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Eric and the Fake Job

Eric was a smart guy – retired from working in technology and looking for a part-time job working from home but earning some serious money if possible.

Searching on the Internet he found a website for a Swiss company offering jobs to retired people with a professional background and he took the ‘opportunity’.

The work was straightforward – mostly about buying APPLE devices in Walmarts and sending them on to an address in California.

The Swiss company paid his credit card bill for the first few weeks then the payments stopped and the credit card company told him there was fraud involved and the previous payments to his card were fake and had been cancelled.

Eric now found himself owing tens of thousands of dollars to the credit card company and the scammers had disappeared – the website was gone, the phone lines were no longer answered.

It was a nasty lesson for Eric but it can be a warning to others to beware high paying jobs offered by people you’ve never met.

This is a complex scam as the scammers set-up fake websites and call centres, fake legal documents and more to trap the unwary. They use stolen bank accounts and credit cards to pay bills initially then vanish leaving innocent people in huge debt with no redress and possible legal action against them if they have been shipping stolen goods.

Stay safe.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Santander Forced to Pay Scam Victim

When someone has money stolen from their bank account by scammers the banks can usually get away with blaming the individual  and not pay compensation.

In some cases that is reasonable – if people make no attempt to check who they are transferring money to or why then it’s not the bank’s fault.

But scammers are increasingly sophisticated in these attacks and many people are caught out even after taking what they think are the right precautions.

In a recent case ‘Victor’ believed he was talking to Santander’s  fraud department and gave the fraudsters the information they needed to access his account. The Financial Ombudsman believed he had acted reasonably and ordered Santander to repay the amount stolen – nearly £12,000.

If the bank refuses to pay after such a fraud – the victim has 6 months in which to complain to the Financial Ombudsman and there may be more such cases as people fight harder to make the banks pay up.

Of course, it is still the individual’s responsibility to act sensibly at all times and do their best to avoid fraud.

If you transfer money away without adequate consideration – that’s your fault and no-one else’s.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Dodgy Reputation Management Companies

Online reputation management is a specialized field that requires a solid understanding of marketing, branding, public relations, website content, social media and more.

Since online reputation management services are in high demand, many companies enter this industry despite not having the required skills. They attract clients by making big claims, unrealistic promises and commitments they probably  cannot fulfil. This can end in a waste of money for their clients and damaging to their online reputation.

One common approach us to offer what seems to be a great deal, complete with guarantees. But when the project has started, then the client finds out that the contract only covers basic work and a lot of extra payments are needed to complete the work to a good standard.

E.g. only carrying out very basic SEO improvements and wanting more money for anything further.

Once you have an Online Reputation Management in place, they will have all of your logins and passwords for social media accounts, website etc. And that can make it difficult to get rid of them safely.

Some poor online reputation management companies work really hard in the first month to win the client’s confidence, then sit back and simply monitor until near the end of the contract when they wake-up again and start new actions.

The Fake Guarantee

Many online reputation management business offer a guarantee for the client of being at the top of relevant Google searches, double the number of visitors to a website, 50% increase in sales etc. But these are unrealistic.  There are ways of fulfilling the guarantees without providing anything of value to the customer so don’t be taken in by these.

E.g. it’s easy to be number one on Google for a long keyword phrase that no-one would ever use.

The worst scam is where the fake online reputation management companies create negative content themselves and get it ranking high on Google. Once the client gets to know about it, the fake online reputation companies remove the negative content and pretend as if they had to work hard for that result.

Selection of an Online Reputation Management Company

If you do want to employ an Online Reputation Management Company then do your research to ensure they are the real deal and not a waster of money.  For any company you are considering:-

  1. Research the company in detail, looking for objective evidence and reviews.
  2. Research their team on LinkedIn or other relevant platforms to see if they have the required skillset and experience to handle the account
  3. Take up references I.e. contact their previous customers
  4. Discuss with the company a possible plan of action, and if they make unrealistic claims then avoid them
  5. Check any ‘awards’ quoted are genuine

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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