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Frauds and Scams (SCAM)     

axdpc - 20 Sep 2003 15:08

Reports of frauds, deceptions and scams keep appearing, weekly even daily, on
major news channels and newspapers. Some of these frauds seem just too big and remote to be of immediate, direct relevance to our daily lives. But, we will eventually pay for the consequences and damages, in taxes, costs of goods and services, regulations, copy-cats etc.

I hope we can collect, in one thread, frauds and scams, reported or heard. We must become more aware and more educated to guard against frauds and scams
which impact upon the health, well being, and wealth of ourselves and our families.

axdpc - 14 Feb 2004 01:05 - 43 of 628

Not a fraud and probably not a scam but something to be aware of when you
choose a bank ...

"Lenders only happy to share the bad news.

BANKS and building societies could be preventing customers from obtaining better deals from their competitors by withholding positive credit information about them.

The Consumers Association says that some financial services firms supply only negative data about customers, such as defaults on payments, to credit reference agencies. As a result, the credit score of those customers will be low.

When consumers try to switch banks or apply for new products from rival firms, they may find gaps in their credit records, and this makes switching to better deals difficult.

These claims are made in the latest edition of Which?


Abbey, Woolwich, Alliance and Leicester, and Northern Rock provide full information to agencies about their loan, current account and mortgage customers.

In other words, they record positive information such as payments made in full and on time as well as negative data. But Barclays, First Direct and HSBC supply only default information to credit agencies. Lloyds TSB, Nationwide and MBNA declined to respond to the survey.


Andy - 14 Feb 2004 10:43 - 44 of 628


Ebay have failed to stop a scam been operated on their UK site, despite complaints.

Beware if you look for an Apple IPOD on EBay, as some of the "auctions" are not for a physical IpOD, but only a LINK to a site where the vendor says you can buy a legit IPOD for 25!!!...yeah right!!!!

And watch out too for the Tiffany jewellery sellers that operate out of Hong Kong! They pupport to be based in the UK, but are actually located in USA or Hong Kong, both being places where FAKE Tiffany jewellery is sold, and this seems to be reflected in some of the feedback comments of certain selleers!

Ebay should be fined or closed down for allowing this, IMHO

axdpc - 20 Feb 2004 22:51 - 45 of 628

"NYSE specialists reach $240 mn settlement.

Five NYSE specialist firms at the heart of insider trading allegations have reached a tentative $240 mn settlement with the SEC and the Big Board's enforcement arm. The fee is to settle civil charges that they allegedly stepped ahead of customer orders that came to the NYSE.

The agreement represents the stiffest fine involving specialist firms. The biggest burden is expected to fall on the shoulders of LaBranche which is expected to pay out $63.5 mn. Other firms including Van der Moolen, Fleet Specialist, Spear Leeds & Kellogg and Bear Wagner are expected to pay less. The deal requires approval by SEC commissioners.

If a $240 mn settlement is agreed, it will contain two elements: $90 mn in fines and $150 mn in money that was apparently misappropriated by specialists; both sums would be handed back to investors. Although a settlement would bring closure on this issue up to a point, any settlement still leaves specialists open to further legal action.


Will it ever happen (ie. detection, fines and compensations) in the UK??

prodman - 24 Feb 2004 08:20 - 46 of 628

Mobile Hoax

Hi All,

We have been aware of the following mobile phone scam this morning, which reads as follows:

There is a new kind of mobile phone scam. A missed call will show on your mobile phone. The number is 0709 020 3840! The last four numbers may vary, but the first four numbers will remain the same! If you call this number back, you will be charged 50.00 per minute. People have complained about their phone bills, once they have realised the cost of the call, but apparently this is completely legal. So beware, do not call back numbers beginning with 0709

I have spoken to the relevant departments during the course of the day, and found that this scam is actually true.

Please advise customers not to return any missed calls beginning with an 0709 prefix, as they will be liable for the cost of the call.

Dieng - 27 Feb 2004 23:45 - 47 of 628

Re. the 0709 scam :

There are similar (high) cost numbers scattered throughout the '07' range, eg. in 0700, 0704, 0762, 0766. Hence, don't only be on your guard for the the current one.

Just in case anybody isn't aware, the cost of all specialised numbers (from BT landlines, but its a good reference never-the-less) is available at


Spaceman - 28 Feb 2004 00:38 - 48 of 628

prodman/Dieng, these are not scams they are hoaxes and they are not true. There are no charge rates for UK calls even from mobiles that are anything like 50 per minute. Prodman your one was discussed on the traders thread yesterday.

Dieng - 01 Mar 2004 18:33 - 49 of 628

Spaceman ... you are of course correct !

I refer to BT's price list frequently and don't normally read 50.00p as 50.00 . However, on this occasion, I was expecting to see 50, so that is what I saw. Good job it wasn't a trade !


axdpc - 08 Mar 2004 18:52 - 50 of 628

"Credit card identity fraud jumps 45%.

Identity fraud involving credit and debit cards rose by 45% in 2003 despite the first fall in overall card fraud in eight years, according to new figures.

The practice of creating false accounts in another person's name, or taking control of another person's existing accounts, was worth 29.7 million in 2003, the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) said.


axdpc - 08 Mar 2004 19:00 - 51 of 628



The scam involves fitting a device to a cash machine which scans the card details as it enters the machine.

Those details can then be used to make a copy card - but the person's pin number is still needed. Police believe the people responsible are looking over the card-users' shoulder to watch them entering their number, or even using tiny secret cameras.


axdpc - 08 Mar 2004 19:12 - 52 of 628

"Roof falls in on buy-to-let scam

Investors who put 100m into social housing rentals face heavy losses as company at centre of scheme goes under.

Well over 1,000 people are nursing heavy losses after being duped by a dodgy property investment company promising "guaranteed" annual returns of 15%, it was revealed this week.

The investors, who included accountants, lawyers and doctors, handed over five- and six-figure sums after being seduced by the company's glossy brochures and slick spiel, which talked about how they could cash in on the buy-to-let boom.

The firm, PPP Ltd (known as Practical Property Portfolios), used adverts in publications such as the Financial Times to wax lyrical about the money that could be made by purchasing cheap properties in the north of England, which the company would refurbish and let out to "social housing" tenants.


PPP was based in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, and used a firm of solicitors called Murray Humphrey, which has offices across the north-east, while its "rental guarantee scheme" was underwritten by an Isle of Man insurance company called Templeton Insurance Ltd.

One of PPP's main directors, John Potts, clearly isn't (or wasn't) short of a bob or two. As well as driving a Bentley and an Aston Martin, he owns the actual red Jaguar MkII used in the TV detective series Inspector Morse.


Anyone with inquiries about PPP or its associated companies, which include Napeer (Holdings) Ltd, Napeer Housing Ltd, Bluebell Housing Ltd, Aaron de Vere Ltd and Janspeed Consultancy Ltd, should contact Anthony Supperstone and Charles MacMillan at BDO Stoy Hayward, 1 City Square, Leeds LS1 2DP.

kernow - 09 Mar 2004 13:26 - 53 of 628

A variation on the missed call is a text message saying you have voicemail with a number to dial to retrieve. I had it twice but was suspicious - O2 told me the number redirects to an overseas premium rate.

Spaceman - 09 Mar 2004 23:05 - 54 of 628

kernow, another one that does not sound correct !, as far as I know a number cannot be redirected to another number by a third party without the third party paying. The number may well be premium rate and therfore expensive but I dont think it can redirect to a higher cost number at the users cost. However my info is for non mobiles but I think it applies to mobiles. Do you know what the text message said? and I will check it out.

axdpc - 22 Mar 2004 11:09 - 55 of 628

"Online vigilantes tackle eBay cheats.


axdpc - 30 Mar 2004 13:16 - 56 of 628

"Home Office warned of Romania scam.",1271,-3919567,00.html

axdpc - 06 Apr 2004 22:31 - 57 of 628

Internet phone dialler fraud

Updated: 5 April
Who is affected: All internet users

ntl would like to warn all customers about the risk of inadvertently loading premium rate phone dialler software onto your computer. This software could reconfigure your computer to dial a premium rate number to connect you to the internet, or cause your computer to dial other premium rate numbers without your permission, resulting in large phone bills.

This problem mainly affects dial-up internet customers, but can also affect broadband customers if you leave your phone line plugged into your computer.

Whilst there are legitimate uses for dialler software applications, many are designed to be downloaded and installed without your consent and to connect to premium rate telephone services, sometimes costing as much as 1.50 per minute, without your knowledge.

How to tell if you are affected
You should thoroughly check your phone bill for any 09 premium rate numbers, and check your dialler settings to make sure there are no unrecognised dial-ups set up. These can be found by going into Internet Options on your Control Panel, and clicking on the "Connections" tab or by searching for "Dial-up Networking" in Windows Help.

What should you do?
Installing and configuring a reputable firewall application will protect your PC from unauthorised downloads, and give you an opportunity to block any attempted downloads from unrecognised sources. You can download a free firewall here. You should not download software from the internet unless you are sure of the source.

It is your responsibility to make sure your computer is not used to make these unauthorised premium rate calls, and as an ntl telephone customer, you can bar premium rate phone calls from your line. Other telephone service providers can also offer this service.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of such a fraud, contact ICSTIS, the body that supervises telephone information services such as premium rate services, who can investigate cases of telephone fraud.

If you are an ntl broadband customer and you also have a conventional modem in your PC, we advise you to physically unplug your modem lead from the wall socket.

This may be of some interest to someone from ntl homepage!!!!!

Thanks to Mega...

mpw777 - 20 Apr 2004 17:00 - 58 of 628

i feel that bt charging structure is almost equivelent to a scam in that it is so difficult to find out from bt what one can do to obtain better value for money. one needs to know what to do and instruct bt for instance why should i need to phone bt to instruct a change of numbers for familly and friends when bt each quarter can simply introduce the 10 best numbers for me via their computer data.

tyketto - 21 Apr 2004 13:03 - 59 of 628

Just received a letter from Hospital Plan Insurance Services,
44,Baker St. London.
Offers prizes of 100 to 60000. Read on-
"simply complete a non-binding direct debt to claim......"
Unfortunately nothing else in the envelope, so cant give
futher details.

mpw777 - 21 Apr 2004 15:50 - 60 of 628

i see another bank scam reported in the press yesterday viz. banks receive money that is not correctly due to them or where the recipient no longer exists to claim the money. guess what? the bank simply sits on the money and eventually counts the money as part of its profits. if i recall correctly the aggregate amount which has been or will be snatched is of the order of 15 billion pounds. a member of parliament is very active in seeking a remedy ..with the aim that these amounts pass to charity.
hopefully more will reach genuine charities compared with the mere 3% which reaches true charities out of lottery payments.

Digger - 11 May 2004 07:36 - 61 of 628

Follow the link below on how to spot the ATM Scam!!!!!!!!

axdpc - 05 Jun 2004 17:44 - 62 of 628

"Don't be a victim
Take care of your credit cards

Credit card fraud is more than one kind of crime...


Most cases involve "skimming" where the genuine information held on the card's magnetic strip is copied electronically onto another card without the owner's knowledge.

"Card Not Present" Fraud

This involves using fraudulently-acquired card details (often from a discarded receipt) to make a purchase over the phone, the internet or by mail order.

Identity Theft

Known in America as "dumpster diving" this relatively new (but increasingly more common) crime is often refered to here as "bin raiding". Offenders can glean enough information from our rubbish to pull off the most elaborate frauds using our personal details.

Cash Machine Fraud

Many cases occur when the cardholder's PIN is kept with their card in a purse or wallet that is stolen.
Be aware of anyone who is crowding you at an ATM. Known as "shoulder surfing", offenders find out your PIN and then steal your card using distraction techniques or pickpocketing.
Offenders also can tamper with the ATM causing your card to stick in the machine. They later retrieve it and use it with your PIN.

The Facts...
Fraudulent use of card details occurs most often through telephone and mail ordering, less so through the Internet.
Estimates suggest that 1 in 5 credit card frauds committed on-line involve betting sites, according to a study by Europay and APACS. Card users "borrow" other people's card details for their stake in a growing industry that sees some 75m wagered every day, with about 300,000 punters placing bets on-line.
Skimming is the most prevalent type of card counterfeiting and criminals are estimated to lift information from as many at 200 cards a day, using them to spend an average 1,600 on each card they copy

How You Can Protect Your Cards
Guard your cards - don't let them out of your sight when making a transaction.
Be careful with your transaction receipts - don't lose them and dispose of them carefully.
Check your receipts against your statement regularly - contact your card issuer immediately if you find a discrepancy.
Never write down your PIN and never disclose it to someone else - even if they claim to be from your card issuer or the police.
Report lost or stolen cards immediately to your card issuer. You will find the appropriate number on the back of your statment and Directory Enquiries hold most telephone numbers.
Sign any new cards immediately and ensure you cut up the old card when the new card becomes valid or is activated.
Don't keep your cards in the same place as your cheque book.Keep your purse and wallet secure about your person. If you use a handbag, make sure your purse is kept in a secure pocket and be aware pickpockets.
Don't leave cards unattended in briefcases, pocket book or jacket. At work, keep your bag and other personal belongings locked in a cupboard or drawer.
When on holiday, use the hotel safe or safe deposit box.
Consider registering with a card protection scheme, particularly if you have a number of cards

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