The 10 most common scams

Last updated: Sep 13th, 2012
Feature by Nathalie Bonney

Ever received a letter congratulating you on winning a lottery you're sure you never entered, or received a phone call telling you to ring some expensive premium-rate telephone number in order to claim your 'star prize'?

While some scams are fairly easy to spot, others aren't. Although we might pride ourselves on our ability to smell a rat a mile off, swindlers aren't stupid; they make their operations look as plausible as possible.

In fact, according to Consumer Direct, three million UK adults fall victim to mass marketing scams every year – losing on average £850. And these of course are only the official figures; a large number of victims don't report their experiences.
 
Unfortunately, if you've fallen victim to a scam, catching the swindlers and getting your money back is extremely tricky. "It's a sad reality that it's very difficult to get any money back at all, because a 
lot of the scammers are based overseas and can be incredibly difficult to track down," says Frank Shepherd, a spokesperson from Consumer Direct.

Newsletters:  We regularly warn our readers against scams and rip-offs. Stay informed by signing up.
 
With so many mass-market scams ready to trip us up, and our relative powerlessness in the face of them, the best cure is prevention. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Exercise a good degree of scepticism," advises Shepherd.
 
Moneywise reveals below how to spot the top 10 most common scams, how to avoid them, and what to do if you've been caught out.

Scam watch:  If you think you have been scammed let us know so we can warn others.

1. Premium-rate telephone numbers

You will receive some form of correspondence via post, a text message or automated voicemail informing you that you have won a major prize and all you need to do to claim it is call an 090 premium-rate number.

You will invariably be kept on hold for a long time, all the while racking up more costs. Even though you may realise each minute is costing you more money, the temptation is to keep on waiting to find out what you've won. Nearly everyone who does call in gets a prize, but it's a token gesture, particularly when compared with all the money you have spent on the phone call.

An estimated 1.08 million people fall victim every year, according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), making this one of the biggest scams. The average victim loses around £80.
 
To protect yourself against these types of calls and texts, register your phone number with the Telephone Preference Service at tpsonline.org.uk or call 0845 070 0707, which will reduce unwanted sales calls and messages.

You can also check with your telephone company if it offers a number-blocking service: it should be able to block withheld UK numbers. To report the scam, you can forward the unwanted texts to Phonepayplus on 020 7407 3430. Alternatively, call it on 0800 500 212 or go to phonepayplus.org.uk.

2. Pyramid selling

These schemes invite you to sign up to a money-making club, typically through websites but also through friends' invitations. The premise is that you have to pay a small joining fee and then invite a specified number of other people to join in order to claim your reward.

The reality is that only those at the top of the pyramid can expect lucrative rewards. Matrix schemes work in a similar way but offer a gadgety gift instead. We fall for pyramid and matrix schemes in part because they come across as reasonable propositions.
 
However, you should steer clear of these types of money-making schemes, especially the ones that ask you to sign up new members. The swindlers are relying on you failing to recruit enough members – and so far this has paid off, with the average victim of pyramid selling losing £930.

3. The Nigerian letter scam

The Nigerican letter scam is a letter or email offering you a huge payment if you can help get money out of a foreign country.

The writer might claim to be a government official, an accountant or a lawyer. They will tell you that they need to transfer millions of dollars to the UK – perhaps because of some major event in their country such as a coup or natural disaster. You're promised a slice of that money for helping with the transfer.

You may be asked for your bank details. The fraudsters then raids your bank account. Alternatively, you will be told to send an upfront fee. Either way, you never see a penny of the promised payment.

This scam is sometimes called the '419 scam'.

4. Bogus Holiday Scams

This is one of the most costly scams, with the average victim losing £3,030, according to the OFT. They usually work as follows: you're handed a scratch card and discover you have won a free holiday. You have to attend a presentation to collect your prize. The presentation is usually at a swanky hotel, with glossy brochures and posters all adding to the air of authenticity.

However, genuine holiday clubs will allow the consumer time to look over a contract before signing it, while bogus holiday clubs will pressurise hopeful holidaymakers into signing on the dotted line, without reading through everything properly.

After committing yourself you will suddenly find that your 'free' holiday has a lot of extra costs, such as transport and other less obvious but nonetheless 'compulsory' extras.
 
Be especially wary of presentations that ply you with unlimited alcohol or offer special discounts that only last that day, and withstand the pressure to sign anything until you have taken the information away with you to study in your own time.
 
If you have already signed up to one of these clubs, contact the UK's European Consumer Centre (ECC) on 08456 040503 or via its website, ukecc.net. The ECC can advise you on your rights in your specific case and help in cross-border disputes.

5. Prize draw/sweepstakes

You will usually receive a letter, email or telephone call that tells you that you have won a large prize. To claim your winnings you have to purchase some smaller prizes or send an administration fee.

Swindlers rely on the fact that the small print is in a font that's so small most people won't bother to scrutinise it. However, if you do read it, you'll discover that you've simply been given the opportunity to enter a sweepstake you have only a very small chance of winning.

Compared with bogus foreign lotteries and advance-fee scams, which offer much vaster sums in prize draws, these scams seem more plausible because the amount of money is more realistic.
 
You can check if the mailing comes from a member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) at dma.org.uk. To reduce unwanted mail, register for free with the Mailing Preference Service at mpsonline.org.uk or call 0845 703 4599.

6 Work at home / job opportunities

Who wouldn't relish the idea of rolling out of bed, making yourself some breakfast, and then settling down to work while still in your pyjamas?

Thanks to more people facing financial worries, work-at-home scams have claimed a special place in the swindlers' armoury. Whether you've been made redundant and are looking for interim work, or need to supplement your existing income, these scams offer opportunities to earn extra cash for very little effort.

Promises such as "You could make a small fortune in your coffee break" or "Get paid over £76,000 for just 90 minutes' work", illustrated by personal case studies, are appealing and usually appear genuine.

The swindlers make their cash through registration fees, but you'll soon discover that the amount of work you need to put in to recoup your initial outlay – let alone make a profit – is totally disproportionate.

If you would like to work from home, it's better to approach local companies that have a known presence as opposed to a faceless website or telephone service you've seen advertised on a poster. Contact Homeworkers Worldwide on 0113 217 4037 or go to homeworkersww.org.uk.

7. Miracle health cures

Who wouldn't pay for diet pills that meant you could literally have your cake and eat it? Like other unsolicited mail or emails, health swindlers aim to appear as professional as possible, reeling off an impressive amount of medical qualifications and fake personal testimonials from "satisfied customers".

Look out for exaggerated claims and don't let your desire to believe the claims overrule the logical part of you that knows they probably aren't true. Philip Hodson, fellow at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, illustrates how the scams work:

"I recently got a spam email, apparently from HM Revenue & Customs, offering me a £1,500 rebate on my tax. I forwarded it on to my accountant, asking 'Is this a spam email?' I knew it was, but I still asked the question."

Although Hodson's example isn't medically related, the same principle applies – even more so when the scam exploits the desire to be thin, or free of an illness or debt problems. Seek professional advice before answering this kind of email.

8. Clairvoyant letters

Victims receive letters in the post warning them that if they don't reply they could face bad luck or even endanger their family. The letters appear to be addressed personally to the sender and often come with a photograph of the supposed expert.
 
Marilyn Baldwin, founder of the Think Jessica campaign, which supports families of chronic scam victims, points out how scammers particularly prey on the older and often more vulnerable members of society.

"Older generations can be overly trusting and don't understand that they are mass mail-mergers," she says. "They imagine it's one person at a typewriter tapping out personal letters."
 
The average victim loses £240 to swindlers, but in addition to the financial loss, bogus clairvoyant schemes, like other mass-mail schemes, can also cause emotional damage. Baldwin set up the Think Jessica campaign after her mother Jessica became a chronic scam victim.

A chronic victim is someone who repeatedly falls victim to scams – if you think a family member is being targeted, contact thinkjessica.com for support and advice.

9. Foreign lottery scams

Logically, if you haven't entered a lottery, you can't win it, so any letters or emails that tell you otherwise should be treated with suspicion.

The 'winner' will be told to phone the prize line, which unsurprisingly is a premium-rate number, or asked to send off a cheque for a small amount to cover administration fees.
 
Of course, the promised huge cash prize never materialises and the swindlers make a tidy sum from the thousands of victims' payments. The key to their success is to offer such a large amount of money that you're blinded by the figures, and the admin fee appears minimal in comparison.

"You fall into the trap of thinking 'it's only £20'. But if you send it you're likely to be put on a list [known as a 'sucker's list'] for other mailings and will be more regularly targeted in the future," warns Shepherd. "Consider contacting the mail and telephone preference services to reduce this type of marketing."

10. Money loans

You often come across advertisements in local papers offering fast money loans without formal credit checks. You call up a freephone number and are then told that your loan is agreed but you need to pay insurance costs via a money transfer. But once you've paid the fee, you never receive your loan or hear from the company again.
 
Never, ever give your bank details to someone you don't know, and be sure to report the swindlers too. If you have fallen victim to this scam, report it to the police and the OFT.

Although it isn't easy to track down the perpetrators, the more victims report their experiences, the easier it will be to stop them in the future.

Other scams to avoid at all costs...

Career opportunities: Aspiring novelists, models and inventors are lured by advertisements promising to turn their dreams into reality. However, in order for the manuscript to be published, the invention patented or the model to step onto the catwalk, initial outlay costs and fees must be paid upfront.

Property investment: These scams cost victims an average £4,240 a year. You are invited to attend a free presentation about making money from property investment, but whereas the real thing would allow you time to go away and think it over before handing over any money, the fake setups push for money straight away.

Swindlers top tactics

  • They strive to look as professional as possible, even warning people of 'bogus scams' to make themselves look more genuine.
  • They create a sense of urgency to make victims respond immediately so as not to lose out, and this prevents them from reading through the information carefully.
  • They create an air of secrecy to supposedly protect the 'win', but actually to protect themselves and make 'winners' less likely to tell friends and family who might convince them it is fraudulent.
  • They make the victim feel that they have been personally approached or targeted so they believe they are special.
  • They offer amounts of prize money or returns that seem feasible. Or they ask for a relatively small admin costs compared with the final prize, making these costs appear very reasonable.

Five ways to make sure you don't get swindled

  1. Read the small print on any documentation you receive and make sure you understand it all before agreeing to anything. Don't rush into decisions.
  2. Don't be taken in by the apparent authenticity of a document or professional appearance of a company.
  3. Check the company is legitimate by asking for full contact details, including the street address and local telephone numbers.
  4. Never pay for a 'free' gift or reveal any personal information; this will be used to bombard you with future scams and possibly take more money off you.
  5. Trust your gut instinct.

 

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Your Comments

I recently received an e-mail from the WORK FROM HOME people. They wanted a signing up fee of £20. When I cancelled the page, it said they would halve the fee to £10. It took about 6 clicks to get off the site. I reported the site,

Just this week I was caught out by a scam and had to contact my bank to freeze my account, get a new bank card and have my computer hard drive cleaned. It has cost me a lot of hassle and quite a bit of money.
Google 'ammyy scam' for full details - and don't be fooled like I was.
I can't believe I was so naive; this was due to my lack of knowledge about computers.

in 2009 i invested in genuine shares ,but 5mths later the broker (scammer) was struck off by, stock mkt security ,having changed the shares three times I received a share certificate for my nominated investment and email's confirming my ownership ,that company is in Brussels and is on the net trading as prestige property portfolio looks good so if you receive a reply post it as they claim there in an I P O situation and then no replies (scammer). the original investment has doubled .

I NEVER open anything I do not know about, common sense should tell you "If you did not go in for it - how could you win it" Forwarded it on to OFT. Having worked on fraud cases for many years I can spot one immediately. As a female in late retirement years I do get fed-up with these ladies offering by email their services on a daily basis. I merely transfer them to: spam@uce.gov - but they still keep on coming.
Next step will be to inform BT (£24.99 monthly) if they continue, I will not be continuing with them!

Received an E mail allegedly from Barclays saying that there was an error in my connection to my account with the suggestion to RESOLVE, not actually addressed to me, just an open e mail

I recently received a text on my mobile phone saying I could receive 'even more money' for my recent accident. (I have not had one). It went on to say if I was not interested to text a number to cancel any further contact.
Had I done so I wonder how much that text would have cost me?

The Guest's mother in law above should have gone to the police not the bus driver. This is theft as well as scam

I recently signed up with the broker YES LOANS to find me a car loan. They take a £69.90 fee. Then I received numerous calls from loan companies including some Indian companies supposedly based over here. They said they were from Guaranteed Loans and the other company was Loan to Loan. I checked out they were legitimate companies in this country. I was told to transfer £190 by Western Credit Union to India and that the loan amount would be in my account 45mins later. It all sounded above board, so I did this as my credit rating isnt great and there were no credit checks.They rang me again and gave very English names! asking for £299 admin fee now before the money would be transferred. Both companies seemed to cross over and clearly the money going to India is a scam. They already knew who I banked with and constantly asked for my account details of which I havent given them. They gave me a cust care numb to ring, but when I tried it the mailbox is conveiniently always full. I havent paid the rest and havent got my loan, but reported to the police.

Just use your common sense and remember all that glitters aint gold. They usually work on your greed and gullibility. I f you get scammed for hoping to get something for nothing, you probably deserve it.

I have had a suspected scam as follows. Someone phoned up with an asian accent checking my name and claiming to be someone - a name given - from "Word" saying they had heard my computer had problems and on one occasion that 88 messages had been received to that effect. The first time they asked me to put on my computer (working perfectly) so I refused and hung up. There was some chat one time and I told the security method I use and the person immediately said it would not work on what they were referring to but I said my computer works well and said I wished to leave it alone. Later a pop up appeared telling me to remove this security and put in another (unspecified) so I ignored this. It does not seem so serious as I don't do financial matters online but it may be of interest to you to know of this. I doubt if "Word" would phone clients unless clients first contacted them with a problem,,
yours faithfully,
Evan McKay.

Same thing happened to me but I got sucked in. Didn't give any personal details but did allow remote access to my computer. Didn't give them any money - mainly because I'm skint- but was suspicious of the call and did a little checking. It seems that this is quite a common scam.

I am still very worried about the security of my computer. What should I do?

I keep getting the phone calls from Indian people claiming to be from "Microsoft", but I say to them to stop ringing me and they put the phone down on me, cheek of them mind. Is there a way to stop these kind of phone calls?? Please help as this is really frustrating me.

I had a call the other day asking if I had any Payment Protection Insurance. I said, "No, I haven't but I'm more interested in how you come to have my telephone number." The caller said it had been picked through a system randomly and then asked if I was a member of the Telephone Preference Service or ex-directory, to which I replied, "Both!" I was surprised when he replied that it didn't matter as he wasn't trying to sell me anything. Why would he have asked me the question in the first place if it was irrelevant? Apart from anything else, there was something in his voice that set off alarm bells. Needless to say, when I dialled 1471 the number had been withheld.

I also had someone come to the door trying to get me to donate to Oxfam. When I told her I already donate to a number of charities, she asked me which ones they were. This got my back up and I just said, "Various! In fact, I've dropped some things off at the RSPCA charity shop only this morning." I initially told her, "I don't deal with anyone on the doorstep." but she continued with the conversation; that also annoyed me.

Could either of these be scammers?

Hi, i was contacted over the phone by Sapphire studios, which were offering me a free photoshoot and make over, which they told i have won. They knew my email address, and i am wondering if they might get it from "freebie websites".. They knew my home address too. I didnt believe that i won something, so i said i wouldnt pay a deposit of 50 pounds to secure my appointment for a photosession. Today i googled "sapphire studio scam" and found many people loosing thousands of pounds for a cheap session and being pressured to buy extra photos after that and signing a contract with hiden fees!!!!

Also few weeks before that i went into my bank and found that www.netflix.com were trying to use my account to take money from it. This attempt was blocked! i have never used netflix,i didnt even knew what that is!!! today i googled it and found that they scam many people.
I have no idea,where they might get my card details,as i have never registred with them or used their scamming DVD renting service!!!

Unfortenately as i remember, in my talk with Saphire studios i mentioned my card type and the name of my bank society!!!!!!They also know my full name and address!!! I feel really afraid now! What should i do? ANY ADVICE?please help x

you will have to format ur hard-drive to clear any adware that they have installed on ur computer, if notthey will have acces to ur pc files whenever they want

I had this call last year too - he knew my name, claimed my computer was infected & to be from BT, which would have been strange as my home was not connected to the internet at the time!

I contacted a courier company called local courier services.net for work, I didn't even complete the application form as I became suspicious of the lack of details on their website. They still sent me a job offer and asked for £75 up front! I didn't respond.

have a talk to your bank manager to get advice

I'm registered with the TPS and I never have sales calls at home apart from international calls. Sadly, only companies in the U.K. have to abide by the rules.

You forgot to mention the biggest scammers of all and they are licensed. Financial advisors. Licensed to blow your cash. Want to save money. If you see a financial advisor run the other way

I opened a email that said 1200 tax rebate from hmrevenue then it said we've tried to credit your acount but the details need to be confirmed so please forward your account and sort code numbers I thought I'll take my p45 1st to the tax office just to make sure I wasn't going to be over payed and the lady there said I wasn't due a penny and they would have sent a letter not an email thank god I went there they could have taken all my money be careful if anyone gets one of these emails Id say don't even open it

My wife is considering transferring her pension into a new plan via Silk Financial Associates.

She will be charged £500 for this and also as part of the transaction receive a payment of £17,000 now.

Should she back off?

i was recently scammed by a company thats sells quick detox tablets & nutra slim 30 day trialht id try them for th i paid £7.00 odd thougt id try them 4 that price.
2 weeks later i check my acount & they had taken £122.48 thats a weeks wages 4 me ive contacted them but no reply its came out as pos so prob cant b traced
looks like ive got 2 close me account ,hope they choke on my money :(

I too have been scammed by nutraslim and quickdetox. They way they do it....yu sign up for quickdetox which is a 30 day trial and encourage you to sign up for a trial of nutraslim too - not specifying it is in fact a 14 day trial.

On day 14 of the '30' day trial you are then charged for a full month of both products again costing around £120. They send the second 14 day lot of the nutraslim but nothing until 30 days of the quick detox (which considering they have charged you for it is more than cheeky)
I only found out about the charge because I do a lot of online banking and caught the charge.

I have cancelled and returned all products within 30 days so I see no reason why I should not get a full refund but I have as yet to see it materialise. The guy on the phone was patronising and confusing by the fact he was not specifying which of the two products he was referring to & just keep laboring the 14 day trial point (when I signed up for trial it said it was 30 days)

The point is - it is misleading and confusing.

Can't believe I got sucked in - never happened before and never will again.

I have received a couple of emails from WindowsLive.com saying that my hotmail account details need to be verified, they want my password, etc. It says that if I do not respond my account will be shut down. I've ignored them, has anyone else received anything like this?

If you get an email from the tax office saying you have a rebate it WILL be a fake.
The Inland Revenue only sends out rebate notices by letter, never by e-mail.
The notification would also be addressed to you by name and not the generic "Dear taxpayer" or nothing at all. This point also applies with any e-mails you get from banks and credit card companies; they will always be addressed to you by name.

i was also scammed by slim body extreme, they offered trial tablets £3.71which included overseas transaction payment. should av known it was tooo cheap as 2 days later the company took full price from my bank of £56.34 which i neither agreed with through my bank or there company they just took it ,i havent been able to contact the company and my bank cant do anything & due to the money being taken out it left me overdrawn & whooo my bank charged me,,,slim bodies have lots of customers on comlaints .com,,,,total con,,,,

I have had more calls than I could count from the "Microsoft" computer people and however many times you ask them not to call you they still continue. I have now just started to tell them I don't have a computer and that gets rid of them pretty quickly although it doesn't seem to stop them from phoning up in the first place!

A tricky version of the premium rate scan that i have had a couple of times is like this. A message is left on your voice mail that seems to have lost the start. It starts mid-sentence like:

'... so I'm really looking forward to hearing from you, can you just call on 0791234567'. or 'and I hope you can make that date, just let me know on...091234567'.

These get your curiosity going so it's tempting but costly to phone back. By the way, not all high cost nos start 09, there are some extremely expensive 07 ones.

Some years ago (and I think this scam is still going on) I received an e-mail from Canada saying I had won $5000 in a prize draw but it could not be released until I had sent $75 'administration fees'.
I ignored it but kept getting 'final/final notifications and last chances to claim my prize.
Eventyally I replied, saying I was out of work and did not have the $75 and asked them to take it out of the $5000 before they forwarded the balance to me.
I never heard from them again.

For all you getting spam email, I advice a good email provider. Mine, a german site, allows me to create my own filters. I too got these tax refund, lottery, etc emails, but added them to the black list of my email account. They are now deleted and never appear in my inbox.

With recession still going on, people just want to make some money one way or the other, I don't consider myself extremely savvy, but I am savvy enough to know MOST of the things aren't free... I've had banks suspended my accounts, tax refund, I've won some countries lotteries, people wanting me to "move" their big amount of money out of their country and get a "payment" out of them for the trouble.
If you want "free" things, then go sign up FREE with a site that actually gives things away and not needing you to send any so call administration fees. Banks will contact you via post if you do have a problem with your account(s), tax refund WILL contact you via post, sites such as Paypal will send you emails, BUT write to you by your name, Ebay will contact you by your username... Anything that starts with, "Dear customer", don't even read it, just delete it right away, because NO companies will address you as a customer. Phone calls and texts regarding payments that you are due, you AREN'T due for any payment at all, so don't even encourage them by replying "stop", it's a text, all you have to do is to delete them, if they're willing to waste their texts, then let them.

Have received at least a dozen similar phone calls. Sometimes I play along, if I've got nothing better to do, until I tell them that I use a linux based operating system. Then they hang up.

The last time they phoned me and explained what they wanted, I said 'Oh ! bad luck' the 'lady' at the other end then swore at me and hung up. I had won, got her annoyed, she knew that I had seen through her flimsy scam immediately.

I am constantly getting call from"Microsoft"saying my computer is infiltrated with a virus , I realise what these people are up to so I tell them I do not have a computer but they insist I do and ask me to check to see if I have one ! They do not give up and also refer to me in my exmarried name , infact my current computer was purchased in my new name. Another give away .

only the greedy get their fingers burnt

Is it normal for Virgin Media to remotely access your computer if you have problems? I felt a little uncomfortabe about the time it took for the support person to sort out problems with my virgin e-mail. It took over an hour though I do think it worked but due to all the scams I hear about I just felt at times during this that maybe I shouldn't be letting them access my computer so readily. Maybe I am over suspicious but it just made me uneasy and I know there are so many computer scams out there.

I've had the Microsoft calls several times, and others like them...all from Indians. I don't put the phone down on them. I do the opposite.Pretend I'm dumb and slow.Keep asking them to repeat..tell them the line is bad.Tell them my pc is slow to start..ask them to explain slowly..anything to keep them on the line..until finally THEY cut the call..because it is costing THEM, not me, because I am relaxing on my sofa with my feet up,and have not even touched my pc. You can do the same..Serve them right.Use up THEIR time and money, Hahaha.
GUEST who asked about Virgin Media.If you contacted them on their special free number for subcribers from your home phone or mobile, it is safe to allow remote access.. However, I can't kmagine what could take an hour to sort out.
OTHERS who can't understand how someone got hold of their name and phone number...Anyone can buy a DVD containing the entire UK telephone directories. BT sell it. You can find it on Ebay too.
Most of these scams rely on GREED. If you did not buy a ticket, you can't have won, can you?
It should also be obvious, if something seems to good to be true,it usually is not.

Virgin Media do contact you by phone to restart your computer or tv but will never ask for any personal information

What we should remember is any legal entity doesn't solicit for your information. A bank or government office will not contact you by email and ask for your banking details. Nobody should and we shouldn't give it out. As for other scams - just be vigilant and skeptical - if it is too good to be true - avoid it. Do your own research and avoid the pitfalls - because no matter how hard we try at some point or other everybody will get scammed.

I received a strange letter in the post at the beginning of the year which I imagine was an attempted scam although I still can't understand the point of it!

The letter was from a legitimate and well-known credit company telling me that my application for a loan was unsuccessful and briefly outlining why. I had never applied for a loan with them. The odd thing was that although my address was correct the letter was addressed to a 'Mr' not 'Miss' and there was only his initials rather than christian names, albeit the same initial as mine. So even if a 'Mr J ....' had applied for a loan using my address he wouldn't have been successful as no such person exists and the basic credit checks would have found this to be so. So why did the company go to the trouble to write and give valid reasons for not granting a loan? Surely if they had discovered a fraudulent application they would not have written in such a way.

There was a full address and phone number on the letterhead (very professional notepaper by the way) but I didn't reply to them but looked up the company in the phone book and the phone number and address etc on the letter was correct and legit! I rang them and gave the ref number from the letter I'd received and the person I spoke to didn't have any record of a letter being sent to me . She said she would refer it to her supervisor and get back to me after investigating when the loan application had been made and by whom. No one ever contacted me though and although I phoned them twice more I was passed from one department to another and fobbed off by saying they were looking into it.

I never did find out what it was all about and it looks as if I shall remain in the dark for evermore.

Hello.  Have had email several times purporting to be from PayPal re Skype payment.  The first & second times contacted PayPal, who confirmed they were phishing scams and to delete. Apparently, it will always say your name rather than Dear PayPal Customer.  Also received one from CocaCola saying I'd won £750,000!! Shame, but scam also.  And have had the Nigerian email as well.  As has been said, if you didn't enter, how can you win, and be vigilant about the company using your name - most should, if they're genuine.

 

 

 One method you could use when you get one of these calls is to say to the caller "Oh! Just a minute"  Then put the phone down, leave the connection open, and walk away. After a few minutes, the caller will have hung up.
Hope this helps.
E Ellis.

I, too have had the "Microsoft" call. They really had me going and kept saying that they understand that I" wasn't technically minded"-which is true!- and that they had been tryingto contact me urgently for weeks. After 20 minutes, during which they entered my computer, showing me various viruses and "removing" them, they had an "engineer standing by them who wanted to talk to you". this engineer then passed me onto a third person. All along I had been told that this service was "completely free", now, all of a sudden, there was a one-off "authorisation fee" of £79.99. I then stated that this was a scam- which they, naturally, denied. I told them to get lost. Two further 'phone calls followed within five minutes, asking me "what had gone wrong?" I told them them that I would report them to the police if they called again.

 ANYTHING offered over the Internet is likely to be rubbish...all those letters that come through the door go straight in the bin...including Readers Digest.
I have a freebies site where all offers are genuine and cost you absolutely NOTHING...no postage...NOTHING.
Every item offered I check before posting... it does not get updated each day as I have to find the time to go hunt and search etc
I JUST WANT TO REITERATE....IGNORE all the stuff that is sent and aim it to the 'Trash'
P xx

To hom can e report scams/ frauds pls? There oughta be some bodyto deal wth all these scams to protet the public at large.
Mike

To hom can e report scams/ frauds pls? There oughta be some bodyto deal wth all these scams to protet the public at large.
Mike

These scammers play on people's greed. The temptation to get something for nothing is just too strong for some. 
 

Pls beware....Guy with dodgy names.....giving UK stores address with registration numbers etc....Offer too good to be true....usually rs23000 for a 16gb iphone 5....also buy 2 get 1 free offer.SCAM....SCAM....SCAM....SCAM....The person uses a free email....usually gmail,hotmail.Eg. Mobilematrixuk20/at/gmail/dot/com(just an example)He will send u the complete store address....with all the details.If u check in ukdata or 192.com u will get the exact address n info.But if u call the number from the site they would tell u that they never gave any ad in olx or alibaba...Pls dnt fall into this scam...A call to UK saved my rs46000.Pls be wise n safe.....its not possible to get 3 iphone 5 for rs46000.Dnt get fooled....think logical.It is a very old african scam....SCAM....SCAM....SCAM....SCAM....Never deposit money b4 time....dont use western union, bank deposits, cash deposit, liberty reserve etc...Ask for paypal transfers if u really think an offer is genuine enuf....They will just ask more n more money stating that they have shipped 6 mobiles instead of 2+1....n ask for additional 46000.Dnt do it....Once u deposit the money into various icici or sbi or hdfc accounts with indian names,they will ask for more n more money.....airport tax...duties...etc etc.Be SMART.I couldnt be fooled as i did a lot of research before depositing money...Why would any1 britisher or american tell u to deposit cash in indian banks with indian names?????Think again before its too late
.Thanks,Vvk

Thanks to this article. It's very interesting. In spite of reform efforts, a brand new report says, big banking institutions are still choking customers with hidden fees in order to make more profit. How often have you needed addiitional information on where can i get a payday loan, and turned to a web site search on payday loan? We sould all be very smart in choosing our banks.

I just had a run in with a scammer about accident claim. I was told that I was lying when i said that i had not had nor had anyone at my address had an accident in the last two years. I quickly responded that I would get the police involved and hung up. I then went on to TPS and the ICO to report this . I used 1-4-7-1 ( it will cost I know) to retrieve the number and have it written down. ARRGGGH!!!!! so annoying these people and just when I was having a good day. Well, I'm gonna continue having a good day and hope they don't call back again EVER!! 
Thanks for the opp. to have a little rant lol. Feel better now
B ;)