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This is my third series on the Online Financial Scams.

In the second series, I quoted some online financial scams as published and advised by the Public Security Bureau of China.

In this, I elaborate more on the advice given by The Public Security Bureau of China

2. Purchasing Scams

a. Impersonating supplier to scam

The scammers act like the real online suppliers, using attractive discounts, helping to purchase from overseas as bait, once the buyers remit the money, use the excuse that the goods have been retained by Customs, need to pay additional tax as excuses, ask the buyers to pay additional amounts to carry out their scams.

B. Refund scam.

The scammers impersonate the online merchants like Taobao or JD customers services, call or message the buyers, to inform them that the goods purchased are out of stock and they need to refund the money remitted and ask the buyers to provide the bank card numbers and password and other information, to carry out their scam.

c. Online purchase scam

The scammers open online platform, once the buyers place orders, they inform that the buyers that the platform faced some problem and need to reboot. After that using messaging system to send fictitious activation code, getting the buyers to fill in their particulars, to carry out their scam

d. rock bottom price goods scam

Scammers published message such as they have second hands goods, like vehicles, computers and goods confiscated by Custom Department ready to be sold, once intended buyers contact them, and get the innocent buyers pay the necessary deposit and processing fees and scammed the buyers.

e. Termination of installment payment scam

The scammer impersonate the website workers and informed the customers that due to bank system error, require the victims to go to the ATM to terminate the installment payment plan and execute a cash transfer.

f. Collector scam

Scammers impersonating officer from the Collector Association, print invitations to all places claiming they are holding auction of collectors items and leave the contact number. Once the victims contact them, they will ask the victims to pay for valuation and assessment fees and require the victims to remit the amounts to designated bank account.

g. Courier receipt scam.

Scammer impersonating they are from courier company and call the victim that there is a courier item to be delivered, however the address and information are not clear, hence require the victim to provide clearer information before goods are delivered, once the victim signed receipt, they will call and inform that the victim has acknowledged prepay of money, if they do not do so, the debt collection company will look for them.

3. Events/ Activities Scams

a. Promoting fictitious charities' message

Scammers put up a missing person poster and ask good Samaritan will help to spread the news about the missing person without realizing that the contact number posted is a scamming phone number.

b. "like" scam

Scammer post as merchants who promote the 'click like' will win prize campaign, requiring participants to provide their name, contact number and other personal data to a social media platform, after securing enough data, they call the victim and inform them that they have won a prize, however to claim their prize, they need to pay certain amount to guarantee their prize.

4. Incentive Inducement Scams

a. Impersonating well-known corporate for lottery won.

Scammers impersonating a well-known enterprise and printed a lot of high resolution lottery tickets and mail to targets, after that will inform the victims that they need to pay personal income tax for the winnings and ask the victims to disclose their main bank accounts numbers to remit the money.

b. Win prizes in entertainment program.

Scammers use the popular entertainment program to message the victims that they had won the lucky draw prize, however to get the prize, they need to furnish their income tax number or pay a guarantee amount to secure the prize.

c. Bonus Points Scam

Scammer call the victims telling the victim that their phone points are entitled to convert to cash, seducing the victims to click on the phishing link, if the victims click on the link and input their bank details and passwords, their account balance will be transferred away.

d. QR Code Scam

Using discount, incentive as bait, ask the victim to scan the QR Code to be a member, the QR Code has a Trojan Horse in it and once scanned, the scammer will use that Trojan Horse to steal the particulars of the victims' bank details.

e. Paying huge sum for a kid scam

The scammer tell the victim that he is willing to pay huge sum to have a kid and is prepared to pay the sum to show is sincerity

f. Highly Paid Job Scam

Scammers, via social media, advertise that they are hiring professional with attractive salary and request any victims to be at the designated place for interviews, after that demanding the victims to pay for training, uniform and guarantee fees.

g. Email Scam

Scammers use email to inform victims that they have won lucky prizes and once the victim contacts the scammer, scammer tell victim that they need to pay for the income tax for winning the prize and also the guarantee fees for the prizes and demand the victim to remit money to secure their prizes.

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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2

The China Public Security Bureau last month published a list of the online scams on their website to warn people of the usual scammers' tricks.

The report was a very comprehensive list consisting of 60 methods used by the scammers.

The methods used were summarized by the China Public Security Bureau into the followings categories:

  1. Impersonating officials.
  2. Purchase scams.
  3. Events/Activities scams.
  4. Incentive inducement scams.
  5. Fictitious claims scams.
  6. Daily living scams.
  7. Trojan Horse, phishing scams.
  8. Other new illegal cheating scams

1. Impersonating officials/ other people identities.

a. Impersonating some leaders to cheat: 

The scammers impersonate some leaders to make calls to some heads of departments on the pretext of selling books; or some memorial coins to scam the departments concerned to remit money to the designated bank accounts.

b. Impersonating relatives to scam: 

Using Trojan Horse malware to obtain target internet user names and passwords. After obtaining the required IM information, they use the targeted user's ID and password to inform the relatives that there has been an emergency or accident and then requested the relatives to remit money to some accounts.

c. Impersonating CEO s of companies: 

Scammers use the companies internal communication system to understand the communication between the CEO and the employees. After that they impersonate the CEO to instruct the staff to transfer some money to their accounts.

d. Scam on subsidies, scholarships and study grants: 

Impersonating education officials, relevant authority or officials to call or send short messages to parents or students, claiming they can help to get the money needed by them. They then ask the victims to provide the necessary cards' numbers, then instruct the victim to transfer some money in order to receive the main money.

e. Impersonating police officers: 

The scammers call the victims and inform them that they are from the police department and tell the victims that their personal data has been used in some illegal money laundering transactions and they need to transfer the money to the national bank accounts to assist in some investigations.

f. Impersonating identity: 

Scammers act like they are some rich and highly qualified persons. After gaining the trust and confidence of those they call, they will then pretend there are some financial issues or their relatives badly need some financial assistance and so try and scam their friends.

g. Medical insurance and social security scams: 

The Scammers act like they are from the Medical insurance or Social Security departments and inform the victims that there are some irregularities in their accounts and they need to do some investigations. Then they use their new status to convince the victims to give them the necessary information.

h. Guess who I am: 

Scammers call the victims and ask them to guess who they are. They pretend they know each other very well, and they will proceed to borrow money from their unsuspecting victims. Some victims fail to verify the identity of the callers and straight away remit the money to the bank account provided by the scammers.

The above is the first series of the information on Online Financial Scams 

If you have any questions or wish to share your experience on this topic, please feel free to leave your comments, questions and your experience in the feedback space below and I would be glad to get back to you and thank you for your feedback, comments and sharing of your experience.

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12

If you talk to anyone whom you know very well, it is likely that they will tell you they don't believe they could be targeted by the online scammers or they will ever get (caught or) scammed (by scammers).

It is human nature to think that this will only happen to others and not us, it is a myth to believe that negative incidents and bad luck only happen to others.

There are a lot of online scams nowadays as technology gets more sophisticated and advanced. Any invention is a double edged sword. It depends on the users and the creators whether it is put to good use or otherwise.

What Are Some Common Online Scams?

  1. Email Scams
  2. Credit Cards Scams
  3. FaceBook Scams
  4. Job Offer Scams
  5. Investment Scams
  6. Financial Training Scams
  7. Wechat IM scams

1. Email Scams

There have been a lot of scams using emails. I have received a fair number of these emails from people claiming they worked in certain banks and the bank customers had passed away. Hence their funds were sitting idle in the bank and they could help get the funds out and so on.

Example of the email scam

2. Credit Cards Scams

At the back of the credit card, there is a Card Verification Code, commonly known as CVC number. Banks tell us that the CVC number is unique and we are not supposed to let anyone know this number as this is one of the safety features of the credit cards besides the chip on the card.

However every time we do an online purchase, the merchant requires us to fill in the CVC number. Previously when there was no CVC number, we only had to fill in the credit card 16 digit numbers. Due to various credit cards fraud cases, the banks decided to create the CVC as a security measure and to verify that the user is the legal card holder.

So, if you pay for something online and you are required to key in the CVC number, how do you know the number will not be captured by any malware or whatever if the online system is hacked.

3. Facebook Scams

There are a lot of fake Facebook accounts. Facebook does not ensure that those who register for the accounts are legitimate. Users can use any names to register and open an account. As such, it is quite difficult to determine whether the person you befriend or connect with on Facebook, are really who they say they are even thought they use photos in their profiles.

It can be quite dangerous, especially with online transactions, cyber bullying and even false "friends".

On 16th February 2019, The Straits Times of Singapore reported that at least SGD $ 1 m lost to Facebook impersonation scams between January 2018 and February 2019, according to the Singapore Police Force. It was further reported that the Police had received at least 42 reports where victims were contacted on Facebook and duped into transferring money to the scammers.

To read more of this, you may want to access the Straits Times of Singapore for more details.

4. Job Offers Scam

Another big scam which i came across is the job offers scam. You may receive an email informing you that you have been offered a job or selected to work for a certain company overseas and so on. Then they send you a contract and tell you to contact an "authorized" travel agent to process your work visa and whatever paperwork you may need to work in the country where the job is.

They may also tell you to pay for the cost of the permit or visa and remit the money to certain bank account. If you bank in any money it will be gone and if you try to query them on the legibility of the procedure, they will not bother to reply to your email. Your money will just be lost.

Example of job offers scam

5. Investment Scams

This is the most common scam and there are aplenty online where many claim to get rich making at least a thousand dollars per day by signing up for the offer.

A lot of Option Trading platforms claim to make their investors rich within minutes. If people fall for this, they may soon discover they are not able to withdraw their capital and their so called winnings. After a while, the platform will no longer be available. It has been reported (discovered) that these were operated by a group residing in certain countries in the Middle East specializing in this scam.

6. Financial Training Scams

This is another scam which claims to be legitimate and provides financial training for people who want to learn how to invest or trade online. (They offer to conduct the necessary training so tht you are able to trade online). During the course of the training, they ask you to open an account with a trading platform so that they can guide you in your investments. The platform is similar to the platform mentioned in No. 5 above.

If you check the caller ID, it may look like they made the phone call is made from the country you are residing in. However, when you call back, you discover that the number is not a local number and cannot be reached. Before you know it, any money you put in is completely lost!

7. Wechat IM scams

Currently there are a lot of scams using the Wechat IM system. Usually in these scams, the culprits try to trick the victims into giving them their online credits or gift cards for making purchases, usually in exchange for sexual favors

Above are some online financial scams now commonly used to try to scam people who are ignorant. They usually work on the greed of people who want to get rich quickly and easily.

(You Know You Only Live Once and), if we are not alert and prudent, we can easily fall for these scams. Many have lost their hard-earned life savings and have had their retirement plans shattered.

If you have doubts on how to detect online financial scams, you may want to check out Federal Trade Commission Scam Alerts I find this FTC site has very useful information to help in our effort to detect online financial scams and save us from any unnecessary financial losses.

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