Scams

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Archive for the ‘scams’ Category

The customs sieze scam

Posted by Awareness

The Definition: The Custom Seize Scam is an elaborate and risky scam for the cons, but with a big prize if they pull it off. They rely on our natural respect for authority; the presence of a uniform and a badge causes us to forego our natural skepticism, ask fewer questions and to do what we are told. The scammers play on this fear to take what it rightfully your, and make it wrongfully theirs.

The Mark: A carload of young lads just back from a booze cruise, their auto laden with just-purchased cases of liquor and wine purchased in France. They may skirt customs, but they won’t evade the greedy glare of our hustlers.

The Scam: The spotter keeps a sharp eye out for a carload of likely marks, while the two fake custom agents go to a secluded spot to disguise their van to look like an official customs vehicle. These con-artist agents are taking a terrific chance dressing up as custom agents, because the punishment for this impersonation could be a year in jail. When they’re done preparing, though, resplendent in their yellow vests and uniforms, complete with radio communication, they are very convincing. Only the most discerning mark would suspect that they were a pair of scammers running a con game.

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The real Hustle – The Bogus Agency Scam

Posted by Awareness

The Definition: The Bogus Agency Scam is one of the more elaborate hustles, entailing the renting of space to set up a phony talent agency. The aim of the scam is to play upon the victims’ desire to make it big in show business – and their willingness to back up this desire with hard-earned cash. The set-up is complicated, but for the scammers, the payoff is big time indeed.

The Mark: Any talented – or, for that matter, not so talented – young lady or gent who believes that he’s destined for the bright lights and big city. This lust for celebrity blinds them to the reality of the situation – the cons are not interested in your voice, they are interested in your money!

The Scam: Britain’s Got Talent, American Idol, The X Factor and shows of this ilk have all conspired to make The Bogus Agency Scam more popular than ever before. Folks see talented amateurs being rewarded with great celebrity and national attention, season after season; young people who were improbably given the opportunity to quit their day job – and to pursue a life of glamour and excitement in the heady world of show business.

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The real Hustle – The Window Tap Scam

Posted by Awareness

The Definition: The Window Tap Scam is a simple case of misdirection, the same as any amateur magician might use. While you are focusing your attention on some mundane task, your valuable items are being secreted away by one of the scam artists.

The Mark: Any careless individual who is not paying proper attention to the location of his or her valuables. An item that you cannot see, or are not touching, is grist for the hustler’s mill.

The Scam: One of our light-fingered scam artists has noticed a young woman at a café, who has foolishly hung her pocketbook on the back of her chair. She cannot see it; she cannot feel it; and very soon, she will not have it. This mark will pay the price for her trusting nature.

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The real Hustle – The Laptop Theft Scam

Posted by Awareness

Definition: The Laptop Scam involves some sophisticated sleight-of-hand and choreography on the part of the scammers. Unlike other hustles that rely on the mark’s gullibility, this feat of legerdemain magically makes your valuable computer disappear into thin air.

The Mark: A typical business traveler, pre-occupied with his work and his flight. He’s traveling with his laptop – but unfortunately, he’s also traveling with a false sense of airport security.

The Scam: Often worth more than money, the value of information stored on your computer’s hard drive may be incalculable. Though we all take great pains to insure that proper back-ups are done and kept up-to-date, experience tells us that this is not always the case. For this reason, the Lap-Top Scam can teach us one of the more painful lessons we learn in life – in many ways more wrenching than the loss of mere money, or other personal property.

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The real Hustle – The Postal Service Scam

Posted by Awareness

Definition: The Postal Service Scam revolves around the delivery of an unsolicited (and worthless) package by a seemingly legitimate parcel postman. When he informs you that it’s C.O.D., and you fork over the funds – you’ve been had!

The Mark: Any home-owner or flat-dweller in any city or town.

The Scam: Normally, if someone just rings your bell and asks you for money, you’d slam the door in his face. But here’s a scam that has our poor mark willingly forking over his hard-earned cash – and saying “thank you” to the hustler.

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The real Hustle – The flat rental scam

Posted by Awareness

The flat rental scam

Definition: The flat rental scam is an excellent example of a group of hustlers, selling something that just doesn’t belong to them. In the concrete example that we are about to analyze, this ‘something’ just so happens to be –don’t be surprised- a flat!

Some background information: Scammers can gain access to an empty flat in several ways. They can ‘cooperate’ with unethical estate agents, rent the flat themselves using a fake id or simply use the old method of breaking and entering. Now the trick kicks in after they have gained access to the flat; but we will discuss that a bit later.

This scam can be performed by just one individual but ideally there should be at least 2. The main idea is that the first scammer will play the role of an estate agent while the second scammer (and all others, if there are more than 2 people in the gang) will pretend to be someone who is interested in renting the flat. Although 90% of the scam is performed by the first scammer, the other 10% that the second scammer performs is so crucial that it can be a deciding factor on whether the scam will be successful or not.

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The real Hustle – The mustard dip scam

Posted by Awareness

The mustard dip scam

Definition: the mustard-dip scam is essentially one more variation of the common methods that ordinary thieves use to pickpocket you.

It is a known fact that cut-pursers prefer it when your purse is inside the ‘default’ position, the back pocket of your jeans (especially true for men). Now, imagine yourself walking down a busy, crowded street; your purse is full of money but as long as it’s inside your coat’s pocket you feel very calm and secure, right? Well, as it turns out hustlers have found new methods of physically separating you from your money, even when your purse is not in your back pocket! The scam requires at least two persons, ideally three or more. The scenario is described below:

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The real Hustle – The Keylogger scam

Posted by Awareness

The Key-logger scam

A few words about the scam: Living in an age of technology, the methods of con artists are becoming more and more sophisticated and complex; day by day. Modern businesses are experiencing a growing wave of high-tech cyber crime both from insiders and organized high-tech crime gangs. A popular cyber-crime is the use of key-loggers to secretly retrieve crucial/confidential information from the victim’s computer.

Fact: In April, 2005 a gang targeted a Japanese bank in London. Using their high tech skills, they planned to steal 220.000.000 pounds by infiltrating the bank dressed as cleaning staff and using computer information bugging devices (key-loggers) to get crucial/confidential information out of the bank and then make use of.

Definition: What is a key-logger? A key-logger is a device (physical device, hardware) or a computer program (software). The aim of this device/program is to log all keystrokes that are generated from a keyboard. The keystrokes are secretly logged without the PC user knowing that whatever he types can be viewed by someone else. Usually, the person who has installed the key-logger can retrieve the log by pressing a combination of keys simultaneously and/or by providing a secret password. In some cases, the key-logger is also able to transmit the log remotely using email, Bluetooth signals or other methods.

About the key-logger scam: A typical scenario of a key-logger scam is as follows: Members of the crime gang infiltrate a corporate building dressed as cleaning staff. They either swap the normal keyboards with ones that have a hardware key-logger embedded in them or, if possible, they install software key-loggers on as many computers as possible. When the employees of the corporation arrive at their office to work, everything appears to be normal. At this point, they would start working and provide all their login details on their computers without knowing that keyloggers are installed on their machines. Apart from crucial corporate information, the corporate employees could also become victims of theft. If the crime gang is targeting the bank accounts of the employees, then, using some social engineering methods, the hustlers can ‘rush’ the corporate employees into logging-in to their bank accounts; of course, this is all the scammers need in order to get hold of the confidential login information for the various bank accounts that the employees might posses.

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The real Hustle – The jewelry Shop Scam

Posted by Awareness

The Jewelry Shop scam

A few words about the scam: This scam relies mostly on the tendency of people to comply with the requests of authorities without doing an in depth analysis of the situation they are confronting at that given moment. This tendency, combined with the fact that this type of scam brings the victims face to face with an unexpected situation, makes up for a very good reason for the scam to succeed.

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The real Hustle – The monte Scam

Posted by Awareness

The Monte Scam

A few words about the scam: The monte scam is one of the oldest tricks in the book. It dates back hundreds of years and it is the classic paradigm of a con that has genuinely stood the test of time. The monte scam is based on teamwork. In order for the scam to be successful, there should be at least 3-4 individuals who are closely cooperating with each other. You should keep in mind that when you see a group of people around someone who is performing this game, chances are that most of them are into the trick.

What is the Monte Scam?

Definition: The Monte scam is a game where the operator (the scammer) has 3 discs. One of the 3 discs has a distinct mark below it (usually a white dot). The operator will initially show you the bottom of the discs and then he will shuffle the discs quickly. In order to play, you need to bet some money. Then, in order to win you should pick the disc that has the mark below it (after the discs have been shuffled and without being able to see their bottom of course).The operator (the person who manipulates the discs) is trained to shuffle the discs in such a way that you will not really be able to pick the right disc. So far everything is legit, right? So where is the scam? Well, chances are that while you are watching the game being performed (that is, you are not playing with your money yet), the operator will perform some lousy shuffling that even a kid would be able to track. Then, the other members of the gang will bet and win money from the operator (since they are cooperating behind the scenes, nobody is really loosing his own money). Seeing how easy it is to win, this will of course get you motivated to play too, but when your turn comes, the operator will put his real skills into play; chances are you will loose. Furthermore, the scam becomes even more interesting at the point when the operator –just a few seconds before you pick a disc- consciously turns his head away from the discs (he might pretend something caught his attention or that he is coughing). Then, while the operator is not looking at the discs one of the other players will swap the positions of 2 discs. Phenomenally, you -as a player- might think that the other player did this in order to confuse/cheat the operator; this will get you motivated to put a bet too. In fact, this is all part of the trick to get you to play with your own money and eventually loose.

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