As a regular net user for some years now I’ve come across quite a few scams in my time.
At first glance I was probably more excited than anyone to know there was a chance to inherit a few million dollars from someone who had the same surname as me, then the intelligence inside me told this was too good to be true.
This lawyer was claiming that someone had died leaving a will but he was unable to trace a relative who stood to inherit the entire fortune. As I shared the same surname as this person he would send the money to me instead by claiming I was this person and in return he wanted a certain percentage of it.
I played a long just to see how far this could go and I knew there was a catch somewhere and lo and behold it didn’t take long for it to come.
He wanted a photocopy of my passport and bank details. His emails promised a lot of money but it was clear it was some sort of scam to get my personal details. Needless to say I never did send them instead I replied by saying that for all those millions I really didn’t mind travelling to America to meet him and would happily bring any documents that he required with me.
Well.. yes you guessed it .. he never replied back..
I’m glad my instincts were right and told me not to get taken in by this person but sadly very often many people do. There are so many scams that are on going and of different kinds too. I had a poke around and found quite a few and I’ve made a list, remember always protect yourself and stay safe on-line and if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
1. Fake designer goods
It can be very tempting to buy a Gucci handbag or Armani shirt from a market stall at a knock-down price. But counterfeit goods of this kind are rarely well made.
Even though they are a fraction of the price of the real thing, you may still end up losing out as a result. After all, no matter how cheap a handbag is, if it only lasts a week before starting to fall apart, then it can hardly be seen as a good buy. Also those who know their stuff can tell a fake a mile off and that causes even more embarrassment when it’s pointed out.
2. Lottery wins
As they say in business, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Emails or text messages saying that you have won a big cash prize in a lottery you never even entered should therefore be treated with the utmost caution.
If not, you are likely to end up paying to receive a “prize” that never existed in the first place.
Remember if you have to call up a certain number to get codes note that call is going to cost you a bomb too.
3. Incredible slimming cures
We have all seen adverts and spam emails marketing miracle slimming pills that can help you lose weight even if you continue stuffing your face and slouching on the sofa.
However, sending your credit card details to the companies supposedly offering these is likely to result in you losing the money and never receiving the pills.
What’s more, even if the miracle cures do arrive, the chances of them having any lasting effect is slimmer than you are ever likely to be as a result of taking them – and the fraudsters behind the scam may even use your details to steal your identity or spend on your card.
4. Long-lost rich relatives
One of fraudsters’ favourite tricks is to dupe people into transferring money or handing over their personal details by tempting them with news of a huge inheritance left to them by a relative they never even knew they had.
However large your family, though, it is unlikely that the existence of a wealthy great-aunt or second cousin is going to have totally passed you by. And it’s even less likely that someone you have never met is going to leave you a vast fortune.
Things like that only really happen in the land of (badly written) fiction!
And remember my story too!
5. Cut-price concert tickets
Counterfeit tickets have always been a problem, but ticket fraud has evolved over recent years and the related scams are becoming more cunning by the day.
One of the most common tricks used by today’s sophisticated fraudsters is to set up fake websites offering tickets to sold out concerts, festivals and football matches.
When the tickets bought by music and sports fans fail to arrive, the scammers behind the sites then instruct users to claim the money lost from their credit card providers.
To avoid falling victim to this scam, check if the site is a member of STAR – the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers – before parting with any cash. If unsure find a site that does.