Category: information

Paid To Market Videos

Having a video clip go viral can be advantageous to any video producer, including to scammers.

To try to make this happen you can employ people to market your video and hopefully get lots and lots of people to view it.

That can be done in an open honest way – telling people what it’s about so they can make an informed choice on whether to watch it or not.

Or can be done dishonestly.

The radio station, along with many other businesses get numerous emails offering to pay if we include other people’s video clips (usually YouTube clips) on our website.

“I need someone to market these videos to reach a lot of views and engagement”.

“Our budget is $1000”.

That may sound reasonable but the whole thing is just a scam.

The message sender doesn’t want to pay for anything – just to get you and millions of others to view their videos as they get paid each time someone does watch.

The emails usually contain a list of videos and the exhortation that you should watch them to see which best fit your website.

Do not view whatever they are – it’s a simple trick.

Anyone who genuinely wanted to pay you for showing their videos would know who they are talking to, not sending emails to ‘undisclosed recipients’ and would have checked if your website already contain 3rd party videos and would describe the videos.

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

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Predicted Scams in 2022

Action Fraud, Cifas, and UK Finance collectively received 822,276 fraud reports in 2019-20. Of which, 698,934 (85%) were online based scams. The National Crime Agency also believe that only about 20% of scams are reported suggesting there are probably several million cases of cybercrime every year in the UK.

It’s no surprise that the number and total value of scams is expected to increase in 2022.

Scams predicted to be the most common in 2022 are:

1: Cryptocurrency Scams

These scams are very big business and target mostly younger people.

They usually start with adverts on social media offering guaranteed profits and often use photos of celebrities with claims that the celebrity has made a fortune from cybercurrency investment and wants you to do the same.

These can be called ‘get rich quick’ schemes and are always fake.

2: Coronavirus Vaccine scams

Scammers have been taking advantage of the pandemic in every way they can since it began.

Since the start of the initial vaccine roll-out in December 2020, scammers have been trying to con people into paying for vaccines by sending out fake NHS text messages, emails and also cold calling.

The NHS contact people by letter and text messages to let them know when it’s their turn for their vaccine or booster, however they will never ask you for your personal information, log-in details and passwords, or bank details.

3: NHS COVID Pass Scams

The UK requires Covid passes for some events and some venues. This is freely available from the NHS but scammers have been exploiting this by sending text messages to people saying their Covid pass is ready but they need to pay for it.

These text messages appear to be from the NHS and read something along the lines of ‘you are now eligible to apply for your COVID Pass, proving you have been vaccinated’. A link will be included which will take you to a malicious website, designed to look like the NHS website, where you will be asked for your personal details and for payment to obtain your pass.

4: Romance Scams

During the Lockdowns, many people have been more lonely and online dating has become much more popular.

Romance scams typically involve malicious minded criminals who develop relationships with people over a long period of time so they can build their trust. Once they’ve built up enough trust, they’ll start to make up reasons why they need money and plead for your help.

If you’re suspicious of someone’s behaviour on a dating website, or if they’ve asked you for money or to make an investment, then it’s important that you report them on the site or app. This will protect not only you, but also others from being scammed.

5: Payment Fraud

Payment diversion fraud is where scammers intercept payments or create /amend invoices in order to divert money to bank accounts under their control.

Action Fraud say the average loss to payment diversion fraud is around £30,000 per business or individual.

This fraud usually involves the scammers hacking email accounts so they can pretend to be a supplier for example asking for payments to go to a different bank.

Be very cautious if you receive an email from a supplier, or solicitor, requesting you to change the bank details you have on record for them. If you receive an email like this, phone them directly and check that this is genuine. Don’t email them back or use any contact details provided in the email, go to a known trusted contact or use the contact details on their website.

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Stay Safe on Western Union

Western Union is a money transfer system. It is very much favoured by online fraudsters as once you have made a payment in Western Union the money is untraceable and no way can you get it back.

Western Union recognise this problem but there’s little they can do as the whole process is designed to allow for easy money transfer as if paying cash. Untraceable.

Western Union do publish guidance on how to avoid scams and stay safe.

They publish a list of Money Transfer Never-Evers as they call them.

These are:-

  • Never send money to people you haven’t met in person.
  • Never send money to pay for taxes or fees on lottery or prize winnings.
  • Never use a test question as an additional security measure to protect your transaction.
  • Never provide your banking information to people or businesses you don’t know.
  • Never send money in advance to obtain a loan or credit card.
  • Never send money for an emergency situation without verifying that it’s a real emergency.
  • Never send funds from a cheque in your account until it officially clears—which can take weeks.
  • Never send a money transfer to an individual for online purchases.

If you follow those rules then you will be a lot safer using money transactions with Western Union.

There are countless other money transfer businesses of course including TransferWise, Currencies Direct, OFX and Moneygram.

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What Are The Most Popular Spam Subjects?

Bitcoin is really popular with scammers currently – endless scam messages with titles such as “Ride the wave of Bitcoin”. That’s likely to keep being popular till Bitcoin crashes (if it ever does)

Herpes cures – titles such as “Get rid of it fast” sent from dozens of different names.

The ever popular Flight Simulator game is still on Clickbank paying very high commission to anyone who can get you to click onto their site and buy:-
Are you a Good Pilot?”

“Learn to Fly Any Plane”

“Fly Anywhere in the World”

Then there’s always Shark Tank best product ever examples, such as :-

“Get Your Weight Back With This Shake”

 “Super Slimming”

“This Product Changes Everything”

Although Shark Tank is a perfectly good American TV series, the name is used extensively by scammers  so a mention of Shark Tank almost ensures the message is a scam.

Russian girls love you. Endless emails claiming to be a Russian girl who thinks you are cute. More likely it’s some ugly guys in a garage, churning out this trash, looking for victims.  ”My name is Maria and I’m from Russia”.

“Earn a guaranteed $13,000 in 24 hours” If it was true then the scammer wouldn’t need to send out such messages to catch desperate people.

Then there’s hair restorer claims still popular with scammers – gives you a full head of hair within days.

The basic scams stay the same but are often dressed in new clothes to con new people.

All very sad.

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How to Check A Used Vehicle Before Buying

The starting point is to consider the level of guarantee that you need with a used car. If you need expert assurance that the vehicle is safe and has no serious hidden problems then a main dealer garage would be a good choice, whereas if you are willing to take a risk to get a lower price then buying from a private seller or a car auction may be your choice.

Independent garages, private sellers, eBAY etc all have their advantages and disadvantages for you to consider.

Before you see the vehicle

  1. Ask the seller for the registration number, make and model and MOT test number
  2. Check the details match those of the registration on the DVLA website at
  3. Check the MOT status and history for the vehicle at
  4. Check if the vehicle has been recalled due to a serious safety issue at

When you go to see the vehicle

  1. Ask to see the V5C vehicle registration certificate (‘log book’). Make sure it has a ‘DVL’ watermark and make sure the details in the log book match the details you’ve been given.
  2. Check the vehicle identification number and engine number if possible, to ensure they match the details in the log book.

These checks do not guarantee any vehicle is safe but they do give some peace of mind and will help you avoid the worst scams and other problems.

The government website at gives detailed advice on what to check and how to get the necessary information when looking to buy a used car.

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

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Are Directory Submission Facilities Worth the Effort?

Online directories used to be a good way to find items of interest on the Internet. But since the search engines became highly efficient, online directories have not been needed for general searching.  Search engines are the starting point for most users of the World Wide Web and directories are out of favour.

There are online services that will submit your website listing to hundreds or even thousands of online directories and they make it sound as if it’s the best way to get your website noticed.  But search engines pay little attention to directories and few people use them and directories don’t feature much in recommended search engine optimisation for your website, so the value is questionable.

Free and Paid Listings

While most online directories all offer a free listing option, they will try to upsell you to a paid option – this is generally a range packages available for a monthly fee. For example $25 might get you a listing with a logo and a website link, whereas $50 might guarantee you an entry in the top half of their search results page.

A free, basic listing can be useful just for the sake of another return link to your website, but it’s difficult to justify paying for an entry unless it’s a niche directory that is still much used by people searching in that niche.  This true for some trade directories that list for example architects or plumbers.

If your entry in a business directory is to your profile on the directory then this is unlikely to help your position in the main search engines as only the secondary link is to your website.

A paid listing will give you more visibility on the directory but probably be no better for the main search engines.

Maybe you know good reasons why business directory listings are worth paying for?

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