What is a scam?

Author: Adam Phillips   |   Date: 15th May 2018   |  Tags:

Scams are everywhere, unfortunately its part of life now. Everyone knows someone who has fallen short of a scam. Its a shame that we've all had that phone call asking us to put on our computer because there is a fault with the Windows laptop (That we don't possess!) or the email saying our account has been blocked from the bank (that we don't bank with) It's our problem to try and figure out what is real - what is not. Who is genuinely trying to help and who is genuinely trying to strip us of our money/credentials or data.

A scam is a way of obtaining information by deception – in its simplistic form anyway.

Fraud is when someone pretends to be someone, a scam is when the victim GIVES their information, willingly (Usually because they believe the sting to be genuine.) There are loads of ways that people go about doing this. We all know someone who has been scammed in one way or another, which is a terrible shame – but as I mentioned already, it is part of life.

The secret here is spotting what a scam is and if you’ve ever fallen short of a scam, don’t think you’re being stupid! Alanis Morisette, Sting, Sylvester Stallone, Uma Thurman, Robert De Niro and many more are all high profile, very rich people who have all fallen short and been scammed. I have myself, helped some very clever, articulate people in the past as they themselves have been scammed. It happens to the best of us.

Like a good magic trick, sometimes even the most astute of people fall for it

The ways people are being scammed are getting even more clever, even more involved, there are more layers than ever, check out below, these are some of the most well known ways of being scammed. Keep track of our ‘Scam Section’ to see if the suspected scam is in there and if it’s not – please let us know!

Types of Scams:

Phishing –

is a way of sending out a generalised email (although text messaging and letters are becoming more popular) in order to fool the recipient into giving up personal information. Generally, the link you click on or number you text ends up with you revealing your passwords/debit or credit card numbers/accessing computers or computer systems… These kind of emails/letters/texts aren’t to anyone in particular, which is why they often start with ‘Dear Sir/Madam…’ or ‘ Dear Home Owner…’

Spear-phishing –

is a way of sending out a more specific email (or text or letter), usually to a specific individual, type of individual or company, in order to obtain information about the victim, be it passwords/debits or credit card numbers/accessing a computer or computer system etc. So this is much like the above – but to a specific entity or person.

Clone Phishing –

This is when a reputable brand or company has had its emails/texts and even websites copied in order for the victim to believe that it is genuine. sensitive information is then placed into the clone site and the information is then received by the scammer.

Whaling Phishing –

This is basically spear-phishing, however, this is targeting upper management, very important people, CEO’s, highly placed individuals in companies. Communication is often very professional in its appearance.

Social engineering –

All of the above are forms of social engineering, usually  by the fear presented in front of them, that something is wrong and so we must give up or reveal our information very quickly, by replying or clicking on the link provided. sometimes scammers emotionally invest their time into the victim or at least, that’s what the victim believes. People build up long relationships over the internet or perhaps long relationships and are regarded as friends by the victim. Usually it involves getting to know someone and when the time is ‘right’ they snare their victim by getting them to reveal something that the scammer then steals and uses for their own advantages.

Face to face engineering –

This happens more often that you’d like, I’ve personally been involved in a few of these over the years. This is when someone is ‘lovely’.

Here’s a Scenerio:

Someone is so caring that they stop by your house (usually an older person – who’s often vulnerable and has money) they point out that the roof is looking a bit shoddy, might be worth getting it fixed, the recipient believes this lovely, friendly individual and says that they’ll try and get it sorted. Would you believe it – it turns out that the nice man, only happens to actually be a roofer  and – It happens to be his day off today, but he doesn’t mind helping out. (What a lovely man) To repair, it’ll cost £1000 (From your very thorough look, from the floor) – better hurry though, coz he’s booked for the next 3 months – so he wont be able to fix it until at least next year – this is no good, what with winter being here and everything…So the recipient goes down town with their new best friend, to go and get the cash. As soon as they get the cash – ‘POOOOOF’ The lovely man disappears.

It’s a wonder these people can sleep at night, but unfortunately this does happen – a lot.

The reason why getting scammed really does need your attention is this – fraud, from the bank is usually covered, getting scammed, usually is not.

If you are not sure, DO NOT PUSH THE BUTTON, DO NOT REPLY TO THE NUMBER TEXTING, DO NOT GIVE ANYONE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION, DO NOT ENTER YOUR PIN, DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – Call me and I’ll be happy to talk it through with you.

If you have a friend or relative who you think has been scammed and you want to run it through me – please just call.

 

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