Author Topic: Scam of the day  (Read 2581 times)

Offline PeteHall

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Scam of the day
« on: August 20, 2020, 10:58:03 am »
There doesn't seem to be anything like this already, so i thought I'd start a thread to talk about the scams we've encountered, as I think someone was trying me yesterday...


For my part, I'm just curious as to what the scammer was trying to achieve as I can't fathom it, but also, it may actually be useful to prevent other people getting scammed.


The Car Buyer Scam

So, I've got a car for sale on Gumtree. I've got my phone number there so I can be contacted and have stated that potential buyers can phone, message, WhatsApp or email me for more details.

I've had a few people asking a few questions, mostly by the in-app messenger, but a few texts as well. Then I got a WhataApp message saying
Quote
My friend is interested in your car but can't add you on whatsapp, can you message him of 07*********

I thought this was a bit odd, but I have previously had a similar issue with WhatsApp, so thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and messaged the guy. He replied to say he'd just moved from France and needed to get a car. He asked some sensible questions about the condition, servicing, brakes, tyres, keys etc. Details that I hadn't included in my ad. He then asked if the car had been smoked in, again detail I hadn't included and a sensible question. He asked about space for his kids, not really my place to advise how big a car he needs, but having had kids, some cars are much easier with a child seat than others, so fair enough.

Next he asked for a vehicle history report
Quote
for example here £0.95 http://freecarcheker.co.uk
WARNING UNSECURE WEBSITE DO NOT TRY USING THIS SERVICE

He said he couldn't check it as the website didn't accept his French bank card.

At this point, I became very suspicious. I checked the website and found it was not secure. I entered the car reg for the free check and it came up showing loads of stuff blurred out wit the option to "upgrade". The only thing it showed was MOT "yes" and Imported "no".

I pointed out that the website was not secure and I wasn't going to enter card details. Instead, I suggested I'd get the guy an official HPI check when he came to see it as I know the vehicle history having bought it from the main dealer. He insisted he wanted the check before coming, so I decided that £10 on a proper HPI check was no major loss to me and may give other buyers some extra confidence. I bought the official HPI check and sent him screen shots, taking care to blur out the VIN number and V5C number.

Needless to say he never got back to me.

I've since done some more digging. A reverse image search on his WhatsApp picture turns out to be some celebrity I've never heard of and when I try his web link with a vehicle registration that I scrapped last year, it comes up with exactly the same screen showing it as MOT "yes" and the option to "upgrade"; clearly the website is not checking anything.

So he's clearly a scammer, but what is the scam?

 - Is it as simple as he's trying to get my money from an "upgrade" on a bogus car checker website?

 - Is it that he's trying to scam my bank details from an unsecure website?

 - Is he trying to get my VIN number and V5C number to "clone" the vehicle?


Any thoughts? Should I report it?

Any other scams to share?
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Offline JoshW

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 11:16:07 am »
Nice idea for a thread.

I'd imagine it's a matter of getting your card details from the scam website. Can't imagine the volumes are there to just take the small upgrade fee even if 100 people fell for it. Easier to go all out on those who put their card details in.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 11:30:26 am »
The website has a registered company number on it. I've checked this on companies house and it's a genuine company with a single (real) director. A Google search for the director reveals he is a member of the "Marden Planning Opposition Group" which is in the same area as the company is registered.

If I lived a bit closer, I'd go and knock on his door. Anyone live near Maidstone?  :furious:
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Offline mountainpenguin

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 11:47:05 am »
Domain name registered 17th of Aug this year. hosting company based in st Petersburg.
Its a bog standard wordpress and takes the cc details when you hit submit. Given the information that is there I am supprised that it doesn't have an ssl cert to tick the secure box they are free anyway!
Defiantly report to local police

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2020, 01:02:23 pm »
Domain name registered 17th of Aug this year. hosting company based in st Petersburg.
A good start!  :o

Quote
Its a bog standard wordpress and takes the cc details when you hit submit
So you are saying it will harvest your credit card details? How can you tell this? Is it obvious in the web code?

Quote
Given the information that is there I am supprised that it doesn't have an ssl cert to tick the secure box they are free anyway!
If my understanding above is correct, how could it be certified as secure?

Quote
Defiantly report to local police
For what? Specifically? (if not answered by above questions).

Thanks
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Offline scurve

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 02:53:25 pm »
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 03:03:38 pm by scurve »

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2020, 03:14:36 pm »
Ok, that makes sense now, it's a rip off of this website: https://www.freecarcheck.co.uk/

They've dropped the quoted price (on most places int he rip off page) from £9.95 to £0.95, but missed a few.

Definitely one to report.
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Offline mountainpenguin

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2020, 08:40:21 pm »
Domain name registered 17th of Aug this year. hosting company based in st Petersburg.
A good start!  :o

Quote
Its a bog standard wordpress and takes the cc details when you hit submit
So you are saying it will harvest your credit card details? How can you tell this? Is it obvious in the web code?
yup open up dev mode in chrome and you can see its posting. any old garbage will be accepted

Quote
Quote
Given the information that is there I am supprised that it doesn't have an ssl cert to tick the secure box they are free anyway!
If my understanding above is correct, how could it be certified as secure?
An SSL cert only garantees that the person who controls the domain has set up the server and only protects data in transit.
you can get the from letsencrypt.org for domains that you control and as the scammer controls this domain then its odd that they didn't do the one extra step.

Quote
Defiantly report to local police
For what? Specifically? (if not answered by above questions).

Thanks
[/quote]

Its an obvious scam that almost had you fooled the police depending on area and a bunch of other bits should be interested especially as you were targeted directly.

I would alo point it out to the legit website too!

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2020, 05:14:03 pm »
Well I reported it via citizens advice; any other scam reporting service starts by asking how much you've lost and won't let you proceed if you haven't actually lost money...

I also emailed the owner of the actual website and used their contact form to let them know their website had been cloned.

The scam website now appears to be blocked, so somebody has done something about it, but I was really surprised that nobody from the legit website has bothered to reply to either of my messages. If I was a small business owner and my website had been cloned, the least I would do is say thanks if someone pointed it out to me.
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Offline alastairgott

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 08:13:18 pm »
This guys worth a watch if you've got some spare time...

https://www.youtube.com/c/JimBrowning/videos

Offline cfmwh

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2020, 05:43:47 am »
WARNING
A scam is being pulled, mainly on older men.

What happens is that when you stop for a red light, a young nude woman comes up and pretends to be washing your windshield. While she is doing this, another person opens your back door and steals anything in the car.

They are very good at this: They got me 7 times Friday and 5 times Saturday.

I wasn’t able to find them on Sunday.

Offline paul

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2020, 08:31:41 am »
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Mrs Trellis

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2020, 09:30:04 am »
The head of UK Cyber Security said on BBC R4 Today that he received an email which said he's been spotted leaving home three times during lockdown and asked him to fill in his details to pay the resulting £35 fine.

I hope he didn't. :lol:
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Offline royfellows

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2020, 10:11:44 am »
Hi Roy

I am the equipment officer of a major caving club and we are seeking to purchase 50 of your lamps.
I need a sample for evaluation purposes before we make the final decision etc

This was not only actually received but could be someone on here, note no mention of which club. Mmm.
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Offline Dickie

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2020, 02:41:13 am »
Many years ago I got a great one from someone claiming to represent a group of white Zimbabwean farmers who were looking to get their money out before the Government stole it - classic sympathy, urgency, lousy spelling and grammar but good points for creativity.
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Offline Judi Durber

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2020, 10:04:50 am »
Do your children play Fortnite?  They are being targeted on YouTube

Listen from 14:50 min of You & Yours  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m5zd

Fortnite is warning gamers not to be tempted by free offers of VBucks, the game's virtual currently in Youtube videos. We hear how many of these videos are scams, and the fraudsters want you to click through onto links to get your personal information. 
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Offline Laurie

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2020, 11:53:54 am »
I had a call from 'Amazon' yesterday enquiring about the authenticity of a new account opened in my name.
They wanted me to install a piece of software so they could minitor my computer to stop it happening again.
MNRC

Offline SamT

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2020, 12:50:23 pm »
Got a call at work about 6 months ago from a nice lady in manchester wondering if my company was interested in sponsoring a scheme called "Prevention Foundation".  Gives books to schools and something to do with bullying. I said maybe and could she send some details, took my email and that was that. Promptly forgot about it and never got an email.

6 months pass.

This week, I got a call, from a nice lady in manchester, from the prevention foundation. My books are all ready to distribute to the schools. Vague bells ringing, so I go along.  "Do I have a school in mind, or do I want them to distribute them, as they see fit"
"Headmasters will write thanks letters to us", " Do we want our certificate posted out to our company address" etc etc.

All sounded fairly reasonable, and I'm starting to remember speaking to her 6 months ago.

"So the invoice for "£190, do you want it posting or emailing"
"Do you want it in your name or company name so you can offset against tax"

I'm going along, but alarm bells are starting to ring.  I couldn't remember ever agreeing a price, discussing money or owt.

I start asking her if we have ever had anything in writing about this, which she deftly avoided answering, but started saying that if I paid on card now, there was a discount, else if she was to email the invoice and give us 7 days to pay, it'd be full price.  In the meantime I'm searching my emails for any mention of this from 6 months ago, since it all sounded very familiar, but couldn't quite remember what was agreed (or not!!)

Anyway, I pursued the line of questioning re emails.  And she said she was willing to send me the invoice, but keep the discount option open for 7 days.

As soon as the call was over, the penny dropped and I thought wow, how well set up and thought through. To be organised enough to phone 6 months ago, not demanding money, but then to follow it up suitably later, that memory is vague.

I looked up the phone number on 'who called me'.com and sure enough, loads of people have had the same thing.

Seems so blindingly obvious now that it was a scam ..
"give us your card details over the phone and we'll give some books to a school you've never seen or heard of",, yeah right.  But at the time, it was all so convincing. 

 

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2020, 07:47:15 am »
Just had a delightful email from a "Mrs Aisha Gaddafi", with an "urgent business proposal" of the usual kind. It came from "yousefzongo@*****.com - funny that; isn't "Yousef" a male name?

Anyway, I decided not to avail her / him of my bank details . . . .

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2020, 02:09:52 pm »
I enjoy watching the youtube videos of people keeping scammers on the phone for as long as possible.

I used to think it was just funny but some of the comments about how people's grandmother was scammed put of 80kusd makes you sick.

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2020, 02:55:37 pm »
Not quite a scam, but a nuisance call with a slight twist on the usual in that he actually knew some of my personal details and stayed on the phone much longer than usual...

Received a call today from 0161 525 2544

The caller claimed to be from RTA Management (short for Road Traffic Accident Management). While I kept him talking, I checked this out on companies house and the only RTA Management is dissolved and there is no company under the full name. A google search brings up hundreds of no-fault accident claim companies.

As usual, the caller claimed had I been involved in a minor non-fault accident within the last 3 years. He claimed to have gained the information from "UK National Survey Department" (which does not exist).

I asked what the vehicle was and he gave me the make and model of a vehicle I own, I asked the registration and he gave me the registration of, you guessed it, the vehicle I have for sale (that started this thread).

He claimed his company address was 171 Garrette Lane, London. The closest address by Google is "Garratt Lane" and there appears to be a curry house at 171. He said he was calling from that London address, despite calling from a Manchester number and having a fairly poor grasp of the English language...

I informed him that the vehicle had never been involved in an accident and asked again where he had gained the information.

I informed him he was in breach of GDPR and requested a company number as his company did not appear to exist based on the name provided and I wanted to report his company for breach of GDPR. He could not provide a company number and eventually hung up when I pressed for this.


Slightly more clued up than the usual "you've been in a no-fault accident" call, in that he knew all the details of the car, which I assume he got from my advert to sell it. He was also a lot more persistent than usual. they normally hang up as soon as you ask where they got your phone number or what vehicle was involved. These low-life scammers really boil my blood!  :furious:
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Offline Roger W

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2020, 02:57:48 pm »
Never mind, Pete.  At least you kept him from bothering anyone else for a few minutes!
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Offline crickleymal

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2020, 03:54:31 pm »
I had an ambulance chaser phone me up whilst I was in the waiting room waiting for a blood test. "Oh fuck off!" said quite loudly caused a few heads to turn. When I explained that it was an ambulance chaser people were happy with my response.
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Offline SamT

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2020, 03:57:04 pm »
Imagine my surprise when some 'Prevention Foundation' leaflets arrived in the post, along with our certificate and an invoice for £399 quid turned up on the door mat at work on Monday!!.

This has been followed up with several calls.. They're now getting quite shirty when we are saying we never agreed to anything, certainly not 399 quid.

This one really annoys me, its registered as a CIC on companies house, has a vaguely crap website, facebook, linked in, insta presence, with very few followers/likes what ever.  But then they do appear to be actually doing some sort of work with schools and bullying.

They reckoned they'd sent stuff to a local school, Birkdale already. 

Birkdale is sheffields posh expensive private school, which happens to be the closest school to our office on google maps.  I very much doubt they have an issue with knife crime and I'm not sure what good 399 quids worth of booklets is going to do them.

What bugs me is they're using underhand techniques to get money and then being threatening on the phone when we've refused to pay.  Which then makes it harder for other, more genuine charities to collect money, if everyone is suspicious about scams.

Had they used a more soft approach, asked for less money, agreed stuff upfront, I may well have given them some dosh.

 :down:

Offline Wardy

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Re: Scam of the day
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2020, 10:45:54 pm »
A short while back I had a GDPR issue with an insurance broker keeping too much of my details.

It started when I bought a new vehicle and searched online for insurance before settling on one.
The next year I received a renewal note that seemed to be an automatic renewal from my insurer, but something seemed wrong and then I realised it was from a company I had declined and did not represent my insurer.
As I digested this I realised the form had much more personal information than they needed and I was not sure I had provided all of it.
All of this on an insecure email!

I decided to "unsubscribe" asap to remove my details from their site, only to find that when I followed the option it took me to a company in Belfast that had a statement saying that they believed they had a right to keep my details and there was no option to stop them.
I was now getting annoyed and then I realised I could edit my details.

Now the fun began
I changed my name to A N Other
Put my Date of Birth as todays date - bit young to drive, but not necessarily to own a vehicle
The vehicle became Old Banger etc.
all went well until I got to the address and then it spotted that Back of Beyond was not a real address as the fictitious post code did not fit.
Not quite beaten I spotted their post code on the form - I entered the post code and it auto filled their own address - result.
On a roll I put their email address in as well for good measure.

Now all I had to do was submit.
At which point an auto message popped up saying they apologised as they would not be able to quote over the internet, but would get an insurer to contact me by phone the following day if I gave a time and appropriate number.
I duly entered their phone number and asked for the call at 11am
Unfortunately I never found out how their enquiry went.

As the saying goes there is more than one way of skinning a cat.
Whilst they were determined to keep some details, they were not worthy of keeping mine. 

 

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