Category: Scammer

What is Card Skimming

Card skimming is where criminals use a small device (called a skimmer) to steal payment card information in an otherwise legitimate credit or debit card transaction. When a payment card is swiped through a skimmer, the device captures and stores all the details stored in the card’s magnetic stripe which contains the card number, expiration date and the card holder’s full name. Thieves use the stolen data to make purchases online or make counterfeit cards or sell to other criminals.

Card skimmers can be placed over almost any type of card reader but are most often placed over the card entry mechanism on ATMs and petrol stations. The criminals may also place a tiny camera above the keypad to record you entering your PIN. This gives the thief all the information needed to make fake cards and withdraw money from  your account.

Sometimes retail and restaurant workers who handle payment cards are recruited to be part of a skimming ring. These workers use a handheld device to skim your card during a normal transaction. For example when you hand your card over to the waiter to pay your bill – the waiter disappears and returns with your receipt but has also passed your card through a skimmer.

Once the victim’s card information is stolen, thieves will either create cloned card to make purchases in store or online or sell the information or fake cards on the dark web. Victims of credit card skimming are often unaware of the theft until they notice unauthorized charges on their account, have their card unexpectedly declined, or receive an overdraft notification from the bank or warnings about a loan in their name that they didn’t take out.

How to Spot a Card Skimmer at an ATM

Card skimming devices are made to look as if part of the ATM it’s placed on.

Look out for :-

  • A card reader that sticks out far past the panel. Skimmers are designed to fit over the existing credit card reader.
  • A keypad that’s thicker than normal (there may be a fake one on top of the original)
  • If the keys seem hard to push, eject your card and use another ATM.

 

Watch where you shop and keep hold of your cards at all times. Do not let waiters or retail staff wander off with your card to process your payment.

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How to become a Scammer

Millions of people around the world have decided to steal from others rather than trying to make money by legitimate means.

Here’s the process they may go through in making that decision.

  1. You assess yourself and realise that you are a lying, cheating, repulsive human being. You are a first class scumbag and have no soul. Without this realisation you won’t become a scammer.
  2. You decide that you are going to steal from others to get what you want – you don’t care if your victims are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick. Any victim is fine and statistically victims are more likely to be older, less wealthy and less healthy than the average.
  3. Next, you decide on the method of scam to use:-
    1. Face-to-face
    2. By post
    3. By email
    4. By text message
    5. Create fake websites
    6. On social media
    7. Any combination of the above
  4. Then you select the scam you want to use. There are thousands but most scammers stick to the tried and trusted ones rather than being creative enough to find a new scam. The simplest way is to directly copy other scammers.
    1. Investment / Pump and dump
    2. Phishing then sell the details to other scammers
    3. Identity Theft
    4. 419 scams i.e. promise something valuable but never deliver
    5. Miracle health products that don’t exist or are cheap rubbish
    6. Retail of fake products
    7. Malware distribution
    8. Computer support calls
    9. Cyber currencies
    10. Job Offers
    11. Fake loans
    12. Scareware
    13. Travel scams etc.

etc.

  1. You carry out the scams
  2. You enjoy the benefits of theft until you are caught and imprisoned and hopefully suffer a great deal for the misery you have caused other people

Give yourself a worthwhile life – don’t be a scammer.

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Inbox Pounds Scam or Not

Inbox Pounds is a way to make money for simple activities online including

  • Filling in surveys
  • Reading emails
  • Searching the web
  • Playing bingo
  • Shopping online

There are numerous companies offering money for filling in surveys but Inbox offers alternatives as well.

Does it pay up?

There seem to be more than a few people who have been paid by Inbox Pounds so that seems genuine.

The payments per activity are very very low so this is not a way to make any serious money – it seems more appropriate for people who spend a lot of time online and enjoy filling in surveys etc. They get a little extra money and if that’s all you want then maybe it will work out.

The adverts do make it clear that you have to accumulate a reward of £20 before you can cash out and reputedly that takes a long time to reach, plus if you become inactive for a period they will close your account.

So, as long as you don’t expect to make a lot of money easily – you might try Inbox Pounds but it is certainly not recommended.

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

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Ghost Car Insurance Brokers

The Police have warned that thousands of motorists could be unwittingly driving without insurance because of fraudsters known as “ghost brokers” selling fake policies.

Men in their 20s are most likely to be targeted by ‘ghost brokers’ who often contact victims on social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram. They also advertise on student websites or money-saving forums, university notice boards and marketplace websites and may sell insurance policies in pubs, clubs or bars, newsagents and car repair shops.

City of London officers report that detectives have received more than 850 reports of the scam in the last three years, with victims losing an estimated total of £631,000.

These criminals who sell fake insurance policies to unsuspecting drivers are known as ghost brokers; they carry out the fraudulent act in one of three ways:

  • Forging insurance documents, so there is no genuine policy of any kind
  • Falsifying a driver’s details to lower insurance costs, but the policy can be invalidated when the insurance company finds out the truth
  • Take out a genuine insurance policy then quickly cancel it and claim the refund as well as the victim’s money.

A national campaign has now been launched to warn drivers to be wary of heavily discounted policies on the internet or cheap insurance prices they are offered directly.

Some victims only realise they do not have genuine cover when they are stopped by police or try to make an insurance claim after an accident.

Police have taken action in 417 cases linked to “ghost broking” in the last three years, including one man who set up 133 fake policies.

How to avoid a ghost broker

  • Buy insurance directly from an insurance company’s website. If you want to use a broker, visit the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website and check the broker is FCA registered
  • Be cautious of brokers trying to sell insurance through social media, newsagents and pubs
  • Trust your instinct – if an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of insurance brokers who only use a mobile phone or email to contact you

If you suspect a ghost broker is trying to contact you, call the fraud bureau on 0800 422 0421.

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FBI Take Down 74 Business Email Scammers

The FBI call this scam “Business Email Compromise” (BEC).

It’s when a scammer gets the email address of a senior member of a business and impersonates them in emails asking for money to be transferred to an outside account and it is a very common and sadly quite lucrative scam.

It is a rapidly rising scam and estimated to cost business some hundreds of millions of dollars last year.

The FBI report that the elderly, art galleries and collectors, and real estate purchasers have also found themselves targets over the last few years.

The FBI worked with law enforcement agencies from four continents to takedown a ring of cybercriminals responsible for a series of business e-mail compromise schemes. According to the Department of Justice, the scams led to $14 million in phony wire transfers.

The exercise was called Operation Wire Wire and resulted in the seizure of $2.4M, 42 arrests across the United States, 29 in Nigeria, and three in Canada, Mauritius and Poland.

The FBI thanked the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Toronto Police Service, the Mauritian Attorney-General and the Commissioner of Police, Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation, Indonesian National Police Cyber Crimes Unit, and the Royal Malaysia Police, for assisting them in the operation.

23 of the U.S. arrests were made in the state of Florida where individuals reportedly laundered roughly $10M from BEC scams. Another scam in Connecticut resulted in the loss of $2.6 million.

For one attack the FBI enlisted the help of the IRS’ Criminal Investigation unit. Those arrested – a pair of Nigerian nationals living in Texas – allegedly sent a real estate closing attorney an email asking for $246,000 be wired to their account. The victim lost $130,000 after the bank was notified of the fraud and froze $116,000.

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

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