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Marketing materials

It refers to the misrepresentation where some businesses indulge in deliberate dishonesty by giving misleading information in their marketing material like brochures, business cards, presentations, catalogues, flyers, or customer testimonials and case studies. 

In case of fraud, the language used on such items may not give accurate information to the client to help them make a balanced decision; instead, all the messages may be mixed with evictions, omissions, and fake statements. 

Finally, it refers to the deceptive business practice where one can get an unsolicited contact like an email, phone, ad or letter that makes fake promises only to con the client to extract funds from their accounts. 

How Does It Happen?

If they sell health products, they use tags like "even doctors would like to know the secret." "Money-back for early birds" and short-time deadlines are common messages in all such bogus adverts. 

In addition, they offer discounts and bonuses for those who can contact them before a given date, where they deceive the other person into thinking they are getting a discount on the price because they applied on a particular date. 

Nevertheless, in reality, the authentic rate of the product or the service offered by such ads may be very low in value, and they give an overpriced offer, which they discount to some extent. 

Also, the cost reduction may not be limited to a few; it may apply to all. Trust is a key idea for buying online, and they may say, "Trust if you can..." as it is a fantastic offer giving impossible returns.

Steps To Protect Customers 

There are prohibitions against promoting Ponzi schemes, manipulation, market rigging and running ahead. In recent years, social media sites like Facebook banned health ads that show before and after images, and it also blocks slogans about personal appearance, the one with the lines 'Feeling tired and then taking some supplements or cure to feel good..."

One cannot completely stop Google ads but can change settings on the dashboard related to personal interest levels to ensure individual settings do not allow all kinds of ads to come up on screens. 

How To Spot Fake Ads?

If you want to know if the ad is reliable, you should find out about the company that posted it. 

Check if the advertiser appears legitimate and if the company is recognised. Find out if it has a valid address and contact details. If the messages are sent through a generic email address, it can be bogus. If you want to check who posted such ads and do not get a clear answer, it's an alert.

Check the language and grammar of the communications the firm's representatives sent. If the formatting of letters and advertisements are odd and poor quality images or used, or if there are errors, grammatical mistakes or other issues, it should be avoided.

Examine the web link associated with the ad to know its origin. Then, hover the mouse over to know the address, where a long, jumbled-up address with letters and numbers indicates a bogus site. 

The sellers make the individual feel special and propose social isolation. Anyone who faces such a criminal act should reject cold calls and search for the organisation on authorised websites to get independent investment advice. 

The ads making irresponsible financial claims should not be trusted, and if you have seen any such fake, report it to the authorities.

Date Published: Sep 09, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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