Category: Fight Back

Canadian Anti Scam Centre

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on mass marketing fraud (e.g. telemarketing), advance fee fraud, Internet fraud, identification theft complaints and similar matters.

The website is www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca  and contains information on frauds, advice on how to protect yourself against fraud and how to report scams.

In Canada, there has recently been :

  • A marked increase in the amount of mail with too-good-to-be-true offers
  • Frequent calls offering get-rich-quick schemes or valuable awards
  • Numerous calls for donations to fake charities
  • Many people finding their banking records show cheques or withdrawals made to unknown companies

CAFC advice that if you suspect that someone you know has fallen prey to a deceptive telemarketer, don’t criticize them for being naïve. Encourage that person to share their concerns with you about unsolicited calls or any new business or charitable dealings. Assure them that it is not rude to hang up on suspicious calls. Keep in mind that criminal telemarketers are relentless in hounding people – some victims report receiving 5 or more calls a day, wearing down their resistance.

The Vision of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

  • Be innovative in its efforts to disrupt frauds and scams through coordination with its partners.
  • Be an international Centre of Excellence providing the most comprehensive data available in Canada with regard to fraud related resource material, scam types, statistics, trends, and demographics, as well as the size, scope and impact of fraud.
  • Work closely and cooperatively with its numerous partners in a combined effort to proactively identify emerging scams, trends, threats, and criminal organizations operating in Canada across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Provide the highest possible quality service through technology in partnership with law enforcement, government agencies at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, and the private sector.
  • Provide valuable, timely and compassionate assistance to victims of fraud.

Stay safe online.

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

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Sky Women

Sky Women (http://skywomen.co.za/index.html) is a non-profit community service company that offers a one-stop helpline, Information and Support Centre for victims of 419 scams/ cyber fraud within South Africa and Global.

The company’s aim is to take action against 419 scams/ cyber fraud on social media platforms and thus protect its potential victims by creating public awareness through its 419 Scam awareness campaigns, pro-active prevention, education and support of scam victims in South Africa. \Most of their guidelines apply equally to anyone any country.

Sky Women also offers scam awareness and education presentations at schools and on “Talk shows” as well as presents a series of television programs to inform the public about the danger of 419 scams/cyber fraud and the supportive role that Sky Women NPC plays to assist scam victims.

Sky Women say they are very much about the psychological damage caused by being scammed as this can be worse than the financial loss in many cases.

Sky Women team has understanding when it comes to the mental abuse, manipulation and impact of scams on a victim. Similar to victims of violent crimes, victims of economic crimes suffer mental and emotional abuse as well as stress-related physical effects.

The effect of victimisation on a scam victim can be like “psychological mugging”.

Sky Women is a non-profit community company and was been formed in direct response to the “high increasing” number of scam victims on social media platforms within South Africa, it encourages all institutions and government to participate in the fight against scamming and cyber fraud.

The website contains educational material about scams and staying safe plus stories of people who have suffered due to being scammed.

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Website Review: Spamlaws

SPAMLAWS – HOW TO STOP SCAMS AND FRAUD (www.spamlaws.com)

SpamLaws say they are dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on issues affecting Internet security. They aim to supply the readers with the best Internet protection information and are constantly striving to learn more about and report on the latest and most up-to-date Internet security issues, software, and protection.

They also investigate common Internet based scams and fraud issues.

Their approach to protecting your personal information is “Get informed”.

The “Spam Laws” section of SpamLaws.com was created by David E. Sorkin, a Law Professor at the Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law, at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Professor Sorkin has written and lectured extensively about issues surrounding Internet policy, privacy and consumer protection.

The web site covers Identity Theft, Scams, Spam, Fraud, Antivirus, Spyware, Adware, Backup, Computer Virus & Worms, Wireless Security, Networking, Software Reviews, Phishing, Malware 101, Parental Control, Network Security, Operating Systems, Data Encryption, Browsers, Email Client Software and Password Protection.

The site has sections covering the United States, European Union and some mention of other countries, so you can see which laws are relevant in each jurisdiction.

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James Veitch The Scammer Teaser

James Veitch is a comedian who has a lucrative side-line in making videos of himself responding to scam messages.

He plays along with the scam and engages in ridiculous conversations until they eventually give up but that can take a while as these criminals are determined to part you from your money.

The videos are funny and have crazy graphics to keep you engaged and they work – millions of people watch them.

For example, James receives the message:-

“Hi Phil, my name is Andrew. I’m one of the tenants at 11 Dover Place. I’ve been told you the person to contact regarding upkeep, maintenance etc.”

James does reply and tell him he’s not the person but he refuses to accept that so James then strings him along.

The guy is complaining about the apartment being too hot and wants a thermostatic valve fitted.

James then replies that he cannot do that but he’s having his builder visit on Wednesday to remove one of the windows thereby solving the heating problem and the conversation continues with the guy increasingly worried that a window is to be removed.

It’s handy being a comedian and James has a lot of fun with this and the scammers who contact him but anyone can try this and enjoy wasting the scammer’s time.

James has a series of these videos called the scamalot series at the mashable website www.mashable.com and those plus more on YouTube. www.youtube.com.

Have fun watching and you will learn about scammer tactics and how to have fun baiting the scammers.

Have you tried teasing, provoking, annoying or otherwise wasting the time of these stupid scammers? If so, do let me know, by email.

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How to Identify a Suspect Photo

If you receive a photo from someone on a dating website or a Facebook friend request or a scam email etc. you might want to know whether the photo is of the sender or has just been copied off the Internet.

Fake photos are a common problem on dating websites, where, for male scammers photos of uniformed soldiers are often used. For female scammers, the use of photos of random hot women stolen from social media sites is very common.

Google has a reverse image lookup facility and it’s easy to use.

  1. Download a copy of the photo of the person on to your device if possible (or you can a URL pointing to the image)
  2. Go to Google Image search and select the camera icon
  3. Upload the photo or type in the URL for the image
  4. The result will be a list showing where the picture is on the Internet.

This cannot be guaranteed to give 100% accurate results, but it makes a good effort to match the image you supply.

If the scammer has chosen a popular photo from a popular website then Google is likely to find it but if someone is just using a picture of their neighbour for example then there’s little chance of finding it.

Just because Google cannot find the photo on the Internet does not prove it is a genuine photo of the sender.

The scammers that use fake pictures may well work for professional criminal organisations and treat it like an everyday job. So, confronting them is pointless, trying to talk out of such deceitful behaviour is a waste of time.

If you catch people cheating with photos then report them to the social media site concerned or the relevant dating site.

You may also choose to report them to the Police and tell the scammer you know they are fake.

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

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Binary Options Trader in Court

Binary options is a form of stock market trading where essentially you are betting will go up or down rather than on how much it will move.

That sounds straightforward and maybe a 50:50 chance of winning but in fact 80% of people who try lose their money.

Lee Elbaz, the former chief executive of a major binary options company, goes on trial today in the US charged with defrauding clients of nearly $150m.

Her role in the fraud was first exposed with the help of a whistleblower, in November 2016, and some of the evidence presented by that insider has been used to prepare the case against Ms Elbaz.

The binary options scandal was a high-tech variant of boiler room scams. The fraudsters would cold call potential investors in other countries and persuade them to put money on whether a share or commodity price would go up or down. Initially the investor would see their money growing in an account held by the company and be encouraged to invest more — sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds. However, when they tried to withdraw the money the binary options company would prevaricate and then stop taking their calls.

Billions of dollars was stolen from consumers all over the world, including the UK and US.

Ms Elbaz, also known as Lena Green, was the chief executive of Yukom, a company that operated binary options trading platforms under trade names such as BigOption and BinaryBook. Her team modelled themselves on Jordan Belfort — the New York stockbroker and scammer who inspired the film The Wolf of Wall Street. Ms Elbaz even took the team to see Belfort when he visited Israel.

The US government alleges that from around May 2014 through to around June 2017, Ms Elbaz directed a scheme to defraud binary options investors by lying to them and misleading them about the nature of binary options trading. Ms Elbaz, an Israeli citizen, was arrested when she flew to New York in September 2017.

Before the exposure of the fraud, binary options companies were allowed to openly advertise in the UK. One, Banc de Binary, sponsored Liverpool and Southampton football clubs. It was later forced to pay up $11 million in fines in the US before being wound up. The Israeli government banned such companies operating from Israel in October 2017 and in 2018 European governments barred the operators from selling to their citizens.

Good riddance.

If you have any experiences with binary options or similar scams – do let me know, by email.

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