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Mass marketing fraud

The tools like phones, emails, the Internet or in-person meetings can be used by criminals to contact and sell bogus schemes to unsuspecting victims. Such plots involve multiple strategies to target the highest number of prospective customers. 

First, the seller makes high-volume calls through sales representatives to begin communication and send material like brochures, presentations and counterfeit documents ( like checks) to the person. 

Then, they adopt high-pressure tactics where the customers are asked to take immediate action to get "a once in a lifetime" deal. 

Mass Marketing Frauds Involves Any of The Following –

Fee - You are promised substantial money through a lottery, inheritance, or multi-million prizes, but you must pay an advance fee. 

The target is asked to pay an advance fee to claim the riches they won, but once they pay, they are asked to pay some other fee, which continues unless the target refuses to pay further. 

Products - The scammers claim they sell high-value items like rare luxury collectables and send individual emails. Interested clients are asked to join an auction to get a high-value, saleable luxury item at a low price. Furthermore, if the customer tries to buy it, they get nothing or some worthless item. 

Job - They offer work-from-home opportunities, and the person is asked to fill in certain details in a form to get the opportunity. Still, this information is collected only to get the target's bank details.

Charity - They seek donations and sometimes ask the target to register and pay through bank transfer, leading to disclosures of secretive details to the criminals.

Inheritance – Some victims are asked to pay a small fee to claim the inheritance offered by a dead relative who died without nominating anyone. 

They ask for multiple advance checks to get the inheritance cleared and transferred, but when you stop sending the money, the criminals discontinue communication. Similarly, they may try to get deposits from the victim against a lottery claim.

Fake money transfer route- The client is asked to buy gift cards or certain products or use the wire transfer mode to send money for certain purchases online. 

Romance- The person pretends to be a man or a woman interested in a romantic relationship. The victim responds by sending emails professing their emotions, but after some months, the client finds the other person is talking only to get money transferred into their account. 

They use techniques like seeking funds for urgent medical reasons or needing help for their family members. They may sometimes deal in digital assets or ask you to redistribute bogus checks to cheat other victims. 

The client is asked to indulge in market trades like short selling or pump and dump schemes, where you are promised to get huge investment returns. 

In the pump and dump scheme, a group of manipulators in the market influence the rates; when the prices are high, they sell it all at once. So, the common investors lose when the manipulators pull out their funds.

Many such schemes involve ways to trick people into divulging bank details. The other person gains unauthorised access to your account information and transfers the funds or the goods to the victims' account. Then, they use the details the client offers to commit different types of crimes. 

How To Protect Yourself?

  • Never respond to unsolicited messages that claim you won a lottery or inheritance.

  • Do not provide secretive personal details to people you do not know.

  • If you get any offers online, verify the sender's credentials through independent authorised agencies.

  • Do not send checks to firms that ask you to pay taxes or fees to claim a lottery. 

  • If you suspect any fraud, report it to local authorities.

Date Published: Sep 14, 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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