

Unique, a holding company for several of Noel Edmonds’ business interests, had taken a loan that was secured against its assets, including shares in UBC, another company owned by Noel Edmonds.

When Unique needed to repay its loan, it could have sold shares to get the money but under the contract with HBOS this could only happen with agreement by HBOS. Dobson and crew refused that permission – preferring the company to go bankrupt.

It gets very complicated after that, but the courts found serious criminal behaviour had occurred and you would think that would be sufficient for Lloyds to investigate the truth and compensate those damaged by the criminality.

The circumstances of the company’s failure are now the source of a bitter dispute between Lloyds and Mr Edmonds. Noel Edmonds is seeking £300m in compensation over claims that HBOS and its disgraced former employee in Reading, Mark Dobson, deliberately destroyed Unique a decade ago.

Lloyds has faced severe criticism for its treatment of the scores of small businesses that were victims of the fraud, which may have cost the bank more than £1bn. Lloyds denied that any wrongdoing had taken place for more than a decade and refused to compensate those who were affected.

Events finally forced Lloyds to say it regretted and apologised “for the effect the criminality relating to HBOS Impaired Assets Office in Reading has had on customers and we continue to make good progress in the customer review in settling compensation, with 60 per cent of customers now having received offers”.

The bank said it was progressing with mediation in Mr Edmonds’ case “where all these points will be addressed, through the proper legal process”.

However, they have not paid up.

Bankers have only themselves to blame for the mistrust many feel towards them.

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Facebook Logins for Sale

Hackers are selling Facebook logins for as little as £2 on the Dark Web according to recent investigation.

The “Dark Web” is that part of the internet that isn’t visible to search engines and requires the use of an anonymous browser called “Tor” to be accessed.

Research on multiple dark web marketplaces shows that criminals can buy such details easily from numerous suppliers on the dark web.  It appears that Facebook logins can be bought from £2.30 and email logins for as little as £2.10, while credit cards details can be bought from £10.40 and debit card details from £14.90.

Logins for AirBnb cost from £7.70 and eBay logins are being sold from £4.40.

The investigation conducted by the price compare site found that you could purchase the majority of someone’s online life details for £744.30.

This includes usernames, passwords, email addresses and any personal details associated with your account, such as name, address and phone numbers.

Social media accounts are often stolen to sell to companies with no respect for privacy when it comes to targeted advertising.

Approximate Costs on the Dark Web:-

  • Finance (credit cards, debit cards, online marketing, PayPal) = £619.40
  • Online shopping (Amazon prime, Groupon, eBay, Tesco) = £30.30
  • Travel (Airbnb, British Airways, Uber, Expedia) = £26.40
  • Entertainment (Apple ID, Netflix, Spotify, Tidal, Steam) = £27.90
  • Social media (Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter) = £18.40
  • Email and Communication (AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, T-Mobile) = £21.90

It really is important to protect your data where possible to avoid facing costly consequences.

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