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“What a boring subject – yawn. yeah, yeah, we know all about it. Be careful or you could lose money, blah blah”
Whenever this subject is approached, people’s eyes seem to glaze over. Most people want to make money, become successful etc. and aren’t bothering about the stuff they need to do.
Let me tell you something though. Over a million pounds PER DAY is being stolen through online fraud in the UK – and people like you are the victims.
I have lost count of the number of times that my elderly in-laws have almost fallen victim to fraud, from phone calls to phishing emails, etc. I have lost count of the number of times I have almost fallen victim myself, and twice that it has happened to me.
The first time was when I was running my online eco-products business. Everything was going well until I went to my website one day to find it was no longer available. I then received an email from a scammer telling me to send some Bitcoin in order for the site to be released. I was devastated.
Funnily enough, having been bought up in an orphanage and having to stand on my own two feet, I decided to haggle with the scammer. There followed a long email game of ping pong, where I promised to pay, if only I could get into my website for an hour to do some very urgent stuff, or my business was finished anyway. (Obviously, this was just a ruse, but the scammer felt like he/she wasn’t going to get anything at all if I lost my business. So they released the site, and my webmaster immediately put an anti-hacking system on the site which meant that the scammer couldn’t take it back down!
He/she was furious. Our site was bombarded like you wouldn’t believe. The webmaster said that he had never seen that level of attack ever before, but the ring of steel around it held.
The second time was when my gardener/handyman who looked after our home in Spain asked me if I would help him get a mini digger/tractor from a company in the UK. It cost 4000 euros. He had 2000 euros and asked if I would help him with the rest.
I went to the website he gave me, and it was a company that supplied second-hand machinery all over Europe. There were JCB’s, tractors, diggers etc., all at reasonable prices. They had all the photos, specifications etc. In fact, there were 10 pages of machines.
I contacted the company several times via email, and after I was satisfied, I did a Spanish bank transfer of 4000 euros to a Barclays bank in the UK.
Then we sat back and waited for the delivery of the machine.
It didn’t come…I contacted the company a couple of times, and they apologised for the delay.
Then one day, the emails were returned as undelivered and I realised I had been taken for a ride. The website was still up.
It turned out that they had cloned the website of a bona fide company, and had made off with hundreds of thousands of euros.
Of course, I contacted the police Action Fraud line, filled out loads of forms etc., and informed them of the website. Guess what? Nothing happened. I was peeing in the wind…
Never mind, I thought. The account was a Barclays account, so surely they could return the money as it was a clear fraud. (The Spanish bank denied all responsibility. They had quite rightly acted upon my instructions, so more fool me basically).
Guess what? Barclays basically told me where to go too…they said to report it to the police, which I had done.
I told my gardener/handyman, and he broke down, saying that it was his last 2000 euros, and he couldn’t afford to feed his family if he had to pay me back. So I had lost 4000 euros to sophisticated scammers – and remember,r I am a former policeman. so don’t think for a second this sort of thing cant happen to you, because it can. And when it does, the banks and companies involved deny any responsibility and unless you provide the police with the name and address of the scammer, plus concrete evidence to convict, they won’t lift a finger to help you.
I implore you to take time out to investigate the various ways that you can protect yourself in this section, and they are virtually all FREE. ~These fraudsters are getting more clever and sophisticated by the day.
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