Category: Fraud

Why Has A Large Sum of Money Appeared in My Account?

This is a variation on the standard push payment scams, which is where a scammer phones you, pretending to be from your bank and convinces you to move your money to another account for safety reasons.

This new version is a little more complicated as scammers are finding it increasingly difficult to get people to move their money – because this scam has become well known and the banks try to ensure that any such move is not due to duress of some kind.

John explains below how a large sum of unsolicited money appeared in his account and how the scam works.

One evening I got a notification from my bank that several thousand pounds had been deposited in my account, but I wasn’t expecting any payments.

I logged-in to find that a family member, Susan, had transferred the money. Confused – but with the words ‘scam alert’ quietly running through the back of my mind – I phoned Susan.

At that very moment, she had started calling me. I answered and she said in a panicked voice something along the lines of ‘my bank’s on the phone, they said my account isn’t secure, money has been sent to you, but you need to transfer it to a different safe account – they said you have to do it right now.’

A push payment scam begins

Susan was incredibly stressed and out of breath – and obviously on the receiving end of a push payment scam, though of course she didn’t realise it yet.

I told her to hang up the phone on ‘the bank’ immediately, find her bank card and call the number on the back and explain what was going on to her actual bank.

Meanwhile I called my bank to report the payment as part of a scam and ask them to return it to the sender. By the next day, Susan’s bank had frozen her account and reassured her that the money would be returned. My account had also been frozen.

Susan and I tried to piece together what had happened. We gathered that the scammers had somehow gained access to the account (possibly using malware that can read one’s screen to steal her two-factor code), and had made the transfer to me.

It seems the scammers were not able to add a new payee to the account (as presumably this would require greater scrutiny from the bank), so they picked an already existing payee at random to send the money to.

Then kicked in the tactics of a classic ‘push payment scam’; convince the victim that their account is compromised and that they need to send the money to a ‘new’ and ‘safe’ account, which of course is under the control of the scammers.

Huge emotional pressure

The difference here is that a third-party contact of the victim is involved – making it more likely for the scam to succeed. Why? Having several thousand pounds of somebody else’s money sitting in your account applies great emotional pressure to the third party.

It was hard enough for me to say ‘no’ when Susan had instructed me to forward the money on to a different account – ‘it’s their money after all, who am I to tell them?’ – but I suspected it was a scam.

But how many people who have no idea it’s a scam will simply do as their family member asks? Luckily I did say ‘no’. The money has been returned and both of our accounts unblocked.

I suppose the old ‘if it seems too good to be true…’ rule applies. So if you get a large sum of money randomly deposited in your account, contact your bank and think twice before touching it.

I hope sharing my experience here will help warn others and raise awareness.

Well done John.

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

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Stupidest Scam or Spam of the Week Essay Cheating

There are many online services that provide essays on demand, plus academic papers and similar of all kinds.

This is not the same as services that are welcomed by the academic communities for providing test papers, reference materials etc.

Instead, these sites target people who want to do better than they deserve.

Why write a long essay for school or college when you can pay a website to provide it for you with no effort?

That’s effectively their sales pitch and these sites are common.

Large academic institutions have to protect against their students ‘cheating’ in this way but some people will always try.

Some of the latest scam emails offering this service use software to randomly combine stock phrases into messages they hope to get through the spam filters at the email service providers, but they also make it obvious that the sender has no clue what they are doing

e.g. “When it pertains to your career as brilliant future”

or “that way you wouldn’t have to reconsider prior to trusting us”

or “enjoy the incentives of wonderfully created academic documents”

or “We promote your growth in the right direction”

No-one in their right mind would want to trust an organisation to produce documents when they put out this kind of message and sends it from a private Gmail address.

Do the work yourself.

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KB Says Trust Your Gut

Post by K.B. Beaumaaks

I am 52 and considered to be of the baby boomer generation. We were raised in a world without the internet, taught to respect our elders and certain professions were considered very trustworthy. Examples are doctors, teachers, police officers etc…. we  were raised that these are people we could trust no matter what and for the most part this was absolutely true.

I had not one but two similar situations happen to me and I am an educated professional with an upper level income. My scams occurred not with an outsider but a partner…. yep first with my ex husband who was a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine then to a boyfriend who was a Police Officer. Two professions that were “trustworthy professions” I was blinded by the scammers that they were. My point is to trust your gut no matter who the person is. If it feels wrong…. chances are it is wrong.

See below for KB’s posts about her first and second husbands

Generally, the geriatric or elderly community were the ones that were scammed by door to door salespersons or telephone scammers. Today people believe the less educated, the lower income, elderly community are the ones prone to scammers. This is absolutely not true according to The Better Business Bureau.

People today believe what they read on the internet, they impulse shop, they receive emails and phone calls about tax issues or debt collectors and we fall for it believing oh if it’s on the internet, it must be true.

I have written a book called The Preah Secrets and it deals with my veterinary husband and how I discovered his heist and how I followed my gut to eventually discover his intentions of deceit. I prepared and eventually sought justice for myself. I hope the book inspires others to follow their instincts and remember, scams can happen to anyone by anyone.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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London Police Cyber Crime

In the year 2019/2020 the London Police recorded 27,187 reports of cybercrime, comprising

  • 13,271 reports of hacking social media and email
  • 7,095 reports of computer viruses / malware
  • 3,605reports of personal hacking

These reports amount to a reported loss of £5.4 million.

Perhaps surprisingly, the people at highest risk of being scammed were 20-29 year olds.

The most common methods most used by the cyber criminals were:-

  1. Phishing emails – messages that claim from be from an authority of some kind, but seek to get your personal information e.g. login and password, credit card details etc.
  2. Weak passwords i.e. ones that can be guessed or are a word in the dictionary
  3. Weak security that allows attackers access for ransomware or to breach the security to steal data

The most commonly reported example of phishing was fake emails offering a TV licence renewal.

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

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Banks To Use Criminal Money

Fraud in the UK is estimated to be more than £1.26bn in 2020 and some Police actions result in money and assets belonging to the criminals being frozen. For 2020, that was roughly £130 million.

The government is considering a proposal from banks that these funds obtained through criminal activities be used to pay back at least some of the victims.

According to a survey, three-quarters of those asked said they supported the idea, although there isn’t enough money to pay back all victims so that would create difficult choices on who receives the money.

A Home Office spokesperson stated that the government is working with the financial sector to unlock suspected criminal funds held in ‘frozen’ accounts across the financial sector.

Under some circumstances, the banks do pay back victims currently but, in many cases, the victims don’t get anything.

The Banks cannot make the decision to use that money until there is a change to the law, by the government to enable it. This is likely to be under the money laundering laws.

You can campaign on this issue to your local MP or the Home Office.

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

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Gerry Caught Out by Facebook Advert

Gerry was thinking about getting some new Ecco golf shoes when an advert popped up on Facebook offering sale price Ecco shoes.

The ad listed his shoe size as in stock and they seemed ideal.

Now, you might suspect someone you’ve never heard of approaching you on Facebook, but it’s easy to believe that adverts on Facebook are legitimate.

That isn’t always true – Facebook do some work to weed out scam adverts, but a lot get through.

Gerry clicked the link and purchased the pair of golf shoes he wanted from the website.

Everything seemed fine, but then he noticed on his credit card statement that two charges had been made to his account and they were both much more than the price he should have paid.

What had happened?

A simple mistake by the supplier?


Gerry contacted Ecco who told him that the website was fake and their legal department would be getting it shutdown.

Gerry had been careful to pay by credit card and the credit card company refunded his money.

Don’t trust adverts on Facebook and do be careful buying anything online especially from a website you haven’t bought from previously.

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

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