An email arrives, supposedly from the United Nations, from an office called The Grant Payment Center.
The sender doesn’t know my name so there is a general purpose greeting on the email ‘Attn:”
The opening lines are:-
“It has been brought to our notice that you have not been paid your long overdue grant payment by the UN. This is due to some corrupt hoodlums, and some corrupt government officials who try to divert your money into their own private account. We have arranged your payment through…”
Surely anyone sensible would realise immediately this is a scam – the United Nations obviously don’t give out grants to individuals and especially without knowing the person’s name and if so any money would be paid by bank transfer not through an ATM card as the email goes on to describe.
The last paragraph of the email contains the following instruction
Note if you are not ready to comply with the obvious delivery fee out of the two-delivery options Mr. Mark Brown will send to you, please do not bother to contacting him.
I assume this scammer is fed up with people replying then not being willing to pay him the fee he’s after, which is the whole point of the scam.
Perhaps scammers have to work harder to con people these days – I hope that is true.
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UK National Lotto tells me I have won £800,000 through my email address. I just have to supply the usual personal information – name, address, nationality, age, occupation, gender, mobile number and so on. I have to send this to an official at a Chinese bank who has a personal email address. Could anything possibly me more fishy than this? I think not.
Two emails arrive a couple of hours apart, but from the same name (Sheryl Goedart) and email address. Both tell me I have been awarded $1.8 million by the sender, randomly, as she won $396 million on the Powerball lottery and wants to give away a lot of her winnings. However, the emails are to different email addresses at the radio station and she has no idea who the messages are going to. If I had millions to give away I would want to know who I was trying to give it to. But then, it’s just a scam of course. There is no money.
Carolyn Otiz sends me an email to say she remembers me in a video clip – click to watch. No thanks ‘Carolyn’ as you don’t know my name and no doubt the video is some random rubbish you get paid for getting people to click on.
A long winded email arrives from ‘Mrs Jeana Cofer’ and tells a story of how she was scammed by Africans and tried for years to get her money back and eventually travelled to West African and found a lawyer who got her $5.5 million in compensation. The point of the email is to recommend to me that I contact him immediately as he will get compensation for me, for the times I have been scammed. These scammers seem to think that they have scammed so many people now that they to go back for a second attempt to previous victims by pretending to be on their side. Pathetic, as is anyone who believes that having been conned out of thousands of dollars means you will get $5.5 million in compensation.
Some scammers spoof their email address i.e. fake the senders email address to be the same as the person they are emailing. This is to try to get around spam filters, but it doesn’t work and just points out that the message is a scam. This latest such one claims the sender is due a settlement from us and we should click a link to see the explanation. No thanks.
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Gideon Roseman was scammed out of a lot of money. He had builders working on his home and fraudsters hacked in to the builder’s email system. They sent a message to Roseman purporting to the builder asking for a down payment to start work. Roseman paid £20,400 to what he though was the account of his builder.
The next day his wife Esther found an email from the builder warning his customers that his email had been hacked and Roseman realised his payment had gone to the hackers.
The builder had checked his emails and found messages to a number of customers demanding payment to a bank account he did not recognise.
Roseman said “I wasn’t filled with optimism when I spoke to my bank, so I felt as though the only way I would get my money back is to take things into my own hands.”. He is a barrister so had a head start over most of us in dealing with the legal system.
He travelled to London to the High Court to apply for the fraudster’s bank account to be frozen.
The judge agreed it appeared he had been the victim of fraud and granted the order.
Mr Roseman then contacted Santander’s court orders department and it froze the account.
He soon received another email from the fraudster asking for more money to “cover the VAT” on the work.
Mr Roseman played along and managed to obtain the sort codes and details of another two accounts — one at Barclays and another at Santander.
He then returned to the High Court to get these accounts frozen and the judge again approved his application.
The court ordered Barclays and Santander to release all contact details and bank statements for the frozen accounts and using these, Mr Roseman tracked down £5,655 in several Santander accounts connected to the fraudster and the bank agreed to return the money.
He also noticed the scammer had transferred around £5,000 to a haulage firm, which repaid his money when requested.
The bank accounts also revealed £9,150 was transferred out of the fraudster’s account more than 24 hours after Mr Roseman first reported the incident to Barclays.
Barclays denied any delay but later agreed to pay the remaining £9,150.
It added £200 compensation. This left £395 outstanding, which the builder took off his bill.
Mr Roseman said “Hopefully, I’ve shown that despite what the banks might say, it is possible to track down cash after it’s disappeared and get the money back.”
“My advice to scam victims is to act immediately. Call your bank, gather evidence and instruct a solicitor to get to court as quickly as you can to freeze the accounts.”
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There is a common scam or spam called Fly Free Academy where the seller is trying to convince us that it’s perfectly possible to fly free of charge. How to book $1000 flights for $20 and so on.
Whether or not this is a scam or just a complex game where some people can get free or nearly free flights if they follow the instructions isn’t the point.
When you type in ‘Fly Free Academy scam” on Google it returns a lot of results starting with
Fly Free Academy Review – Worthy or Scam? – Neuromath
Then Free Academy Review – Does It Work? – Helen Reviews
Followed by Fly Free Academy Review – Derek Pankaew’s System a Scam?
Fly Free Academy – A To Z Product Reviews
My Shocking Fly Free Academy Review – Regionvavid.org
Then some YouTube videos by Fly Free Academy then more reviews
Fly Free Academy review – Richerornot
And so it goes on – there are dozens of these review sites.
But they’re all fake – they’ve been created by the sellers of Fly Free Academy and are just sales pitches wrapped up to look like reviews.
Is this illegal? No.
Is it wrong? If people realise these reviews are just sales pitches then no harm done but if people think these are independent reviews and not realise they are by the sellers of Fly Free Academy then that’s conning people.
The sellers have also posted reviews on other people’s sites and on social media and must have spent a lot of money and effort on this.
Honesty would be a better and cheaper policy. Don’t create fake reviews.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.
In 2017, Bitcoin reached a price of $19,783 each but also dropped to $4,400 at one point.
Bitcoin and all of the other cyber currencies have no assets, nothing to guarantee a minimum value, so the prices can vary wildly and be highly unpredictable.
Ethereum fell in 2018 from a high of $1,300 to just over $90 by December, although it did rally after that.
Some people believe that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be considered to be a new asset class rather than a high risk novelty item and hope that governments and institutions will start to treat cyber currencies as assets suitable for widespread investment. Maybe this will happen in 2021 and accelerate the move to cyber currencies. However, there is nothing certain in this and cyber currencies may well have another bumpy unpredictable year.
The development of stablecoins may be a big step forward in wider acknowledgement of these currencies.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, by pegging it to some “stable” asset or basket of assets. A stablecoin can be pegged to a cryptocurrency, fiat money, or to exchange-traded commodities.
New stablecoins are being created to try to bring stability to the cyber currency market, but it’s not an easy step.
Some Popular Cybercurrencies
Bitcoin is the biggest and most famous of the cyber currencies and it has made a lot of people millionaires. However, it has also lost huge sums for people.
Some experts think Bitcoin could be one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in through 2021
Ethereum is a major player and billions of dollars worth of Ethereum were traded in 2020.
A major upgrade called Ethereum 2 (or Serenity) is in progress, due for launch in early 2021.
This will make Ethereum more efficient and able to process more transactions more quickly.
Litecoin has a market capitalisation in the billions of dollars and is growing strongly.
It is connected to Bitcoin and that should help it’s future.
4. Bitcoin Cash
First launched in 2017, Bitcoin Cash was launched as a scalable branch of the original Bitcoin, after traders raised concerns over Bitcoin’s scalability.
It’s still going strong.
Ripple is interesting but more complex to understand as the name covers both the Ripple platform (RippleNet) and its virtual currency (Ripple XRP). XRP is currently the world’s fourth biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.
Overall, cyber currencies are getting stronger each year and the likelihood of them becoming commonly used as an asset is increasing.
However, any investors need to be very wary of the volatile nature of these currencies.