What Do the Scamwatch Stats Tell Us?

The graph below shows the most common scams being reported in Australia according to Scamwatch.

These scams are common across the world although the relative percentage of claims for each does vary between countries. The exact definition of, for example, investment scam also affects how the figures are reported in each country.

Investment scams shows the highest figure but in this case it includes any situation where the scammer offers something of high value in return for a small payment – not always what you would call an ‘investment’.

These percentages are relatively stable year to year except for scammers reacting to evens such as the Coronavirus pandemic, giving room for new scams and typically major catastrophes that scammers jump on.

If you have suffered any of these scams do let me know, by email.

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Would You Believe the Joint Pain Secret?

This is another typical fantasy health cure offered by a greedy scammer.

“The real core cause of joint pain, chronic arthritis, stiffness and bone problems… but it’s not looking pretty.”

“The real reason why your joints hurt like hell is deep hidden inside a core area of your body, but it’s not your arms or legs….”

So, some ‘crazy’ doctors have supposedly found a secret place inside the body and it causes all the problems to do with your joints.

Perhaps the scammer has been playing ‘Operation’ game too much and thinks she’s found something that real doctors don’t know about.

The scammer claims to have found the real cause of joint pains, so now she can offer the world a magic cure, but she also warns that ‘pharmaceutical conglomerates’ are threatening to imprison her to stop her spreading the truth.

Some people like conspiracy theories but surely no-one in their right mind would believe this level of rubbish?

Finally she says that ‘This is helping 3,419 men and women every day stop their pain’.

If there was anything genuine in this then the whole world would be very eager to see it. Of course it doesn’t exist – only a greedy stupid scammer.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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The Dumbest Russian Weight Loss Plan

New versions of magic weight loss remedies keep turning up.

This latest one is called the “Russian Weight Loss Method” and of course according to the scammer has been a secret for nearly 200 years.

It is claimed to be a naturally occurring substance from a very remote part of Russia and is “The greatest discovery of modern science” so of course everyone has seen it on the news across the world.

Nope? Maybe because it doesn’t exist, except in the mind of a scammer.

You simply put 3 ounces of this magic ingredient in your glass of water and you will lose 2 pounds in an evening.

This is apparently the secret of Russian Olympic athletes for generations, and we had been thinking it was illegal drugs instead.

So, you drink the stuff then sit about for the evening and somehow 2 pounds of body fat disappears – sounds quite disgusting. Or maybe if you fall asleep you’d wake up to see 2 pounds of your body fat all over the floor.

YUK!

Not quite believable.

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Take Five To Stop Fraud

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

Financial Fraud Action UK is part of UK Finance and is responsible for leading the collective fight against financial fraud on behalf of the UK payments industry. The membership includes banks, credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card payment acquirers in the UK.

They provide a forum for members to work together on non-competitive issues relating to financial fraud. The  primary function is to facilitate collaborative activity between industry participants and with other partners committed to fighting fraud.

The Government believe  encouraging people to take a moment to stop and think can make a difference.

Many people may already know the dos and don’ts of financial fraud- that no-one should ever ask them for their PIN or full password, or ever make them feel pressured into moving money to a ‘safe account’. But, it can be easy to forget this when in a hurry.

After all, trusting people on their word is something everyone tends to do instinctively. If someone says they’re from your bank or a trusted organisation, why wouldn’t you believe them?

Take Five is a national awareness campaign led by FFA UK backed by the Government and delivered with and through a range of partners in the UK payments industry, financial services firms, law enforcement agencies and others.

It urges you to stop and consider whether the situation is genuine – to stop and think if what you’re being told really makes sense.

What FFA UK does

  • Sponsor the Dedicated Card and Payments Crime Unit, an operational police unit, with a national remit.
  • Manage the Industry Strategic Threat Management Process, which provides an up-to-the-minute picture of the threat landscape.
  • Deliver UK-wide awareness campaigns to inform customers about threats and how to stay safe.
  • Manage intelligence-sharing through the industry fraud intelligence hub (Financial Fraud Bureau) and the Fraud Intelligence Sharing System (FISS) which feeds intelligence to police and other agencies in support of law enforcement activity.
  • Inform commentators and policy-makers through a press office and public affairs function.
  • Provide expert security assessments of new technology, as well as the impact of new legislation and regulation.
  • Publish the official fraud losses for the UK payments industry, as well as acting as the definitive source of industry fraud statistics and data.

All of this sounds useful in the fight against fraud.

Take care.

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Christmas Scams To Be Wary Of

The festive season is a busy time of year for scammers of all kinds as people plan to buy more products and services and the market for gifts reaches its peak.

Add in Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the pre- Christmas sales and the Boxing Day sales and you have an explosion of buying that the scammers want a share of.

Fake Shops

Scammers set up fake website shops offering whatever products are most popular. They usually copy the sales text and pictures from genuine websites to make their site look real, but if you buy then you’re unlikely to get anything and you will lose the money. Often they sell your credit card details to other scammers.

Always make sure you‘re on a genuine company website before buying anything.

Phishing Scam

There are any number of ways scammers will use to try to get your confidential information, including fake shops as above, fake text messages claiming to be from your bank, fake warnings where you have to click a link to login., but the link takes you to a specially prepared webpage that imitates your bank or whoever the scammers claim to be. The page is just to get your details.

The link may say it’s what you expect (e.g. Marks and Spencer/discounts) but it will be a fake page shop designed to get your confidential information.

Beware of these scams and don’t click a link unless you are sure it is safe.

Charity Scams.

Many people give more to charity at Christmas and the scammers go into overdrive with fake charity sites, fake charity emails and social media posts. They tug at your heartstrings in an attempt to get money.

They may claim celebrity endorsement or official recognition or anything to make themselves believable.

Scammers may pose as representatives of charitable organizations that are real (or merely sound real). At this time of year, their emotionally-charged appeals are more likely to strike “pay dirt” with normally careful people.

The scams may involve nationally recognized charities aiding well-known causes, or local groups handling problems closer to home.

If you want to donate to charity then donate in person or go to the correct website directly – do not click on links in messages.

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