If scammers are able to gain access to email accounts they:
Identity theft – If fraudsters are able to access enough personal details they may be able to apply for products, such as loans or credit cards in your name.
Be sure that you:
Where funds have been sent to a fraudster’s account they are usually moved on within minutes, making them very hard to trace and recover. Time is of the essence.
This activity is referred to as Money Muling and is likely to be illegal and linked to money laundering. It is a common way for criminals to attempt to “clean” their dirty money, the proceeds of crime, by using you as an accomplice to introduce the money to the financial system, appearing to be from a legitimate and unconnected account.
You could become a money mule as well if someone asked you to hold their funds in your bank account, funding serious and organised crime.
Young people and students are often targeted with the promise of making easy money. However, holding or transferring criminal money is a criminal activity with a maximum 14 year imprisonment and a criminal record if prosecuted.
This is where fraudsters send you a message, usually by email or text, asking you to follow a link in order to provide information, such as a change of password.
It will appear to come from a business you use and trust, such as telecoms or utility companies, tax authorities or financial institutions. However, the information you provide allows the fraudster to access your account.
What should I look out for, or consider suspicious?
Fraudsters are developing new ways of getting access to, or compromising your personal details, including through information you share on social media which they then use to convince you that they are from a legitimate organisation such as your bank. For example a fraudster may contact you purporting to be from your bank and tell you that they have noticed recent payments made overseas to gain your trust they they are legitimate when in fact they have gathered this information from your, social media accounts.
They may also create fake profiles and initiate conversations that coax information from you. The fraudster might then pass or sell this information on to other fraudsters that will use it to convince you of their legitimacy.
This is where a fraudster target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise. This may be in the form of requesting that you pay up front for postage of goods or an administration fee to release goods. You may never receive the goods or services promised.
These come in many forms but are often linked to online financial trading platforms that encourage you to ‘invest’ in Forex, Contracts for Differences (CFDs), Binary Options and Cryptocurrency. They commonly suggest that you can make exceptional returns using their ‘advisors’ and platform.
Be aware that the vast majority of these platforms are not regulated and that you may have no redress should you lose your funds.
If someone wants you to move money for an investment, but asks you to give your bank a different reason to ensure a ‘smoother’ transaction, don’t. Fraudsters know payments for ‘investments’ may attract more scrutiny from your bank and will try to avoid it.
Fraudsters may also ask you to download ‘trading’ software in order to access your devices and move your money without your knowledge.
Fraudsters may impersonate famous people on social media or messaging groups, to make their offer appear genuine and more appealing.
There are many ways in which crypto currencies are used to facilitate fraud and enable criminals to rapidly move money around the world to disguise its origins. Many of the methods are similar to those used with normal payment and banking, however there are a few additional risks to look out for.
In particular, as cryptocurrencies are essentially unregulated, the level of protection and actions available are lower. Due to the anonymity related to crypto you may inadvertently transfer cryptocurrency directly to a scammer due to impersonation fraud, fraudulent investment or business opportunities or other malicious means.
Crypto-based investments such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have given even more avenues for scammers to access your money. For example, some scammers create fake websites for ICOs and instruct users to deposit cryptocurrency into a compromised wallet. In other instances, the ICO itself may be at fault.
Friendly fraud is the process when the cardholder or account holder tries to abuse the refund or chargeback process by claiming that he/ she did not authorise or perform the transaction, which in fact was properly authorised.
Every fraud report or report about any unauthorised transaction is verified and validated by the relevant department. Note that the circumstances of the case will be investigated. If the investigation reveals that the transaction was properly authorised then the recallwill not be valid whether made:
Consequences of a fraudulent recall can include termination of the account, additional fees for making a false claim and referral to fraud agencies and law enforcement.