Anyone committing fraud or scam is aiming to enrich him/herself at the expense of others. Typical of fraud or scam : the swindlers never fulfil their promises. Then, when things start to become too hot for them, they disappear into thin air.
Now perhaps you are wondering which situations fall under fraud or scam. We sum up the most frequently occurring for you.
Lotteries where you always lose
Imagine: you get an e-mail with fantastic news: you have won 15 million euro on a lottery! The amount will be in your account in a few days and you will be starting life as a millionaire. The only thing you have to do is to pay the administration charges. That alone is enough to start alarm bells ringing: fraud! scam!
After your first payment, you get a request to pay the bank charges. It carries on and on like that. Until finally you twig that you are only losing, and thus that you have fallen into the trap of fraud or scam.
Only one thing to advise: pay nothing!
False e-mails from known bodies (phishing)
Phishing is a form of online fraud and scam that abuses trust: a swindler sends you e-mails in the name of a business, with the intention of getting hold of your bank details.
Such an e-mail is often composed with the logo and in the house style of your bank, the collection agency or some other trusted body or firm. The e-mail contains a web link, with the request to check certain details. If you do this, you are running the risk that this swindler will lift a large sum of money from your account.
Then again, other e-mails have a link or attachment. Click that link or open the attachment and you will be bringing a virus into your computer.
Want to avoid this form of fraud or scam? Just bear in mind that your bank will never take the risk to forward your bank details or request them over the internet.
Only one thing to advise: delete these e-mails!
Holiday homes that do not exist
Nor are you safe from fraud or scam on the holiday market. Be particularly on guard if you are searching online for a holiday home.
This scenario arises more often than you might think. You come across an advertisement for a superb villa. Swimming pool, bargain price, paradise setting. Only logical that you would want to jump at the chance before someone else grabs it. You complete all the formalities and pay the rent in advance.
The fraud and scam only come to light once you arrive at your destination and you notice that the holiday home simply does not exist.
Only one thing to advise: avoid direct payments to the landlord and work through platforms acting as intermediary.
False selling of second-hand cars
The internet would seem to be the place where a good second-hand car can be had. Nevertheless, fraud or scams flourish there.
Imagine: you discover a fantastic offer. The car looks like new and is said to be perfectly maintained. Furthermore, it was parked in the garage more often than the owner was on the road in it and now s/he is giving it away for a pittance.
It seems too good to be true. Then it is often too good to be true. A sign of fraud or scam!
The advertisement smells of deceit even more if the vendor suggests having a delivery company deliver the car to you. If you pay for that, you will be able to test the car. Like the car? Then the delivery company will hand the sum paid to the vendors. Not want the car? Then you get your money back. Yet, the reality is quite different: the car and your money suddenly disappear from the globe.
Only one thing to advise: never pay anything before you have seen the car itself!
Tickets that never arrive
An important tennis tournament? A reunion performance of your favourite band? A summer festival you have been looking forward to for months? You would not miss it for love or money.
Unfortunately, the event is sold out. It is therefore not so silly to look online to find a way to be there still. Once again, though, fraud or scam lie in wait.
Did you still find the ticket you are craving somewhere else? Then always check whether the website is actually reliable. Otherwise, you could be paying loads of money for tickets you will never get!
Only one thing to advise: only buy your tickets through the official vendor!
Want some more examples?
Read our brochure 'Fraud and deception: Recognising and reacting swiftly'.