Category: Scammer

Are Facebook Private Lotteries Legal

Lottery syndicates are legal and many people belong to one or more.

But gambling through Facebook Groups is not legal though hundreds of such groups exist.

Facebook users are being warned about illegal lottery groups which take money from members but don’t pay out.

The prizes promised include smartphones, cars, game consoles and cash prizes of up to £5,000.

Stakes of 50p to £20 are bet on the number of the Lotto bonus ball, with the administrator of the illegal raffle usually taking a large share of proceeds. Some may be rigged or the organisers simply disappear with all the stake money.

The law says that lotteries cannot be run for private or commercial gain. Gambling experts say these privately run groups encourage children to start betting. Illegal bets on the National Lottery.

Some groups do pay out, with the organisers taking a share of the money, while a few have been set up to raise money for charity or community campaigns, but according to the law lotteries cannot be run for private or commercial gain.

The Gambling Commission is working to close down these groups and it can also prosecute those found in breach of the law with a £5,000 fine or up to 51 weeks in prison.

If in any doubt, you can check the licence register on the Gambling Commission  website (www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk) or contact the local authority where the lottery is based.

Join a syndicate of people you trust and not through a Facebook Group.

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Western Union to Repay Scammed Money

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Postal Inspection Service have been investigating Western Union who are a wire transfer company.

Western Union is often used by fraudsters as payments through Western Union cannot generally be tracked.

Western Union has admitted to aiding and abetting wire fraud and failure to maintain an effective anti-money-laundering programme and agreed to pay $586 million. That money is now being used by DOJ to give refunds to people who were tricked into using Western Union to pay scammers.

Victims of fraud who paid money to scammers via a Western Union wire transfer between 2004 and 2017 can apply for a refund .

This was thought to only apply to U.S. citizens but the US Department of Justice has recently confirmed that victims of fraud who live anywhere in the world – including the UK – can apply for a refund if they lost money transferred via Western Union between 1 January 2004 and 19 January 2017. There is a limited refund pot and there are thought to be 100,000s of victims, so they may not get all of their lost money back.

Fraudsters use a variety of methods to trick people into wiring them money – romance scams, friend in distress, fake online purchases etc.

The refund scheme covers any form of wire transfer fraud which involved making a payment via Western Union, so if you sent money to someone who wasn’t who they said they were, or you didn’t get what you were promised in return for a transfer you made, you can apply for a refund.

How To Apply For a Refund

You can apply online at www.westernunionremission.com/ or by post – the deadline is 12 February 2018.

To apply online, fill in the Western Union remission claim form. You’ll be asked for contact details, details of the payment you made to a fraudster, whether you’ve previously managed to recover some of your lost money and if so, how much. If you’ve already had some money back, you can only claim for the amount you haven’t recouped.

The form asks for a social security number – for people no in the U.S.A. put that you don’t have one as you are not a U.S. citizen.

If you have receipts or other supporting documentation such as a police report, then upload copies of these to support your claim. You can still apply if you don’t have any documentation.

Make sure you apply through the official site and don’t respond to emails from people claiming they can get your money back – these are almost certainly fraudsters. You do not have to pay anything to get your money back  and you will not be called and asked for your bank account or credit card number as part of the claims process.

The process may take a year or more because of the number of claims that will have to be dealt with. The Department of Justice has already identified 500,000 potential victims in the US and many more are expected to apply from overseas.

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Marketing Lessons From a Scammer

The radio station has been receiving emails about a cure for Tinnitus for months.

Lots and lots of these emails and interestingly they are not just copies from the same email address but show Marketing skills.

So, one day there were four such messages – all clearly from the same scammer.

But named as being from Krystal, Amanda Alexander, Jan Morris and Cliff Robertson.

Scammers don’t bother doing things one at a time so she will have software that generates random names, probably pairing up randomly from a list of first names and surnames.

Next day another four emails and this time from Emilia, Stanley Mayes, Gilbert and Nancy Clarke.

Third day from Sean Lewis, Orville Beck, Donald Hughes , Sylvia and Brooke.

And so on each day.

The email addresses these are actually from follows a pattern as a syllable then a hyphen then a syllable then .date as the suffix. E.g. curst-fay.date,  alice-sib.date. This changes each day to make it harder for people to block the sender.

How about the actual contents of the messages?

These are well written i.e. no grammatical or spelling mistakes and neatly laid out on the page using colour, bold, underline and different fonts to present an attractive easily read message.

There are two basic messages

  1. MAKE THE RINGING IN YOUR EARS STOP

Doctors usually said it was impossible, however once her ears were silenced and the ringing was gone they were stunned.

All she did was drink this and it went away fast.

  1. For decades doctors believed tinnitus was an ear problem.

They were wrong.

Studies performed at leading universities around the world revealed that tinnitus is actually a brain problem that destroys the auditory cortex.

For all the effort this scammer puts into his messages, it’s a pity she cannot find a better way to earn a living than sending out dumb messages about tinnitus.

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Pension Fraudsters Use Anti-Scam Messages

Some pension fraudsters are using genuine anti-scam messages on their websites to try to make their sites look authentic. This is a very cynical ploy.

Recent pension freedom reforms have allowed over-55s to access their retirement savings pots and this has made them a target for scammers.

Fraud experts say that a combination of new rules, investors looking for returns and pensioners withdrawing large sums of cash have created a potentially fertile hunting ground for scammers.

Pension scammers simply copy official scam alerts onto their websites to dupe savers into thinking they are dealing with legitimate businesses, warned the Pensions regulator.

“Scammers are always developing new ways to try to get their hands on people’s pensions so everyone needs to be on the look-out for potential traps.”

Phrases Pension Fraudsters Commonly Use:

  • The offer won’t last long
  • You’re entitled to a free government review
  • There’s a guaranteed 7 per cent return
  • We’ll send a courier over with your documents
  • There’s a legal loophole
  • You’re a sophisticated investor
  • It’s free
  • Your pension company might try to talk you out of it – they just want to keep your money

Be careful.

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