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Fraud News

The human cost of fraud

5th August 2010

Read the accounts of 11 victims of fraud and the impact it had on their lives.

In 2009, the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies was commissioned to conduct research on victims of fraud for the National Fraud Authority – the government agency that runs Action Fraud – and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). ‘The human cost of fraud’ is the report that has been published as a result.

The human cost of fraud includes accounts from the following fraud victims:

100,000 computers infected with bank scamming technology

5th August 2010

Thousands of people are at risk of having their personal data used by cybercriminals to commit fraud.

It is likely that internet users’ computers became infected with the Zeus botnet after clicking on a link in a spam email or visiting an infected website. The botnet is allowing criminals to collect personal data from PCs, including online banking log-in details, credit and debit card numbers and any other passwords entered into the infected machines.

UK targeted in scam

Pilgrimage to Mecca scam

4th August 2010

Up to 40,000 people may have fallen victim to ‘Hajj fraud’, losing thousands of pounds to buy trips to Mecca that turn out to be non-existent.

In the months leading up to the Muslim Pilgrimage of Hajj, organised crime groups are using the names of licensed travel companies to advertise fraudulent deals to Saudi Arabia.

Hajj fraud

Embassy flooded with scam enquiries

4th August 2010

Internet fraudsters are logging into social networking accounts and contacting users’ friends, pretending they are in trouble and asking for money.

The US Embassy in London has been receiving enquiries every day from people who have been defrauded for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars by internet contacts they believed were their friends or loved ones.

Types of scams

Do you really know who your Facebook friends are?

3rd August 2010

Millions of social networking users are not adequately using privacy settings, leaving them open to identity theft and fraud.

Research from Equifax found that 62% of Facebook users provide their full date of birth on their profile; more than three quarters provide a personal email address and almost a third give the name of their employer.

Facebook privacy settings should be used

Spot a car-buying scam

3rd August 2010

What Car? is warning potential car buyers and sellers about some of the scams fraudsters might use to con them.

Fraud can take a number of forms when buying a car. It may involve ‘clocking’, where the sellers wind back the odometer on high-mileage cars to sell them for more than they are worth. Criminals may sell stolen cars using bogus registration documents to make them seem legitimate, or sell written-off cars after repairing them to make them seem safe and good-looking.

Car selling scams

iPhones hit by jailbreaking scams

3rd August 2010

iPhone users are being targeted by a new email scam promising them software that will allow them to download apps not approved by Apple.

Since it was announced that iPhone jailbreaking – where iPhone users can legitimately download apps not approved by Apple – is now legal in the US, fraudsters have been operating a new scam to take advantage of this.

How does the iPhone scam work?

Beware of social networking profile takeovers

2nd August 2010

People are being told they should be just as cautious when using social networking websites as they are when using their email accounts.

While many people are now getting savvy about restricting who can see their profiles by making them ‘private’ and only making friends with people they know, it is easy for fraudsters to take over a person’s profile and attempt to scam money out of those people a user is friends with.

Bogus messages on Facebook and Twitter

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