A Breakdown by Age of Scam Victims

Scammers hit people of all ages, usually with the same scams but some scams are targeted at specific age ranges e.g. retirement scams.

This graph shows the number of percentage of reports to Scamwatch by age group.

The age group 65+ shows the greatest prevalence of scams but that may just be that there are more people in that age group than the others.

Men and women tend to fall for slightly different scams, but there is little difference in the numbers reporting scams overall.

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

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Fake Job Offers

An email arrived from apply.a4lfw3lno45 @cosineuk.aptrack.co which is a meaningless email address.

They – whoever they are, wish to offer me a job.

“Good day!

We considered your resume to be very attractive and we thought the vacant position in our company could be interesting for you.”

OK, so who are they and what’s the job?

“Our firm specializes in online services in the matter of business administration.

We cooperate with different countries and currently we have many clients in yours region.

Due to this fact, we need to increase the number of our destination representatives’ regular staff.

Part-time and full-time employment are both currently important.

We offer a flat wage from $1500 up to $7000 per month.”

Well, $1500 per month sounds pitiful but $7,000 per month sounds rather better.

This is all far too vague to be true.

They want me to click on a link – don’t think I’ll do that.
After all, anyone who makes job offers to people they don’t know and have never met is extremely dodgy.

The link is actually to newcoin.net which is the not the correct web address for an online service in business admin.

Their email doesn’t even name the company or the person who sent the email – not very friendly people but then they are criminals.

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Mumsnet On The Fight Back Against Scammers

A survey by Mumsnet showed that nearly half of answering the surveyed are worried about becoming a victim of fraud and ninety percent are not confident they can identify criminal tactics like vishing (making phone calls claiming to be from a reputable company but really seeking confidential information) and smishing (same as vishing but by text message).

More than a third of mums say they are approached up to SIX TIMES PER WEEK by individuals trying to get personal information from them. These approaches are by telephone, email and text messages.

To help tackle the problem, Mumsnet and the “Take Five to Stop Fraud” campaign – a national campaign that offers advice to help consumers prevent financial fraud – have teamed up to help parents confidently challenge criminals out to obtain personal information.

Well Known Scams

Here are some examples of well-known​ ​scams you should be aware of (according to Mumsnet):-

  1. An email from HMRC offering a refund
  2. A call from your bank about fraud asking you to move your money to a safe account
  3. An email from a foreign prince offering untold riches if money is transferred to them now
  4. A message from WhatsApp asking you to input financial information in order to continue to use the service
  5. A call from a broadband provider to say the internet connection is running slow and their engineer can ‘fix’ the problem by taking control of your computer
  6. An email from Amazon asking you to disclose personal information to reactivate your account
  7. A text message offering money off at a supermarket if a link in the message is clicked on
  8. A call from a builder or contractor asking for money to be paid directly to a new bank account
  9. An email from your utility provider offering a refund
  10. A student loans company email stating loans have been suspended due to incomplete student information

Take the time to stop and think before handing over personal information and certainly before paying online for anything.

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Post Brexit Scams

Prior to BREXIT, scammers were trying to scam people worried about what would happen, by offering fake government advice, fake government services to help businesses to transition to the new rules etc.

Then they switched to more threatening forms of scam e.g. you are not obeying the rules and must fill in some fake government form or be prosecuted or simply threats about paying fines or else face imprisonment.

Since BREXIT happened most of these scams disappeared but not all of them.

Scammers are sending out text messages and emails telling people they have to confirm their identity i.e. provide personal information / bank details to ‘keep up with EU standards’.

These messages are fake.

The messages contain a link to a website designed to look official and to get that information from you to pass to the scammer.

Some Common Scams


Many business scams start with the scammer pretending to be from HMRC.

They may warn of non-compliance with the rules and need you details to confirm or may want you to sign up to some new guidance or want you to register your details with them.

HMRC do contact businesses of course but they never ask for confidential information by email or text message. If in doubt as to whether any messages are real – contact HMRC directly.

Bogus Brexit Investment Schemes

Scammers cold call businesses offering fantastic new schemes for making lots of money from opportunities through Brexit changes.

Cold calls offering investments are always fake.

Phishing / Vishing / Smishing

Phishing, vishing and smishing mean respectively, email fraud, telephone fraud and text message fraud.

Scammers use all three methods to try to get confidential information from you which can then be used by other scammers and in identity theft.

Typically, the scammers pose as government officials, new customers, suppliers, the Police, your bank or any regulatory body etc.

Never give out sensitive information without verifying the caller or texter or email sender and never click on links in unsolicited messages of any kind.

Purchasing Scams

The pandemic has caused chaos in worldwide transport of goods, shortage of shipping containers, shortage of drivers etc. and some scammers are offering special deals to alleviate these problems. The scammers have no real solutions of course – just lies to make money for themselves and leave people in a much worse situation.

Do not enter into commercial arrangements with anyone without having verified that they are a real business and they have a sound track record or you are likely to regret it.

Remember – if a deal looks too good to be true, the chances are that it is.

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