Common Frauds

MOST COMMON FRAUDS

Fraud is becoming an increasingly common problem. So what are the most common types of fraud?

Fake emails

Email fraud is the intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual through email. Almost as soon as email became widely used, it began to be used as a means to defraud people. Email fraud can take the form of a "con game" or scam. Confidence tricks tend to exploit the inherent greed and dishonesty of their victims. The prospect of a 'bargain' or 'something for nothing' can be very tempting. Email fraud, as with other 'bunco schemes' usually targets naive individuals who put their confidence in get-rich-quick schemes such as 'too good to be true' investments or offers to sell popular items at 'impossibly low' prices. Many people have lost their life savings due to fraud

419 Frauds

419 frauds - most regular scams committed. Scammers send emails and letters to victims asking for a certain amount of money in order to secure a larger sum. The Nigerian 419 scam is a common example of this - the "419" refers to the Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with fraud.

Please note that the list of 419 (Nigerian Advanced Fee Fraud) scam types described below does not include all possible variants. Do not assume that if it is not on this list that the email sent to you is legitimate. For additional information on how to identify these scams, please see the Top 10 Warning Signs page. Be scam aware. Be educated.

ATM Card 419 Scam: The ATM Card Payment Scam is used in conjunction with other scams, such as a fake Lottery Scam, Unpaid Contractor Scam or similar exploits. The victim is promised an ATM card with which the victim can withdraw millions dollars (up to a large limit per day) at any location that accepts ATM cards. However like all Advance Fee Frauds, the victim must pay a fee to receive the card. If it ever is received, it will not work. A "Replacement card" will be offered, again for a fee.

Auction 419 Scam: The scammer "wins" an auction on eBay or another auction site, then "overpays" for the item with a tuque or money order. The scammer then asks the target to send him the overage.

Black Currency 419 Scam: The scammer has a large amount of currency available to share with the target, but the currency has been defaced. However, the currency can be cleaned if the target will purchase enough of the correct cleaning solution (this type of 419 is also called "wash wash"). Black Currency 419 "tales" and techniques are commonly used in many other types of 419 operations.

Cashier's Cheque 419 Scam: The scammer has Cashier's Cheques or money orders he/she needs cashed, and the target can keep a percentage of the cheque for cashing it and forwarding the proceeds net his commission to the scammer. Then the original cheque or money order sent to the target eventually bounces, and the target is out the money advanced to the scammer. The target also is cash out to his bank for any problems with his account caused by the bouncing of the original cheque as he must make up any overdrafts and pay any relevant fees etc.

Charitable Organization 419 Scam: The scammer approaches a charitable organization with a request for help, usually about getting a large sum of money transferred out of a country in which the charitable organization's brethren can claim to be persecuted. A percentage of the proceeds is often offered to the charitable organization for their assistance. The scammer needs monies for fees in order to get the monies freed up.

Chat Room 419 Scam: The scammer meets the target online in a chat room etc. or through a dating or instant messenger online service, befriends the target, and gets the target to advance him/her monies for various reasons. Often leads into Romance 419 scam.

Classic 419 Scam: The scammer has or can gain access to a large sum of money by some means and he/she needs the financial and personal help of the target, in return for a percentage of the funds, to get the necessary transactions processed and get monies out of the country. Many other types of 419 are in actuality variants of Classic 419.

Disaster 419 Scam: The scammer says someone has been killed in a plane crash, earthquake, tsunami, or other disaster, leaving a large sum of money behind which can be claimed by the target or split between the target and the scammer if the scammer can be advanced the monies necessary to process the transaction.

Employment 419 Scam: The scammer "employs" the target to process financial transactions for a commission and has the target advance the net proceeds of these transactions to the scammer before the cherubs sent to the target bounce. Also, another form, where the scammer offers a lucrative job to the target but certain fees must be paid up front by the target to get the job.

Extortion 419 Scam: The scammer says that if the target does not send him money the scammer will hurt or kill the target and/or his family.

Inheritance 419 Scam: The scammer informs the target that someone has died with no relatives to claim the large cash bequest left by the deceased. Often, the scammer says that if someone does not claim the money it will revert to the Government and no-one will get it. The target is asked to "stand in" as a relative to claim the money, with the scammer taking care of all the details, and then split the proceeds with the scammer. The scammer needs monies for fees to get the target declared the rightful inheritor.

Lottery 419 Scam: The scammer says the target has won a lottery, but fees and taxes etc. must be paid before the proceeds can be released.

Oil Scam 419 Scam: The scammer has secured a large amount of oil at below market prices, and the target can get in on the deal for a fee.

Real Estate 419 Scam: The scammer wants to buy real estate, but cannot free up his monies just now to do it, so he asks the target to advance him/her all or some of the funds for the purchase in return for partial ownership of the real estate or a large future fee to be paid to the target.

Recovery 419 Scam: The scammer claims he/she can recover monies lost by the target in a previous 419 operation, but fees must be paid in advance to accomplish this.

Reload 419 Scam: The scammer approaches a target who has already been 419ed and offers the target another type of 419 deal to enable the target to "replace" his/her lost monies or the scammer claims has can bring the previous deal to fruition, if necessary fees are paid by the target.

Reshipper 419 Scam: The scammer will attempt to obtain stolen merchandise for personal use or to sell. Because many companies will not send merchandise to Nigeria or Eastern Europe due to warnings about stolen credit card purchases, the scammer must find an in-country person to receive then reship the goods. Click the link for a complete description.

Unpaid Contractor 419 Scam: In this variant of the Classic 419 Scam Advance Fee Fraud, the scammer will claim to be with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) or some government ministry. The name of CBN president Charles Soludo is often used in this scam. The victim is told to pose as a contractor who has not yet been paid by the Nigerian government from a "completed project". The money is to be split between victim and the scammer. Payments from the victim will be required to participate in this crime.

War Booty 419 Scam: The scammer says he is a trooper who has stumbled across a large sum of war booty and will pay the target a percentage if the target helps him/her personally and financially to get it out of the country. Often leads into Black Currency 419.

Scam 419 Scam: The scammer informs the target that a distant relative has died leaving a large sum of money which the target can inherit if the proper fees are paid.

Tips to Avoid 419 Advance Fee Fraud

The best tip is to DELETE any mail from a stranger which resembles the mails we described above.

Same mail may be forwarded to the service provider's mail ID like abuse[dot]yahoo.com, abuse[dot]hotmail.com depending on the senders mail ID.

Similarly you can forward the mail before you junk it to local police email ID if they have any


Credit & Debit card fraud

Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of payment in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also an add-on to identity theft. Card account information is stored in a number of formats. Account numbers are often embossed or imprinted on the card, and a magnetic stripe on the back contains the data in machine readable format.

Debit card fraud - duplicating one or more of your bank cards, makes up the most regularly seen types of fraud.

What types of Credit Card Fraud are there?

Mail/Internet order fraud: The mail and the Internet are major routes for fraud against merchants who sell and ship products, as well Internet merchants who provide online services. In this, fraudster presents stolen card information by indirect means, whether by mail, telephone or over the Internet to merchant site and orders the delivery of goods of lower value to avoid suspicion

Account takeover:

There are two types of fraud within the identity theft category, application fraud and account takeover.

Application fraud occurs when criminals use stolen or fake documents to open an account in someone else's name. Criminals may try to steal documents such as utility bills and bank statements to build up useful personal information. Alternatively, they may create counterfeit documents.

Similarly you can forward the mail before you junk it to local police email ID if they have any

The scammer "wins" an auction on eBay or another auction site, then "overpays" for the item with a tuque or money order. The scammer then asks the target to send him the overage.

Some merchants added a new practice to protect consumers and self reputation, where they ask the buyer to send a copy of the physical card and statement to ensure the legitimate usage of a card.


Skimming:

Skimming is the theft of credit card information used in an otherwise legitimate transaction. It is typically an "inside job" by a dishonest employee of a legitimate merchant, and can be as simple as photocopying of receipts. Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim's credit card out of their immediate view. The skimmer will typically use a small keypad to unobtrusively transcribe the 3 or 4 digit Card Security Code which is not present on the magnetic strip.

Instances of skimming have been reported where the perpetrator has put a device over the card slot of a public cash machine (automated teller machine), which reads the magnetic strip as the user unknowingly passes their card through it. These devices are often used in conjunction with a pinhole camera to read the user's PIN at the same time.

Carding:

Skimming is the theft of credit card information used in an otherwise legitimate transaction. It is typically an "inside job" by a dishonest employee of a legitimate merchant, and can be as simple as photocopying of receipts. Common scenarios for skimming are restaurants or bars where the skimmer has possession of the victim's credit card out of their immediate view. The skimmer will typically use a small keypad to unobtrusively transcribe the 3 or 4 digit Card Security Code which is not present on the magnetic strip.

Safety tips to avoid Credit Card Fraud

1. There is a critical 3-digit number on the back of the card called CVV (card verification value). Always erase and memorise it.
2. Better hang around when your card is being swiped.
3. A card's magnetic strip has the basic details of the cardholder. But the card also comes with a blank space for you to sign in. You must sign on the card to avoid unauthorized use.
4. Always sign up for SMS/EMAIL alerts for all transactions.
5. Always check your monthly bank statements for any suspicious transactions
6. Disable your credit card account if you are not using it.
7. Shred the financial documents with care
8. Do not store your personal and credit card information on the computer
9. Do not write the PIN number down.
10. During the online transactions, check if the web address starts with HTTPS, which ensures the encryption of all important data.
11. Never delay to report a lost credit card as the consequences can be highly disastrous.
12. Close the account that you suspect is being hit by the fraud.
13. Thoroughly check the authenticity of the firm, the website, or any other transactional society where your money would be flowing through.
14. Never give away your personal information over the phone unless you are sure of the person the other end.
15. Take a pause before venturing into any kind of online transaction and decide upon the authenticity of the transaction.

Safety tips to avoid Debit or ATM Card fraud

1. When you type your PIN number at an ATM, make sure that you sufficiently obscure the keypad from being viewed by an onlooker.
2. NEVER let the shopkeeper take your debit card out of your sight. There is no need for him/her to do so, unless he/she intends to do something unlawful.
3. Secure your debit card physically by storing it at a safe place.
4. NEVER write your PIN number at a place where it can be seen by someone who you do not intend to show it to.
5. ALWAYS destroy the receipts from merchants that you no longer require, especially when you have paid for using your debit card.
6. If you do not receive your debit card or PIN number from the bank within a reasonable amount of time after requesting one, check with the bank when it was sent and when you should expect to receive it. It may have been picked up by someone else in transit.
7. When at an ATM, make sure that no external devices are attached to the ATM machine and no wires are hanging around.
8. Check your account statements carefully for transactions that you may not have made

Using ATM machine

1. Safeguard your credit cards and ATM cards at all times.
2. If you notice something suspicious about the card slot on an ATM (like an attached device), do not use it and report it to the responsible authorities.
3. Never disclose your ATM card and credit card PIN numbers to strangers.
4. Beware of your surroundings while withdrawing money at ATM centers. Do not crumple and throw away the transaction slips or debt card memos: read them, make a mental note of the details and then, either tear them or shred them to trash.
5. Periodically check your account balances on Internet or by requesting your bank or credit card company to send you statements to ensure that no transactions are happening behind your back.
6. While entering any personal identification numbers, use your discretion to shield the keypad so that your hand movements are not very visible and you enter your passwords secretly.
7. Be careful while withdrawing money from ATM Machine the attacker can shoulder surf to see your PIN.
8. Incase any one behind you while withdrawing money just tell the ATM Security guard to ask him to wait out.

Job Fraud

We often see that several unemployed youth paying huge cash to fraudsters for securing jobs in Government Services or Corporate Sector. Taking advantage of the innocence of these unemployed youth, fraudsters float fictitious companies and give attractive advertisements to the press and attract the unemployed youth towards them and after collecting money as 'caution deposit/security deposit' and dupe them. Here are some of the frauds committed by such criminals.

Fake JOB VISA for employment abroad

Training and employment in the same company and Employment abroad

Data warehousing works.

Employment fraud in Railways Recruitment

EEmployment in reputed PSU s and Private Companies.

Group II/I of TSPSC fraud

How to Suspect a Fraud?

If you find any of the following signs in your transactions, you have strong reason to SUSPECT it...

Transactions being carried in cash

Originals are missing and certified copies are shown to you.

Documents in colour Xerox and laminated

Signatures are varied in all places

Documents are only notarized

Seller himself is missing during deal materialization

Sale deed signed in blue ink / stamps in blue ink. It is mandatory to use black ink in Sub Registrar office

Seller is not willing to put his finger prints on the document

Seller is forcing you to finalize the deal in undue haste in the guise of owner leaving abroad etc.,

Turn impatient and embarrassed when you ask them certain questions