How Scams Work – the Anatomy of a scam

December 18, 2018

 

Most scams follow the same pattern and once you understand this, the tricks of the scammer become easier to spot. 

If you look carefully at all of the different types of scams outlined in previous issues, you’ll soon notice that most scams go through three stages: (1) approach; (2) communication; and (3) payment. 

Understanding the basic parts of a scam will help you to avoid the current crop of scams and to be on guard against new scams that emerge in the future. 

The approach: delivery method 

When scammers approach you, it will always come with a story designed to make you believe a lie.  The scammer will pretend to be something they are not, a government official, an expert investor, a lottery official or even a romantic admirer. To deliver these lies to you, scammers will use a range of communication methods  

Online Scammers lurk within the anonymous environment of the internet. 

Email is favoured scam deliver method, providing a cheap and simple way to communicate on a large scale. Phishing emails that ‘fish’ for your personal information and are most common email scam type. 

Social networking platforms, dating sites and online forums allow scammers to ‘befriend’ you and enter into your personal life to access your personal details, which can then be used against you or your family and friends. 

Online shopping, classifieds and auction sites are used by scammers to target byers and sellers, with initial contact often made through reputable and trusted sites or fake websites that look like the real thing.  Look for secure payment options and beware of the unusual payment methods such as wire transfer, Bitcoins or preloaded money cards.  Credit cards usually offer some protection. 

Next Issue we will provide you with Over the Phone method and at your Door method on their approach or delivery method. 

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