2014 Top 10 Scams Release by Vancouver Police

Have you been a victim of a scam? Vancouver Police Department has put together a list of top 10 scams to be aware of in 2014.


1. Astroturfing

The term is used for fake reviews which are put on online to boost up company’s visibility and public profile on search engines and private directories. Vancouver Police Department is warning people of this scam and are asking consumers to read all the reviews before they shop, watch out for bad grammar, spelling mistakes and check out other reliable review sites to get a second opinion.


2. Catphishing

Top love scam. Vancouver Police Department says its a romance scam in which a fraudster pretends to be some one they are not on an online dating or social media website, for purpose of taking money or personal information from their targets. You can spot this scam if a person asks you to talk or chat on an outside email or chat service. The fraudster may claim to be from the same country as yours but would tell you he/she is travelling abroad for any reason or may tell you he/she is working outside the country. While you are in overseas relationship and have been asked for money or personal information due to an emergency, illness or stolen wallet than there is a red flag right there to spot a scammer.


3. Enterprise Fee Scheme

A letter from Nigeria informing about the big funds waiting for you in the bank account overseas. The fraudster would ask you to wire money to cover the transaction fees and promise you big funds on receipt of the initial wired money. Other versions target investors who have lost money on an investment, offering to purchase or exchange shares and help the investor minimize their losses. This notification could come to you through email, mail and now days through social media. Fraudster create fake profiles on linkedin, facebook and twitter. If you have received a direct message from a Bank Manager of ABC bank informing about the funds, just ignore the message and delete the connected person.


4. Affinity Fraud

Vancouver Police Department says it happens where you would least expect it. The fraudster could be the one you trust the most, your colleague, your friend or even a family member. Do not fall for an investment which offer high returns with no risk. There is no investment without a risk. This scam usually happens on the grounds of trust and relationship. Fraudster may also pay you to help you out to invest without telling you that the investment is a scam.


 5. Curbers

They are unlicensed dealers who try to sell the cars from public parking lots. They will tell you that they are selling a car for their friend or family member and will come up with a sad story. They will try to rush up the sale and will not disclose any car history or accidents. They advertise multiple cars through online websites and news papers and all will have the same contact phone number. Sometimes these cars turns out to be stolen or been bought from the junk yard. Curbers always sell cars for cash only and would normally ask you to lie on transfer forms.


6. Lottery Scam

You are a winner! This letter is to inform you that you have won $X.00 million, to claim your funds please wire $X.00 to cover the processing fees with your name, phone number and DOB. Have you received a letter with the wording like this? Well, its a scam and once you send the “processing fees” you are not getting anything back. Moreover, your name and information is added to a “Sucker List” and you may start getting more and more mails like this.


7. The Unknown Caller

Often in this scam an unknown caller will tell you that your computer security has been compromised or your grandchild is in the jail. The caller will convince you to make a prompt decision and wire them money or give them credit card information. Vancouver Police Department is warning that if you receive a call like this, do not send any money or give any confidential information. Request the callers name and contact number you could reach them back at.


8. The Insta-Scam

This scam is usually done through social media sites. A post which intends to give away 500 phones, computers, clothing’s, purses or other high end brand items for free is likely a scam and is listed on number 8 for 2014.  Before liking and sharing these social media posts check to see if the post has been originated from a reliable or verified source and check the profile name. Vancouver Police Department says, if the profile name from where the post has been originated is something like “Free” or “Give Away” it is likely a scam. If the post redirects you to online quiz pages or to a page requesting your personal information, close that page right away and do not provide any information.


9. Pretender Scam

Final Invoice, Pay immediately or your account will be forwarded to the collection company. This scam made up to number 9 of top 10 2014 scams. As per VPD, A business receives an invoice which appears to be from your “authorized” service provider for things like web hosting, online advertising, domain registration or trademark copywriting services demanding you to pay, but in all cases services are misrepresented. It is recommended that businesses should create their own authorized vendors & supplier list and must strictly control purchasing and accounting.


10. Celebrity Gossip Spam

In this scam fraudster posts bogus content or spam video on social media sites about the celebrities to get maximum attention to their post. Once clicked on the link it likely will redirect you to an online survey page that puts advertising commission in a spammer’s wallet despite the content being non-existent or fake. In some cases users also end up installing malware on their computer.


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