10:58 AM April 19, 2022
Fraudsters in Norfolk are always looking to scam people out of their hard-earned cash.
From offering fake investment opportunities to using rigged QR codes, here are some of the latest tricks to look out for.
Wine investment scam
Trading Standards is warning people about a scam which clones legitimate companies and pretends to offer investment schemes in wine producers.
These scams use fake paperwork, emails, and even mirrored websites from known investors, in an attempt to trick targets.
The language and terms used in their correspondence can convince readers that they are genuine investment opportunities, when they are nothing more that a disguise for scammers.
Telephone holiday offers
People in Norfolk are being persuaded to pay for holidays that often will not materialise.
The scam sees the fraud call offer a holiday, including flights and hotels for a group of people, for only a few hundred pounds.
Targets are often older people and are left confused and unable to recall what they were told and agreed to.
They are often only given a telephone number to contact the company and the number given is not a UK phone number.
Reports of the scam say those who have fallen victim are unable to cancel the holiday or obtain a refund.
Once someone falls for this scam, their number is then sold to other scammers who inundate them with calls.
QR codes which steal money and personal information
QR codes are square barcodes designed to be read by a smart phone camera in order to help with tasks such as ordering food or finding information – but now scammers have been rigging them to steal cash and personal details.
Norfolk Trading Standards is warning that fraudsters are using this method to dupe people into being scammed.
Scammers have taken the advantage of the fact it is impossible tell whether QR codes are real or fake just by looking at them.
The usual spelling mistakes and errors found frequently in regular scams can’t be identified.
Scammers exploiting Ukraine crisis
Scammers in Norfolk are using the Ukraine crisis in an attempt to defraud people of their money.
According to Norfolk Trading Standards, fraudsters have started adjusting existing scams as they attempt to take advantage of the county’s generosity.
Attempts have included:
- Text messages pretending to be from Ukrainians needing frozen funds in their bank accounts to be released, which then try to gain bank details,
- Fake fundraising websites with links that download ‘malware’, which steals personal information or bank details,
- Scam emails purporting to be from refugees with pleas of help to send funds for flights, visas, and support for grandparents,
- Cryptocurrency scams with sites listing addresses for Bitcoin and Ethereum for Ukraine donations which never reach anyone other than criminals accounts.
In the wake of the new scams, Trading Standards has reminded people that genuine charities supporting the Ukraine crisis can be found by searching the charity register on the GOV.UK website.