The evolving tactics of internet scammers

At Insight Investigations we are consistently monitoring the evolving tactics of internet scammers in order for our specialist team to provide the right support to our clients when the worst does happen.

We recently looked at “how to spot a COVID scam” where our specialist online fraud team outlined some of the most common scams on the rise during and post pandemic, and also a specific look at “the rise of internet dating scams” which looks more closely at the tactics used by those using the heart as a way into someone’s finances.

Six months on, we are in full swing of our ‘new normal’ as we adapt to a post pandemic world. As the world starts to return to some form of normality, one of the things that has also changed is the way online fraudsters convince people to separate with their money.

Looking at the online fraud cases that our team of Investigators have assisted in over the past six months, we’ve outlined some of the new tactics and updated methods which are being adopted.

The one thing that doesn’t change with internet scams is the breadth of scams and the variety in victims. Many feel that they would never fall victim to a scam of this nature, however what we see here at Insight Investigations is that anyone, irrelevant of age, gender or background can be targeted by fraudsters.

What also remains true is that the use of digital tools, whether that be dating sites or apps, socialising through social media and even shopping online has created even more opportunity for fraudsters. Criminals of this nature seem to be becoming increasingly intelligent and with lessening scruples or morals.

Any particular scammer will ‘run’ several scams at the same time using different names and will have heavily researched, deeply personal files on those he, or she, is targeting.

They will have a wealth of forged documents at their disposal from passports, driving licences and identify cards, through to letters from barristers, solicitors and private companies.

In fact almost any documents can be forged and coupled together with convincing back stories enable them to pass a degree of investigation.

Here at Insight Investigations we are skilled in examining such fraudulent matters and can advise on whether the person you are in communication with is legitimate or not.

Several genres of scams have emerged recently some of which are listed below……

The 419

The 419 is an advance fee scam which originated in Nigeria and is also where it gets its namesake – from the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code which deals with fraud. The 419 scam targets individuals via email, telephone or social media asking for payment to be sent, or ‘advanced payment’ with the promise of a huge financial pay out.

The marriage scam

This is where fraudsters spend months priming their victims with romance and then use a promise of marriage to convince victims to part with their money, claiming the money is needed for the relationship to continue.

The intimate blackmail scam

Romance scams can often turn to blackmail if intimate pictures have been exchanged. Once scammers are ‘caught’ they can often threaten to release images and videos to friends, family and even employers.  This threat can even be used to obtain even more funds from the victim.

The lottery/beneficiary scam

The lure of a huge payday can make the most savvy of people put their hesitance aside and fall victim to a scam. People are often asked to pay fees to redeem prizes supposedly won in a sweepstake or left to them as an inheritance.

The diamond & gold scam

The purchase of illegal diamonds and or gold and in some cases even bonds by scammers, and then offering money in return for helping them transport to the UK.

A very simple scam which has been around for many years and with the price of precious metals and diamonds sky- rocketing post pandemic, the scam has once again become very topical.

Should you wish us to examine, in complete confidence, the person you’re in a relationship with or simply just communicating with them you can call one of our specialist team on the below number or use our contact form.

24/7 Help & Advice

0800 540 4740

The below hints and tips are often useful when looking at your situation to determine whether you are potentially falling victim to a scammer.

  • Do not give out information about yourself to anybody you don’t know or trust
  • Never respond to any communication that you don’t know the source of  
  • Be cautious of stories you are told by people you have never met, even if you are in an online relationship with that person
  • Above all, never send money or disclose your banking details to anyone you do not know well
  • Never part with your money until you are sure the business or organisation is genuine
  • Do not take part in any transaction that seems dubious or which you wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing with friends or family

If you have any suspicions before you part with your money or you wish to investigate fully who you are communicating with, the Insight team are happy to look at your case by conducting a background enquiry.

This type of investigation enables us to establish who you are dealing with and if they are genuine or fake, regardless of documents they have sent you to verify who they are.

Our increasing reliance on technology and the amount of communication we now receive from legitimate sources, through digital channels, means that we are almost desensitised to suspicious emails.

It can be incredibly easy to see an email from what looks like a legitimate source such as HMRC, Apple or your energy company and believe them to be the real deal – emails of this nature can be made to look very convincing.

The specialist team at Insight can check out emails or documents to check their validity and help you to stay safe simply call us on the number below or use our contact form 24/7 for a free consultation.

24/7 Help & Advice

0800 540 4740

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