1. Remote PC Problem Scams
This scam is largely carried out by scam call centres in India. They phone people (mostly in the UK and USA) and claim to be from Microsoft or BT or Virgin or similar company and tell the victim that their Internet connection has been infected with a virus or that someone unauthorised is using it or that it has been used for illegal purposes. Then after the frightener they convince the victim that they can fix the problem and just need access to the victim’s PC. Once they get access they can install malware that searches for financial details, logins and passwords etc.
Microsoft, BT etc. will never call people like this – these calls are always a scam.
2. Fake/Counterfeit Scam
We have all seen fake goods being sold on the high street, in pop up shops, on the beach etc.
And the Internet is full of websites that copy the big names but sell fake versions of their products.
Don’t be caught out – only buy from reputable sources and don’t encourage crime by buying fake goods.
If you buy fake goods online, the fraudsters are likely to copy your credit card details and run up a huge bill for you to pay.
3. The Overpayment Scam
You sell an item online and the buyer ‘accidentally’ sends you a cheque for too much. A worried call then ensures and the caller asks you to pay them the difference. This sounds OK but it’s a very bad move as the original cheque will bounce, leaving you out of pocket. Many people do not realise that although a cheque clears within 5 days, the bank can take the money back up to another 5 days later if the cheque bounces. If you are overpaid then wait 10 working days before repaying any difference.
4. The Payday Loan Scam
Some people take out payday loans just to tide themselves over for a few days at the end of the month after an unusually costly month.
But many take out these expensive loans in desperation to fend off bailiffs, keep the electricity running, pay for medical bills etc. and these are the people targeted by scammers.
The scammers create fake websites that look like payday loan companies but are just a front. You are offered cheap loans with no collateral but once they have your financial details, they will make your life much worse off and even more in debt. Be very careful with payday loans online – only trust a reputable company.
Sometimes the scammers offer loans but you have to pay a security fee or advance fee up front – always a con.
5. Working from Home Scam
Many people would love to work from home and earn a good salary. There are some such jobs but most don’t get advertised as they are usually for people already at a business changing their working habits to work more from home.
There are some very well paid home jobs including translators, writers and other jobs where serious expertise is required, whereas the fake jobs offered by scammers are usually data entry, social media posting etc. that require little skill and supposedly pay hugely.
These are always fake. It is easy to find good data entry people for £10 per hour so why would anyone pay a lot more than that?
Research shows that more than 98% of work at home offers are fake. Do not be taken in.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.