The following list, while by no means comprehensive, contains many of the common strategies criminals use to defraud the public.
Commonly known as the ‘Nigerian bank scam’, this scam usually involves an unwitting individual receiving an email from someone claiming to be a part of a country’s royalty. They ordinarily ask you for access to your bank account so that they can deposit a large lump sum of money into it in order to get it out of the country. They will offer you a fee for your services. Once a rapport has been established, they will ask you for some amount of money to overcome a monetary hurdle, such as legal costs. They they will ultimately pocket any money you give them and then disappear.
Commonly known as a ‘pump and dump’ scheme, this is a scam where telemarketers make cold-calls to unwitting investors, and try to sell them shares in either bogus stocks or highly illiquid penny stocks.They often claim to have access to fresh information indicating the stock is going to rapidly appreciate. They profit by the stock temporarily increasing due to increased demand, and then they sell their, often large, stake in the company, which causes the price to come crashing down.
Fraudsters often pose as representatives for a fake charity either through the phone or as a website, and prey on the sympathy of the public to make donations, often in relation to high-profile events such as an earthquake. They will pocket your money, and may even sell or use the personal information you provide, for nefarious purposes.
This type of fraud takes place over internet dating websites and chat rooms. Scammers will establish relationships on these websites, and once they are able to gain your trust, they will ask you for money for a variety of emotive reasons.
As the name suggests, this type of fraud involves an individual trying to defraud people by knocking on their doors and using social engineering to sell misrepresented products and services, or extract sensitive information.
These scams involve websites selling ‘miracle’ products that cure common ailments such as impotence or obesity. If you actually receive the product, which is often a big ‘if’, it will either be some placebo or possibly some alternative medicine that could even damage your health.
Fraudsters will contact you claiming to be a representative of a lottery company, and tell you that you won their lottery. They will ask you to supply personal information so that they can process your payment, and if you respond, they will ask you to pay a variety of fees so that they can release your ‘winnings.’
With the success of eBay, there has been a proliferation of online auction websites. This has led many scammers to pose as legitimate buyers and sellers. When posing as a buyer, they create the illusion of a valid payment, and then can either chargeback or have the payment bounce when you send them the item. On the seller side, they will either misrepresent the item you pay for, or not send you the item once they receive your payment.
Pension fraudsters will claim they know of a legal loophole that will allow you to gain access to some of your pension money before retirement. While it is possible to get cash from your pension if you’re 55 or over, the following signs may indicate it is a scam:
- You are able to get cash from your pension before the age of 55.
- You are able to gain access to more than 25% of your pension value.
- They can get you access to more cash than your current scheme allots.
Fraudsters ‘redirect’ traffic from a legitimate website to a fake website, which they use to capture your sensitive information. They prey on the trust most people exhibit when interacting with well-known brands.
Defrauders use this tactic to trick you into revealing sensitive information to them under the guise of being an authentic source, such as the HRMC. They usually steal your information by directing to you a fake website that will look like the real thing, which acts as mechanism to steal your information.
There are numerous types of property fraud, but most of them revolve around a ‘get rich quick’ investment opportunity. Invariably, the property will not be built, and the fraudster will keep your money.
Training Course Scam
Typically, this scam will involve a fraudster promoting a ‘work at home’ program that will allow participants to earn huge incomes with little effort. They will require you to participate in a training course that you have to pay a fee to be a part of. Once you pay this fee, you will either receive a useless job manual or nothing at all.
There are many types of vehicle fraud that involve the misrepresentation of a sold vehicle, e.g. it being stolen or the odometer modified to reflect lower mileage.