Wilsons Detectives are offering a reward of between $10,000 and $100,000 USD$ for information leading to the conviction of fraudsters. If you have been scammed, please let us have any information you have on the scammer/ fraudster and we will take action and bring them to justice. All information provided will be dealt confidentially.
Victims of scams are often too embarrassed to come forward. However, the more of these incidents that are reported, the better the chance we will have of shutting down the perpetrators, and the more aware others will be of this kind of crime.
Some of the most common internet scams are:
Email scams are a type of online fraud. While it’s true that a fraudulent offer can be contrived with almost any story, there are a few “tried and true” cons that seem to crop up repeatedly over time, such as advanced fee fraud, over payment fraud, and work from home scams, among others. Email is an extremely popular format for many common internet scams for the simple fact that it’s so cheap and easy to execute. You would think that scam artists would have refined their approach by now, but many scam emails are poorly written and fairly easy to spot. Nonetheless, some are more sophisticated and people still lose a lot of money to email scams every year.
Nigerian scam (Nigerian 419 scam)
The Nigerian scam is a variation of the advanced-fee scam but deserves its own spot since it has been so prevalent. Emails typically promise large rewards for helping “government officials” move money to a US financial institution, with upfront fees required. The scam started in Nigeria and violates penal code 419 in the country, so is often referred to as a Nigerian 419 scam.
Charity scams simply play on the emotions of victims to persuade them to hand over donations to fake charities and organizations. Subjects might include puppies in danger or disaster relief efforts. The emails typically include some excuse as to why the matter is urgent and may include links to legitimate-looking websites. Aside from sending money, victims may be handing over their debit card or credit card details to thieves.
Work-at-home job scams
Working from home has so many draws and is a major lifestyle goal for many people. Scam artists capitalize on the dreams of these would-be remote workers by luring them with fantastic yet realistic-sounding work-at-home job opportunities. The catch? They just need to send a wire transfer or money order upfront to pay for some equipment or educational materials before they can get started, but these never arrive, and there is no actual job.
Some scammers spend a fair amount of time creating official-looking emails from reputable service providers (Amazon, Netflix etc.). They tell the target that the account is about to be suspended and that they need to provide information to keep it open. The email might include a link to a phishing site requesting login credentials and billing details to secure the “continuation of service.”
This one is more targeted toward businesses. The scammer identifies the person within a company that has control over funds. They then pose as someone with authority such as the CEO, and request money be transferred to a specified account. With all of the information available on LinkedIn these days, it’s fairly easy for fraudsters to identify who to target and to come up with convincing stories.
This type of phishing requires some preparation because the scammer needs to act convincingly like the executive he or she is purporting to be. The fraudster will then contact someone in the company who has the authority to move money and direct that person to transfer funds to the scammer.
As with most phishing scams, CEO phishing is most effective when there’s a sense of urgency or emotionalism applied to the request. Therefore, many CEO phishers will zero in on new members of the finance department in the hopes that person does not yet know all the safeguards that may be in place to prevent the scam from working.
Extortion scams follow the basic premise that you need to hand over money urgently or face a predefined consequence, whether it be real or fabricated. Extortion schemes can be simple or extraordinarily complex, depending on the imagination of the perpetrator involved.
Ransomware is an extortion scam that involves an attacker encrypting your files with the promise of decrypting them only in return for a fee. Another common extortion scam is sextortion. In this form of extortion, victims are typically lured into sharing intimate photos or videos, often through online dating sites or social media. They may even be prompted to perform explicit acts while being secretly filmed. They are then asked to pay a fee to prevent the photos or videos from being released to their mailing lists colleagues, friends, family etc.
If any form of scam has affected you, please report it to us. If the information leads to the identification and apprehension of the criminal and ensure that the scammer/ fraudster will be brought to justice.