When people find the “scam” or “fraud” in a sentence, the first thought that comes to their mind is often that of internet fraudsters and conmen. But guess? Although internet frauds are the most prevalent form of scamming these days – individuals and corporate bodies often lose hundreds of millions of dollars to internet fraudsters yearly – they are not the only scam approaches that are there.
Typically, conmen use other approaches such as vishing or false delivery to scam and steal money from people. So while it is important for us to be on alert whenever we’re online, it is also important for us to look out for signs of offline scams too.
Here are some of the most common tactics used by rogues to trick people and steal their money.
1. Falsified services
Have you ever been contacted by a strange, random contact offering to help you get a task or project done? If you have never received calls or emails like this, then count yourself lucky because this is one of the commonest tactics used by fraudsters these days to steal money from people.
Fake service scams involve people being contacted through phone calls, emails, or social media messages about sham services and invoices they think they’re obliged to pay, such as a tax.
In a bid to make you believe the authenticity of their claims, they would disguise their judi bola site address or email source to mimic that of a reputable site, most likely the actual site that’s supposed to send you such messages. Microsoft revealed a similar theory some years back, when they revealed how scammers would contact some of their customers with messages about buying computer antivirus, getting computer virus service, and several other falsified services. In a bid to make the message appear convincing, they would use merge the characters “r” and “n” together in their site address or email address to mimic the “m” in Microsoft. Just take a look at this, imagine you find a message in your mailbox with the sender address appearing like this “rnicrosoft.com.” Won’t you think the message is actually from the Microsoft Company? But if you look closely at that address, you’d notice that the first two letters are actually “r and n merge together” to mimic the actual “m” in Microsoft.
What to look out for: Unexpected phone calls, emails, or messages in your social media boxes, from some supposed “sales representative,” offering time-limited deals, instant deals, and other similar deals that require you to pay instantly.
2. Phantom Goods
Another tactic used by Fraudsters to trick people into sending them money is through the sale of non-existent items. Usually, items such as non-existent cars, clothes, mobile devices, flights, and furniture are some of the most commonly used items.
Typically, these conmen create attention-grabbing websites for these products to make them look convincing, then they come to various social media and eCommerce platforms like Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, or Gumtree to advertize them, offering to sell them at cut-price. But, of course, within a limited time, so you have to hurry, or else the offer will pass you by. The buyer then purchases the item, which then fails to materialize.
What to look out for: rare and too-good-to-be-true offers that only come up once in a while. Or being asked to pay through bank transfer. Or websites that don’t really have a good reputation online.
3. Upfront payments
Rogues can also contact you via telephone calls, offering to help you achieve a project, complete a task, or render a service to you. The most common scams that fall into this category include construction projects, building works, and loan applications. In the case of projects, they’ll ask you to make an upfront payment, and once the service is completed, you can balance up. Unfortunately, you won’t even be able to pay them the remaining payment, let alone get your job done. In the case of loan applications, conmen would call you to offer you a loan opportunity with a downpayment the only thing you need to do to access the loan.
What to look out for: watch out for sales rep, supposed bank officials, or tradespersons that turn up at your door or hit your telephone with unexpected calls.
Not all fraudsters come to take money directly from people. While some, like the ones mentioned above, approach you directly with a money-time offer, others look to secure your personal/financial details, which would be used eventually to perpetrate fraudulent activities. Vishing is a process whereby a fraudster cold-call a soon-to-be victim to obtain their personal and financial details.
During a vishing operation, a cold-calling rogue would contact you, pretending to be an agent from an institution such as a bank, mortgage house, insurance company, tax agency, phone blocking service, or a debt collection company.
What to look out for: watch out for callers that call you out of the blue asking for sensitive personal or financial information such as your credit card details, full name, full residential address, account numbers, pin numbers, or passwords.
5. Fake or stolen goods
This is the easiest fraud trick anyone can fall for. Criminals that pretend to run home delivery services bring you counterfeit products or stolen items after taking slot online money from you. Typically, items such as counterfeit designers might be disguised as the branded designers you’ve paid for and then brought to your house. Other possible items include kitchen utensils, fashion accessories, jewelry, furniture, and cloned or refurbished mobile gadgets.
What to look out for: Be wary of products that are way cheaper than the actual market price. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!