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Fraud News

Pilgrimage to Mecca scam

4th August 2010

Up to 40,000 people may have fallen victim to ‘Hajj fraud’, losing thousands of pounds to buy trips to Mecca that turn out to be non-existent.

In the months leading up to the Muslim Pilgrimage of Hajj, organised crime groups are using the names of licensed travel companies to advertise fraudulent deals to Saudi Arabia.

Hajj fraud

Embassy flooded with scam enquiries

4th August 2010

Internet fraudsters are logging into social networking accounts and contacting users’ friends, pretending they are in trouble and asking for money.

The US Embassy in London has been receiving enquiries every day from people who have been defrauded for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars by internet contacts they believed were their friends or loved ones.

Types of scams

Do you really know who your Facebook friends are?

3rd August 2010

Millions of social networking users are not adequately using privacy settings, leaving them open to identity theft and fraud.

Research from Equifax found that 62% of Facebook users provide their full date of birth on their profile; more than three quarters provide a personal email address and almost a third give the name of their employer.

Facebook privacy settings should be used

Spot a car-buying scam

3rd August 2010

What Car? is warning potential car buyers and sellers about some of the scams fraudsters might use to con them.

Fraud can take a number of forms when buying a car. It may involve ‘clocking’, where the sellers wind back the odometer on high-mileage cars to sell them for more than they are worth. Criminals may sell stolen cars using bogus registration documents to make them seem legitimate, or sell written-off cars after repairing them to make them seem safe and good-looking.

Car selling scams

iPhones hit by jailbreaking scams

3rd August 2010

iPhone users are being targeted by a new email scam promising them software that will allow them to download apps not approved by Apple.

Since it was announced that iPhone jailbreaking – where iPhone users can legitimately download apps not approved by Apple – is now legal in the US, fraudsters have been operating a new scam to take advantage of this.

How does the iPhone scam work?

Beware of social networking profile takeovers

2nd August 2010

People are being told they should be just as cautious when using social networking websites as they are when using their email accounts.

While many people are now getting savvy about restricting who can see their profiles by making them ‘private’ and only making friends with people they know, it is easy for fraudsters to take over a person’s profile and attempt to scam money out of those people a user is friends with.

Bogus messages on Facebook and Twitter

Council tax call scam

30th July 2010

Residents are being warned about phone calls that some households have received relating to council tax.


Some homeowners have been contacted from a call centre that appears to be based in India, stating that they can arrange for the refund of overpayments of council tax and they can also arrange for the homeowner's council tax band to be corrected.


Warning – Scam targets potential tenants on Gumtree

30th July 2010

A number of would-be tenants have lost money after replying to a new wave of bogus adverts for rental accommodation on the website, Gumtree.

The victims, often from overseas, reply to adverts on the website for rental properties in the UK. After emailing the ‘landlord’, tenants are asked to send money to them. Once the money has been sent, the victims try to make contact with the ‘landlord’ and collect the keys, but the ‘landlord’ is uncontactable.