Items They Can Sell on the Street
These scams all play on human greed, fear and emotion, and use social engineering to con folks out of their cash. A good example is this scam from The Real Hustle where they take a car straight off the showroom court without the salesman even realising what was going on: So simple, and yet not something that most people do.
The ten most common scams, according to moneywiseare: You will receive some form of correspondence via post, a text message or automated voicemail, informing you that you have won a major prize and all you need to do to claim it is call an premium-rate number.
You will invariably be kept on hold for a long time, all the while racking up more costs. Even though you may realise each minute is costing you more money, the temptation is to keep on waiting to find out what you've won. Nearly everyone who does call in gets a prize, but it's a token gesture, particularly when compared with all the money you have spent on the phone call.
Over a million people fall victim to this scam every year, according to the Office of Fair Trading OFTmaking this one of the biggest scams.
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These schemes invite you to sign up to a money-making club, typically through websites but also through friends' invitations. How and what you can earn at home premise is that you have to pay a small joining fee and then invite a specified number of other people to join in order to claim your reward.
The reality is that only those at the top of the pyramid can expect lucrative rewards.
Matrix schemes work in a what to steal to make money quickly way but what to steal to make money quickly a gadgety gift instead. We fall for pyramid and matrix schemes in part because they come across as reasonable propositions. They pose as a government official, charity worker or similarly well-respected professional, and ask for help transferring money overseas.
All they really want, however, is your bank account details. They usually work as follows: you're handed a scratch card and discover you have won a free holiday.
You have to attend a presentation to collect your prize. The presentation is usually at a swanky hotel, with glossy brochures and posters all adding to the air of authenticity.
However, genuine holiday clubs will allow the consumer time to look over a contract before signing it, while bogus holiday clubs will pressurise hopeful holidaymakers into signing on the dotted line, without reading through everything properly. After committing yourself you will suddenly find that your 'free' holiday has a lot of extra costs, such as transport and other less obvious but nonetheless 'compulsory' extras.
Why is fraud prevention so important?
To claim your winnings you have to purchase some smaller prizes or send an administration fee. Swindlers rely on the fact that the small print is in a font that's so small most people won't bother to scrutinise it.
However, if you do read it, you'll discover that you've simply been given the opportunity to enter a sweepstake you have only a very small chance of winning.
The swindlers make their cash through registration fees, but you'll soon discover that the amount of work you need to put in to recoup your initial outlay — let alone make a profit — is totally disproportionate.
Miracle health cures Who wouldn't pay for diet pills that meant you could literally have your cake and eat it? Like other unsolicited mail or emails, health swindlers aim to appear as professional as possible, reeling off an impressive amount of medical qualifications and fake personal testimonials from "satisfied customers".
Clairvoyant letters Victims receive letters in the post warning them that if they don't reply they could face bad luck or even endanger their family. The letters appear to be addressed personally to the sender and often come with a photograph of the supposed expert. Logically, if you haven't entered a lottery, you can't win it, so any letters or emails that tell you otherwise should be treated with suspicion.
Never Leave Your Money Laying Out
The 'winner' will be told to phone the prize line, which unsurprisingly is a premium-rate number, or asked to send off simple internet earnings cheque for a small amount to cover administration fees. Of course, the promised huge cash prize never materialises and the swindlers make a tidy sum from the thousands of victims' payments.
The key to their success is to offer such a large amount of money that you're blinded by the figures, and the admin fee appears minimal in comparison. You often come across advertisements in local papers offering fast money loans without formal credit checks.
What is technical ad fraud?
You call up a freephone number and are then told that your loan is agreed but you need to pay insurance costs via a money transfer. But once you've paid the fee, you never receive your loan or hear from the company again. Maybe this is what happens. He then gave me a reference number and told me to ring the number on the back of my bank card.
Top Items Burglars Will Steal
I did just that, quoted the reference number and spoke to someone who knew all about the supposed fraud. But I watch enough consumer TV to know these things happen.
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He said a courier was on the way to collect my bank card for further examination. Initially I flinched, but when he explained they needed to analyse the chip, it seemed to make sense. And that is probably the same reason I typed my PIN into the keypad of my phone when he asked. So taken in was I by the efficiency of it all that I went through exactly the same process the following day when Visa Card Services called to say there was now a problem with my credit card.
The police would be waiting for them at St Pancras. Amazing news! A few days went by and Rajesh stopped calling. But now I was, and I did. Why had I given my card to a stranger? Why had I typed my PIN into the phone?
November 10, Out of cash?
How did they know my landline number? How did they have my address? The Apple Store story was all a lie. In fact, they had spent thousands in clothes shops and, best of all, treated themselves to a Dixie Fried Chicken each evening.
To cap it all off, my rent payment had bounced. The security expert at the bank said this was a possibility. It would take me years to pay off debt like this. I called the police, who put me onto their dedicated fraud line. It all started, said the police, on the Saturday night when one of this gang will have watched me take money from the cashpoint.
2. Gift cards
The police then believe that I was followed home, which is how they got my address. My name and landline number they doubtless obtained with what to steal to make money quickly bit of research online.
Only the person who initiates a landline call can cut it off. As I did this, they first played a dial tone down the line and then a ring tone. They got me all my money back within ten days, though I did have to get new bank accounts and cards.