Scams are when people are contacted by telephone, email, post or fax asking for assistance, often with a financial incentive.
A request is sent to the victim for help in order to access a large sum of money, which will ask for a ‘small’ advanced fee to enable the transactions to release the funds as well as bank account details. There are numerous stories used to explain the need for these advanced fees including accessing inheritance, accessing a sum of money left over from over-invoicing etc. Further requests for money will continue with various different reasons, such as a need to bribe corrupt officials. Even seemingly legitimate meetings and documentation may be organised.
Victims are contacted, normally by email, and are informed that they have been picked at random and have won a sum of money. To collect the prize the victim have to provide personal and financial details. A ‘small’ fee is also required as an administrative fee to process the winning sum. The fraudsters are then able to keep the money sent to pay the fee and also have your personal and financial details to commit further frauds.
Here are many methods used in order to make victims phone premium rate telephone numbers. The caller is kept on the line for several minutes and are charged a large amount for the call.
What can you do to prevent becoming victim?
Remember - If it looks to good to be true, it generally is!!
419 Scams can be forwarded to the service provider so they are aware of the message, to do this just add the word ‘abuse’ and the service provider email address, for example, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have become a victim of these frauds, please contact you local police station, you can find the details on the Contact Us page.
If you become a victim of a telephone scam, please contact PhonepayPlus, who investigate these issues. The free helpline is 0800 500 212 and the website is www.phonepayplus.org.uk
Please see the ‘Useful Links’ page.