Here on this website we are dedicated to helping you to avoid being scammed, with a particular focus on timeshare and vacation club scams. However, we thought it would be interesting to write an article about the whole range of scams that can affect innocent individuals to give you an idea of the way that scammers minds’ work.
Romantic Relationship Scams
This is when a scammer builds up an intense relationship with someone. The most common form of this kind of scam happens online, when people meet in chat rooms or on dating websites; however these scams can also occur in person, resulting in large scale frauds. The story for online romance scams usually follows a similar pattern. You get to know someone online, you start chatting or emailing, perhaps for some reason you cannot do a video call. They seem like an amazing person and you arrange to meet and start making plans. Something will then happen, like a family disaster, illness etc which requires money to pay for doctors fees or transport etc. You start sending money to help but you never get to meet.
Worse than online scams, are those when people have been known to marry a fraudster whose intention is to scam them out of money. In more sinister cases, partners have been murdered.
Victims of this kind of scam are encouraged to perform some kind of sex act during a video call that is secretly recorded. Subsequently, the scammer threatens to publish the video publicly to shame you or send it to your family members unless you pay money. This kind of scam is traumatic for all but particularly for those people who live in a particularly conservative community or country where a video of this kind could ruin your business or even result in prison depending on the sex act.
Hitmen and kidnappers
An extreme scam that has serious implications and can cause great distress. You are contacted to be told that someone has paid money for you or a member of your family to be killed. If you are prepared to pay more, the hitman will refrain from killing you. Another variation is when you get a call claiming that a member of your family has been kidnapped and a ransom needs to be paid. Often you will hear calls in the background from someone asking for help. In such cases, you should find a way of contacting your family members to ensure they are safe before ignoring the calls.
A popular scam in recent years is to receive an email claiming that you have unclaimed inheritance. The contact will help you to release the funds but needs money upfront. Sometimes this kind of scam is based around the story that the emailer is going to share their inheritance with you if you help them release the inheritance.
A sad scam that is ruining the chances for genuine crowdfunding cases. You may find scams on social media asking for money to pay for the treatment of a sick child. You send money and later discover that it was all a scam.
You see an advert for cute pets up for free adoption, you only have to pay for the delivery. Your cute pet never arrives and you have been scammed.