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Other scams and cons doing the rounds.

The tables below list some anti-fraud resources and some prominent scams, schemes and frauds.

 

You cannot have won a lottery if you have not bought a ticket.

Corrupt foreign officials have not singled you out to share their ill-gotten gains.

"Unmissable" share offers from cold-callers do not earn you 2000 percent gains.

There is no such thing as a High Yield Investment Programme.

Banks and reputable financial institutions DO NOT ask for your confidential details by email.

You might be the beneficiary of a recently deceased wealthy relative's will, but how likely is that?

 

Help to protect yourself from ID fraud - shred your personal details

 

Warning to UK residents: beware of of telephone callers from Barcelona and other overseas locations offering investment advice or opportunities. See item highlighted pink, below. Calls now emanate from the UK, but the regulators still do nothing. Have you been affected by a 'boiler room' scam? You could have had your say on the BBC forum, below. It's true: England is a fraudsters' paradise.

 

See also: Advance fee warnings

Are you a victim? See: Information for Victims section

 

Resource Description
Crimes of Persuasion A massive, almost comprehensive site detailing a spectrum of techniques used by fraudsters to part you from your money. There is a substantial support and information section.
Stock Watchers Trading in stocks and shares is a gamble. You gather information and make a decision to gamble, based on your own interpretation of it. It's called due diligence.
What, however, if you have been fed false information? What if the people you trust to help you make your financial choices have hidden agendas?
Metropolitan Police Fraud Alert The Fraud Alert pages have been set up in conjunction with the SCD6 Economic and Specialist Crime OCU as a resource to assist in combating specific types of high value fraud.
Office of Fair Trading OFT issues top scam alerts and launches Scams Awareness Month
Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations "The global investigations group for your business and private investigative needs." A very large information resource about a variety of scams.
Financial Services Authority Details of common scams and a frequently updated list of unauthorised financial advice firms targeting the UK. Heed these warnings.

 

Also check out the listings in the Information for Victims and Research sections of this site.

 

Alert - click link below

Description/Link

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish Lottery scam letters continue to catch gullible UK residents.

If you haven't bought a ticket, you have not won any lottery at all. Be warned.

May 2008

Coming soon...
How and why VOSA doesn't care that dangerous cars pass the M.O.T. test.

VOSA issues dire warnings to dealers and M.O.T. test stations about the strict criteria it is supposed to impose. The reality is that cars with potentially lethal faults pass the M.O.T. test and VOSA does nothing about it.

April 2008

Nat West Bank Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland are each falling victim to scam e-mail messages that request private data from individuals on the pretext that the banks are performing a software upgrade on their customer databases. Fake, of course, so do not respond to the messages, and delete them. They emanate from Korea.

 

Sept 2007

Revenue warns about more frauds

Tax payers have been warned to beware of more frauds using the name of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). At least eight different frauds are now listed on the HMRC website, compared with just one last December. Among them are ones involving bogus anti-terrorist certificates, tax rebates, export clearance and even one offering compensation to fraud victims.

BBC

19 Jun 2007

'Clairvoyant' conmen reap millions by preying on weak and vulnerable

News item

25 Feb 2007

OFT warns consumers about new 'secret shopper' scam

The mailing from a business called 'Paid Surveys', states that it is a customer employment firm using 'mystery shopping' to assist companies in improving customer service. Recipients are told that they have been chosen as a secret shopper and will be paid £350 for their first assignment. This is said to involve posing as a potential customer at a number of retailers and evaluating their service. Recipients are asked to contact an agent for detailed instructions.

The OFT is warning consumers not to respond to a new employment opportunity scam currently targeting the UK.

18 Dec 2006

Bank of Scotland subject of new "phishing" e-mail scam

The image in the e-mail contains an embedded link:

 

http://www.bankofscotland.co.uk.systemupgrade.skjhf87.biz/customers.ibc

The e-mail invites recipients to update their account details by clicking a link, which directs them to a web site in Korea. Do not follow the link, delete the message.

 

 

18 Aug 2006

Bogus WorldPay email contains Trojan virus.

Email subject: WorldPay Chargeback

Email header:

Return-Path: <acknowledgeable(at)mrg(dot)com>
Received: from n024.sc1.cp.net (64.97.168.31) by n006.sc1.cp.net (7.2.066)
id 44497BC6010126DB for (recipient); Tue, 11 Jul 2006 14:15:19 +0000
Received: from [219.137.247.247] (219.137.247.247) by n024.sc1.cp.net (7.2.069.1)
id 44AB8BC000462071; Tue, 11 Jul 2006 14:15:19 +0000
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 13:07:52 -0200
From: "Dave Gollick" <merchant(at)uk(dot)worldpay(dot)com>
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
Message-Id: <54663118.57988779(at)tanaka>
 

The email originating from "Dave Gollick" features a zipped executable file that contains a Trojan virus. The virus is activated when the executable file is run. File: ID0220712.zip should be deleted. Scan your system with your up to date anti-virus/anti-spyware programs.

 

See the WorldPay alert

 

Barclays Bank targeted by new email "phishing" scam

Email subject: "Private urgent message from Barclays IBank"

Purportedly from Barclays IBank2006, the email seeks personal banking details via a web link. Do not respond.

21 Apr 2006

Public Could face prison in new Email Scam

A Warning of a new kind of scam has been issued by specialist fraud protection company Early Warning today. The latest scam, which is becoming as wide spread as the 419 scams, is the lucrative offer of working part time from your own home for bogus overseas companies...Early Warning warns all members of the public not to fall for this chance of earning easy money as they could face a long term of imprisonment for money laundering, as the monies you will be handling are most likely to be the proceeds of crime.

Sourcewire

28 Feb 2006

Mastercard is the subject of email scam

Click image to see screenshot of fake email

Do not respond to email that purports to issue from Mastercard suggesting that you "reactivate" your card.

21 Feb 2006

Surprise results from scams research

Younger, more affluent consumers are just as likely as older consumer to be targeted by scammers, new research by the OFT has revealed. Early results from a major research project commissioned by the OFT show that nearly half of the UK population – or 20 million consumers over the age of 15 – have been targeted by a scam. Download the Scambuster guide in pdf format.

OFT

16 Feb 2006

City firms targeted by world-wide e-mail scam

City firm Travers Smith has placed a warning on its Web site after bogus e-mails purporting to be from the firm have been sent around the world as part of a Nigerian ‘419’ scam. Charles Russell’s name has also been used in a similar scam, and it is understood that other City firms have also been targeted. The e-mails claim to be from Travers Smith or other firms, often using the name of a current or former employee. The e-mails inform recipients that they have inherited a substantial sum of money – one e-mail cites the sum of $3.1 million (£1.7 million). They then and go on to ask the recipients for personal details, which are used to clear out bank accounts, or money, which is then stolen.

Law Society Gazette

03 Feb 2006

"We are aware of a number of bogus communications – claiming to be from the FSA – which ask the recipient for personal information and/or money. Don’t respond!"

Financial Services Authority

29 Dec 2005

Offers for Dana shares prompt scam warning

THE case of the American cold-caller who offered a Glasgow grandmother twice what her Dana Petroleum shares were worth has heightened fears that unwary shareholders could be duped by a new twist on the boiler-room scam.

The Herald

12 Dec 2005

OFT and Nigerian financial crime squad join forces to combat spam fraud

The OFT and its law enforcement partners in Nigeria are warning consumers to be wary of unsolicited e-mails asking for help in moving large sums of money in exchange for a share of the spoils.

04 Nov 2005

Boiler Rooms and cold telephone callers from overseas

Check the Financial Services Authority website for unauthorised firms or individuals attempting to sell you investments before you buy or even agree to receive details of their schemes. See also: Boiler Rooms and the Financial Services Authority FSA

 

Boiler Rooms Questions and Answers: BBC

 

News Nov 2006: The Serious Fraud Office has carried out a series of raids in Barcelona

 

Always check a firm is authorised by the FSA, or is the agent of an authorised firm - before you do business with them. If they are not authorised and things go wrong you will not have access to complaints procedures and compensation schemes.

FSA Helpline: 0845 606 1234

 

The Guardian lifts the lid on boiler room scams

03 Feb 2007

Scams cost victims £3.5bn a year - Guardian 09 Feb 2007

FSA acts over 'boiler room' scams by freezing assets - Telegraph 17 Feb 2007
 

Background to this section

 

In 2002, while investigating a known Forex (Foreign Exchange) boiler room operation, I registered on the operators' web site using the pseudonym of Riley Bantock and a special email address I had allocated for the purpose. Within weeks I was receiving up to 120 spam email messages per day to the special address, and about four cold calls per week from high pressure sales staff offering me the sun and the moon for just a few thousand pounds. Without exception, all callers asked for my pseudonym, implying a sophisticated network of information sharing. The pseudonym ploy was to ensure that I could track the movement of my details around the web, and to differentiate between genuine and unwelcome callers. All callers were until recently based outside the UK and were not regulated by the FSA.

 

Once these cold calling operations have your contact details they sell them to or share them with other organisations, and the calls and mails absolutely will not stop, no matter what you tell them. It is impossible to remove your details from these "sucker lists". On many occasions I even told the callers that the party they wanted was DEAD! The calls keep coming, though.

 

Many recipients of such unwanted calls resort to changing their telephone number and email address.

 

Have you been affected by a 'boiler room' scam?

Hundreds of investors have fallen prey to a crime wave known as the "boiler room" scam. You could have had your say on the BBC forum, which, alas, is now closed.

 

Typical boiler room victim loses £20,000, warns FSA

06 Jun 2006

 

Supplemental: Have you been persuaded to purchase worthless land?

BBC article suggests:

"Land sales lies lure in investors"

 

Guardian article, 25 Nov 2006, suggests:

Landbanking flop ends field of dreams

 

BBC Article 14 Dec 2006 suggests:

CPRE wants 'land banking' regulation

 

Guardian article 30 Dec 2006 suggests:

England's green and pleasant land falls into the hands of rogue salesmen

 

FSA deals blow to landbankers - Guardian, 27 Jan 2007

 

Internet landbanking scam exposed: Money Extra 03 Jul 2007

 

For more information about land banks or land banking, see:

Property Scam (propertyscam.org.uk)

"A number of companies now offer small investors the chance to buy small plots of rural land as long term investments. This activity is currently legal but may lead to problems for two groups of people."

 

Boiler rooms feel the heat, Telegraph 20 Jan 2007:

Anyone who suspects they have been contacted by a boiler room should call the FSA's consumer helpline on 0845 606 1234 or email operationarchway@cityoflondon.pnn.police.uk

 

Boiler rooms are almost invariably operated by sophisticated, slick individuals and organisations. They will sometimes resort to using UK solicitors' firms to silence their detractors, such as this web site and others. I might yet publish the names and details of those solicitors working in collusion with such organisations.

 

Monitor the column, immediate right, for new boiler room operators. As these organisations persist in calling me I record all their calls for security and public interest purposes and will soon publish a selection for downloading as podcasts in MP3 format. Look for the button in the right hand column.

"Emerging Equity Group" or "EEG Group" or "EEG Advisors" calling from Barcelona in Spain, and "First Alliance" calling from Florida. Each of these companies/organisations plan to take your money, but neither are regulated to sell financial services or investment business in the UK.

 

Added August/Oct 2005: "York Capital" calling from Boca Raton, and "Pioneer" calling from Barcelona.

 

Added Mar 2006: "Hartford" or "Hertford" calling from Barcelona. "Alex Holguin" a "licensed broker" with "Pioneer Commodities" calling from "Florida", 15 May 2006.

 

Update 22 May 2006. "Kirsty Lambert" calling from "Leonard Merlin" in Geneva.

 

Update 14 Nov 2006 Peter Bettany calling from Sky Land Consultants PLC, (it sounded like Skyland), Nantwich, Cheshire, offering up to 1000 per cent returns on a government backed programme. Interestingly, Mr Bettany asked to speak to my pseudonym, see left. Hmmm...I have reported the incident to the FSA. Update 26 April 2007 - This is Money investigates Sky Land

 

Update 06 Feb 2007 "Raymond Reynolds" calling from "S.I.G.". Mr "Reynolds" spoke with an American accent, but would not tell me where in the world he was calling from. He greeted Riley like a long lost friend, insisting that we had spoken before. We hadn't, of course, but he was the most persistent and offensive of recent callers for Riley, calling three times in succession.

 

Update 20 Mar 2007 "Marco Rossi" calling from SIG - Strategic Investment Group - in Barcelona. Mr Rossi did not know Raymond Reynolds, though.

 

 

2005/06/07

New fraud threat to web users

A SOPHISTICATED new fraud is allowing criminals to steal bank details and other secure information from internet users. The growing threat has been dubbed the 'evil twins' system. An 'evil twin' is a bogus base station that latches on to someone using new 'wi-fi' wireless technology.

20 Jan 2005

OFT issues loan scam warning

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning people to be vigilant after a Canadian loan scam arrived in the UK. Some people have already been stung after responding to newspaper adverts offering fast loans regardless of credit history. (Do not pay "up front" arrangement fees for loans. UJ)

08 Jan 2005

Net fraudsters step up "phishing" scam

Fraudsters have developed a potent new computer programme that steals Internet banking customers' details by duping them into opening up a bogus e-mail, a security firm says.
Windows Networking - protect yourself

Disable Windows Scripting Host - free tool from Symantec

05 Nov 2004

Probate Fraud costs millions.

Trusted advisors such as solicitors are plundering the estates of the vulnerable and the elderly.

25 July 2004

Boom Time for Stock Fraud

Smooth-talking brokers, many of them American, use flattery, urgency and sometimes lies to persuade foreign investors to buy stock in the small U.S. companies they tout as the next Microsoft or eBay. But almost as soon as money changes hands, many of these can't-miss propositions become sure losers.

 

Police issue warning over 'skimming' scam gang

POLICE have issued a warning to the public to be aware after uncovering a cash machine scam believed to be operated by a group of fraudsters working across the UK.

19 Jun 2004

Solicitors belong to an honourable profession? Perhaps not.

They don't care about your problems, but they'll take your money anyway. Conflict of interest? Not likely. Not solicitors. Surely not. Never. Well, maybe...

23 May 2003

Spammers are tracking you, warn security experts

"Don't open it, don't preview it, don't even think about it. Many spammers are including illicit code in their unsolicited mail to help them detect active email addresses, a security firm warned on Tuesday..." Silicon.com

16 Apr 2004

"Please help the Athens Olympics"

THE SCAM: A request for help in allocating funds to blood test the athletes at the summer Olympics. Scam email message

15 Apr 2004

"Defence Scam" suspects arrested.

Three Americans have been arrested for allegedly swindling up to $55m (£30m) from British investors.

British police are trying to trace anyone who may have fallen prey to the venture in the UK.
Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of the scam is advised to contact the Metropolitan Police Economic and Specialist Crime Unit on 0207 230 1247.

06 Apr 2004

Britain sees surge in 'phishing'

UK bank customers have been warned they may be targeted in a new wave of "phishing" scam emails.

25 Mar 2004

Barclays Bank targeted by email scammers

Tricksters attempt to lift personal banking details.

14 Mar 2004

Boiler rooms chug on

Cold-calling overseas investment advisors face clampdown

20 Feb 2004

Charities urged to be vigilant against new fraud scam

Charities across the country risk having their bank accounts emptied by a new fraud, the Charity Commission has warned

13 Feb 2004

Consumers' Association wants your story about shoddy solicitors

Which? is conducting a survey in 2004

22 Jan 2004

More on investment offers from abroad

Tony Hetherington explains how the issue of UK financial regulation is being fudged in favour of the investment sellers.

20 Dec 2003

Beware of investment offers from abroad

A leading UK newspaper wants your stories if you have lost money to cold-calling overseas investment advisors

26 Nov 2003

Email scam targets Halifax customers.

Halifax has become the latest target for an e-mail scam tricking customers into giving away confidential bank details. See also: "phishing"

27 Oct 2003

Advance fee "419" letters and emails continue to net the unwary.

Fraudulent emails offering a share in large sums of stolen or illicit money appear regularly in inboxes. Ignore them.

23 Oct 2003

PayPal email scam

Update

20 Oct 2003

Gamble or invest only with money you can afford to lose.

High-pressure investment sales target the UK from unregulated overseas jurisdictions.

26Aug 2003

PayPal email scam

Email scam purporting to originate from PayPal. Scammers are after your cash!

09 Aug 2003

The call that cost this man a fortune

Businessman loses almost everything to cold-caller.

21 June 2003

 

 

 

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Cold Turkey is the only dish on the menu at the Phantom Diner. Tony Levene again alerts readers to high-pressure sales of financial and investment services from unregulated overseas jurisdictions.

10 May 2003

 

 

 

Click for artiicleClick image for article

Tony Hetherington writes in Financial Mail On Sunday, pointing the finger at financial regulators in the United Kingdom. Why is it still so easy for the con artists to get away with it?

13 April 2003

 

 

 

Lawyers for your business

Coming soon - UnjustIS has acquired important new domains, which will soon be developed. Meanwhile, if this page is your first calling point, click on the link.

12 April 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advance fee fraud latest

They're still at it. The Nigerian advance fee fraud -419 scam- takes a new twist, this time purporting to originate from China, and another from Togo.

06 April 2003

 

 

 

Hot talk but chilly prospects

Tony Levene writes for Jobs and Money in The Guardian about the need to be cautious when considering unsolicited emails or telephone calls offering quick riches.

09 Nov 2002