Financial scam and how to avoid its adversities

Financial scams are looming on the Internet, and their modus operandi is quite sophisticated. But once you learn to spot them, there will be no harm to your reputation and finances.

The fake company fraud

You surf search engines or classified sites to compare prices and products. You come across a state-of-the-art product that is 15-20% cheaper than other better-known sites. Be vigilant. It might be a fake company.

Once contact has been established with the seller, the latter redirects you to a website to place the order. Or asks you to pay for it by bank transfer to a foreign account (e.g.: IBAN code).

You make the transfer; sometimes you receive a confirmation that your package has been sent and you wait for the delivery of your order, which unfortunately will never take place.

Your reminders to the seller remain unanswered. You do not get a refund of the sums paid.

In some cases, the seller will invoke bogus customs clearance fees to charge you additional funds or promise a gift on the next order.

Red flags

Sites written in broken English with spelling errors and unreliable commands are red flags.

The site often offers only one means of payment: bank transfer, which is irrevocable.

Some fake sellers use payment cards of the “prepaid card” type, which allow an individual to carry out transactions or receive sums of money via this card without having to “open” an account with a bank (which avoids transmission of certain proof of identity). Thus, the false seller can easily withdraw the sums transferred by your transfer to any ATM without being able to be identified subsequently.

Banking scam

After searching the Internet for loans or investments, you receive an advertisement for a loan offer or a banking investment offered by an establishment located in another country.

The documents attached to the offer include official logos of a known bank.

The credit offer or the investment conditions are very advantageous. For instance, there is almost zero interest rate, high returns, etc. You decide to pay the administration fees (credit) or to pay a certain amount to benefit from them (placement). Shortly after, you no longer hear from your interlocutors.

Beware of credit offers circulating on Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.

Never talk about your financial situation to strangers, and above all: do not sign any contract with them.

You should not  send personal data or documents (photocopy of identity card, invoices, bank account number, etc.) by email or instant messaging.

Never send money through an international transfer service (Western Union, MoneyGram, etc.) to release so-called funds from your loan.

Check the database of financial providers to verify the credibility of your contact, whether it is a bank or a financial institution. What if you have been the victim of a credit scam?

Dare to talk about it!

Gather all the evidence of the scam (screenshots, fake contracts, email exchanges, etc.) and file a complaint as quickly as possible.

Report the scam to the services of a consumer association if you need guidance in your procedures.

If you have sent your crooks personal documents, including your bank details or your credit card number, monitor your account movements to object as quickly as possible.

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