Is sad for your hard earned money to be wiped away through scams without any trace or any means of tracking down the scammer.They target their victims through telephone, snail mail, email, and the Internet. They use various means to gain your trust through their various tactics to lure their victims and run away after receiving the money. There are a lot of stories heard about how these scammers target their victims but you have to be smart and aware of any approach from strangers and even close friends who know your weaknesses can relay information to these fraudsters.
VARIOUS SCAM TYPES
RELATIONSHIPS AND ROMANCE SCAMS
The romance scam starts simply through a man and woman meeting on the Internet through the social media. As the relationship progresses: They email, talk on the phone and trade pictures, may meet for coffee for 30 minutes and then finally plan to get married. With time the mindset of of both individuals change and various demands starts. The partner who they met online now asks them to send money; the reasons can vary for example they need money to visit a sick relative. The first send is small but the requests keep on coming and amounts growing – their child needs emergency surgery, they need airfare to come for a visit or to pay a travel agent for Visa and airfares, etc. The payback promises are empty and then the money’s gone and so are they.
SCRATCH AND WIN PROMOTIONS / LOTTERY
In some cases victims may receive an unexpected phone call, text, email, letter or fax claiming to represent a well-known company, celebrity or government agency, notifying them that they have won a large sum of money.
A sample pattern of the Lottery or prize scam:
1. A victim receives a text messages about winning a prize from a promotion from a corporate organization but has not participated in any kind of such promotions.
2. The victim receives a phone call about a package sent by relatives living abroad but mobile money is needed for transportation and clearance before receiving items and unknowingly victims has no relative abroad.
3. When victim receives text messages and calls from unknown mobile money merchants that they have wrongly sent money on your number but nothing has reflected on your account balance, Moreover they will alert you to follow a message on your mobile device to check your balance again but your password will be sent to their end for fraudulent withdrawal of money to be made.
4. The scammer gains their victim’s trust about winning a lottery but moneys must be paid before receiving the various benefits and taxes but after payment nothing will be received but more money will be requested and after a while your number will be blacklisted.
ONLINE MARKETS AND PLATFORMS
You’re selling a car, motorbike or caravan etc. online when contacted by a potential buyer from overseas or interstate.
1. The potential buyer states they have overpaid into your online payment service providers account like PayPal, Google, etc. and you receive an email from your online payment service provider confirming the overpayment. You are advised the funds will not be released until the overpayment is returned with a request for this to be made by money transfer. You follow instructions and return the overpayment, however the online payment service provider email was fake and you never hear from the “buyer” again.
2. The potential buyer states as they live or have just moved overseas, they need the vehicle transported to them. The “potential buyer” requests for you to pay for a courier/transport company via money transfer. You follow instructions and send the courier/transport company costs and then never hear from the “buyer” again.
INTERNET PURCHASING SCAMS
In the internet purchase scam, criminals prey on victims who are looking to find a particular item for a cheaper price via an online marketplace or online auction website. The buyer is requested to make payment for the purchase or successful bid via a money transfer. The money is sent but the buyer never receives the goods.
Emergency scams play off of peoples’ emotions and strong desire to help others in need. Scammers pretend to be their victim or victim’s relative and make up an urgent situation:
1. I have been arrested
2. I lost my purse
3. I have been admitted at the hospital.
The scammer targets friends and family with urgent pleas for help and money. Emergency scams also come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the Grandparent Scam where con artists contact the elderly claiming to be their grandchild, urgently asking for money. Social networking can be involved where scammers hack into social networking accounts and then target friends with frantic requests for money, claiming injury, arrest, stolen wallet while overseas, etc.; they do the same by hacking email accounts. They use the information in these accounts to supply enough personal detail to make their requests appear genuine.
Employment scams generally starts with too good to be true adverts on hiring websites for immediate employment without any job experience but application forms must be paid or moneys must be paid before interviews.
Scammers pose as companies representatives and seek for private sensitive and personal financial information from victims under the guise of doing background checks.
They then target victims later on for identity theft and may apply for loans in the victim’s name.