Category: Warning

Common Twitter Scams

The most common Twitter scams are:-

1. Home Working

Lots of people would love to be able to work from home and get well paid, enabling them to organise their work life to fit in with other commitments. But the scammers know this and offer home working jobs which don’t exist. They make money by requiring an up-front payment for registration or postage or insurance or a subscription.

2. Pay for Followers

Many people want more twitter followers for their personal or business accounts and lots of scammers offer such a service. Some just take money and give nothing but others do provide more followers. However these turn out to be poor quality or fake followers that son disappear.

Plus, you put your Twitter reputation at risk and may end up banned by Twitter for engaging in spam exercises.

3. Fake Links

There are endless tweets exhorting you to click a link to see a life changing video or solve some problem in your life or win the lottery etc. Don’t click on a link unless you know what it’s for.  Many of these fake links are simply because the poster gets paid for each click but many are malicious.

4. The Twitter Phishing Scam

There are many tricks used in phishing tweets including fake sign-on pages, fake games and quizzes that ask for information that can be used by a scammer e.g. your mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, town of birth etc. Beware giving out any such personal information.

5. Other Money-making Scams

Scammers try to make money out of you.  Any public tweets you make become information for potential scams. e.g. you tweet about wanting to go a concert then get a direct message form someone offering tickets to the concert and a story as to why they are available to you cheaply as long as you respond quickly. SCAMS.

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FCA ScamSmart

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warn that scammers are targeting consumers searching for investments online, in particular through search engines like Google and Bing.

Scams are increasingly sophisticated. Fraudsters can be articulate and financially knowledgeable, with credible websites, testimonials and materials that are hard to distinguish from the real thing.

Warning Signs of Scams

  • Cold-calls by phone, email, social media, post, word of mouth or even in person at an exhibition
  • A limited time opportunity – they might offer you a bonus or discount if you invest before a set date or say the opportunity is only available for the next 24 hours or similar
  • Lots of testimonials – all fake of course
  • Unrealistic returns – some fraudsters offer the same returns as legitimate businesses do, but many want to attract more attention and offer impossibly high and even guaranteed returns.
  • False authority – using convincing literature and websites, claiming to be regulated, speaking with authority on investment products.
  • Flattery – building a friendship with you to lull you into a false sense of security.
  • Remote access – scammers may pretend to help you and ask you to download software or an app so they can access to your device. This could enable them to access your bank account or make payments using your card.

FCA Authorised Businesses

Almost all financial services firms must be authorised by the FCA – the exceptions are for specific traded items such as wine

Check the Financial Services Register on the FCA website to see if a firm or individual is authorised or registered with us.

Check if the firm’s ‘firm reference number’ (FRN) and contact details are the same as on our Register.

If there are no contact details on the Register or if the firm claims they’re out of date, call our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.

If you use an unauthorised firm, you won’t have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong – and you’re unlikely to get your money back.

Check the FCA Warning List

Use the FCA Warning List to check the risks of a potential investment – you can also search to see if the firm is known to be operating without our authorisation.

You should seriously consider seeking financial advice or guidance before investing. You should make sure that any firm you deal with is regulated by us and never take investment advice from the company that contacted you, as this may be part of the scam.

You can report the firm or scam to the FCA by contacting their Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.

The Financial Conduct Authority is at

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

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Dark Web Pricelist

The Dark Web is the name for websites and services on the Internet that are hidden. You cannot find them on Google or other normal search engines – only on ones for criminal purposes or if you have the direct URL.

On the Dark Web, people buy and sell assorted criminal products and services such as selling stolen credit cards, providing ransomware as a service, facilities to send out mass scam emails etc.

It’s a bad place filled with bad people.

Below are some example prices charged for stolen information, credit cards etc. as found by researchers in October 2020

Category Product
Credit Card Data  
Cloned Mastercard with PIN $15
Cloned American Express with PIN $35
Cloned VISA with PIN $25
Credit card details, account balance up to $1000 $12
Credit card details, account balance up to $5000 $20
Stolen online banking logins, minimum $100 on account $35
Stolen online banking logins, minimum $2000 on account $65
Walmart account with credit card attached $10
Payment processing services  
Stolen PayPal account details, minimum $100 $198.56
Western Union transfer from stolen account, above $1000 $98.15
Forged documents  
US driving license, average quality $70
US driving license, high quality $550
Auto insurance card $70
AAA emergency road service membership card $70
Wells Fargo bank statement $25
US, Canada, or Europe passport $1500
Europe national ID card $550


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

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Police Report Common Phone Scams

The National Fraud Bureau reports that the most common phone scams are:

  1. False reports of a problem with your computer or device
  2. A fake fraud investigation
  3. An investment opportunity

Number 1 is better known as the Microsoft Support scam as most of the scammers cold call random people, pretending to be from Microsoft Support and warning of a severe computer problem. They offer to fix it and to do so they need access to your computer and will charge a fee for their time or for some software they supposedly have to install.

Since these scams became commonplace, most people know to put the phone down on any such call. A message to the same effect (you have a computer problem – call …) may pop up when you are on a new website and it will exhort you to phone a specified phone number – this will be to a scam call centre so do not call it.

Number 2 is the fake fraud investigation which can take many forms with the scammer pretending to be from your bank or the government or the Police etc. Usually, they warn you that your bank account has been hacked and they will assist you to save your remaining money – i.e. by taking it away from you. Any such callers should be ignored but if you want to check with your bank then use a different phone to call your bank on a known number.

Number 3 is scammers offering investments that have zero risk and give guaranteed returns are always fake and you should seek expert advice before making any investment.

Anything that looks too good to be true is almost certainly a scam.

Stay safe.

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

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Fake Fraud Investigations

These scams usually start as phone calls warning you of something criminal going on. Of course, the scam caller doesn’t tell you she is the criminal.

The scammers intent is to convince you to move your money to an account of their choosing and there’s usually a complicated story to get to that point.

e.g. “I am a Police officer working in the fraud department and we are tracking a criminal team working with an insider at your bank. This insider has been trying to take money from your account and other people’s and we must catch him before he takes any more. We need your help to catch him out”.

So, that’s the setup phase, then comes the reason to move your money.

To protect your money, we need to move it to a safe location that the criminals cannot access. Please move your money to the following sort code and account code and we’ll keep it safe for you and do remember not to contact your bank as they may tip off the criminals.”

Once the scammer has your money then it will be moved again to somewhere offshore where it cannot be traced and your money is gone.

Some people who have fallen for this scam or something similar blame the bank for moving their money, but if they are not told there is a problem and you request the move then why shouldn’t they do as asked.

Banks are aware of this scam and usually ask people trying to move their money out of the bank if they are under any duress or need advice.

Do not take instructions from a cold caller on the phone.

Just because someone claims to be from your bank or the Police doesn’t make it true.

Take care.

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

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