Have you ever fallen for a scam?

I'm normally quite wise to scams and have helped a few friends who nearly fell for them, but this week I unfortunately fell for one myself!

I've been in my new job for two months now, and this week is a big week for the company with head office moving to a new building, so lots going on. On Wednesday I received an email to my works email inbox from my managing director (its a small company so not unusual, we've spoke many times) asking me to send my mobile number as he has a job for me to do but needed to be able to communicate with me away from my computer.

After I do this I'm asked to head to the supermarket and buy some gift cards, he is in a virtual meeting at the moment and needs to send some 'incentives' to these potential new clients.

Long story short, I ended up buying £800 worth of Google Play gift cards and sending the codes before the penny finally dropped. I phoned back to the office and it was confirmed he never sent me out at all. On return to the office and rechecking the email, the email address was different, but of course with today's modern technology all that showed up was the name of the sender in the inbox; very easy to disguise as someone else. Heck even the signature was the same, so someone clearly knew what they were doing!

Hindsight of course is a great thing. Why didn't I check the email address straight away? Why would he get me of all people to do that? Why would I be expected to use my own money then get it reimbursed rather than given money upfront? Why would anyone send gift card codes to potential clients? So many clues that just totally went by me. But as a new employee and seeing an opportunity to impress the big boss, I guess the flags were just out of sight!

What other scams have people fell for here? Hopefully if we share it will stop others from falling for the same thing!
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
That’s some open & honest admission, and many others wouldn’t share it if it happened to them, so kudos for doing so.
 
That’s some open & honest admission, and many others wouldn’t share it if it happened to them, so kudos for doing so.
After it happened I burst into tears. I'm very embarrassed and hate how stupid I was.

But I decided I don't want to hear the same thing happen to anyone else, if I can stop even just one person falling for the same thing, it doesn't bring back my money but it means the fudgeers who did it earn a little less that day!
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Just a dodgy builder. Lost 5 figures, but he did jail time.
 

FavouredAntelope

Well-known Member
There is another thread about scams posted in the last few days and I wrote a few thoughts on there. One thing I tried to say is I think it is so important we build a better culture of supporting people who have been scammed, because way too many people are embarrassed to admit it and feel stupid it happened to them. I genuinely think almost anyone could be scammed - no matter how convinced they are otherwise. No one lives in a heightened state of scepticism 100% of the time and these things have come a long way from those Nigerian Prince e-mails.

I am almost certain I would have done the same as you. That’s an incredible level of personal detail for a scam. It’s scary how professional they are getting.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
There is another thread about scams posted in the last few days and I wrote a few thoughts on there. One thing I tried to say is I think it is so important we build a better culture of supporting people who have been scammed, because way too many people are embarrassed to admit it and feel stupid it happened to them. I genuinely think almost anyone could be scammed - no matter how convinced they are otherwise. No one lives in a heightened state of scepticism 100% of the time and these things have come a long way from those Nigerian Prince e-mails.

I am almost certain I would have done the same as you. That’s an incredible level of personal detail for a scam. It’s scary how professional they are getting.
That was my Thread:


I almost wish I could keep bumping it so it stayed on page one for ever!

Scammers are just so skilled and devious now, anyone can be fooled at any time. And yes, no one is 100% vigilant, that would be exhausting.

OP - I'm sorry you were scammed and lost so much money, but at least it wasn't your life savings or anything (I hope!). Don't feel stupid or embarrassed and try to learn from this experience so you don't do the same thing again.
 

jendo

Member
It's a shame that the police don't have the resources to investigate this type of crime. Must be easy money for low risk.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
That was my Thread:


I almost wish I could keep bumping it so it stayed on page one for ever!

Scammers are just so skilled and devious now, anyone can be fooled at any time. And yes, no one is 100% vigilant, that would be exhausting.

OP - I'm sorry you were scammed and lost so much money, but at least it wasn't your life savings or anything (I hope!). Don't feel stupid or embarrassed and try to learn from this experience so you don't do the same thing again.
I’ll try and sticky this for you so it stays in a prominent position
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I’ll try and sticky this for you so it stays in a prominent position
Thank you!

I do think this is such an important topic, even for a tech Forum where everyone is (supposedly) clued up about this sort of thing.

It's just so easy to click "Send" or "Buy" these days, you can practically do it with your eyes shut.
 

lynx

Moderator
Police do have resources, they just choose to police easier targets which enable box ticking exercises .
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Unfortunately, it has always been easy to get the email to be appear to be from somebody else, even the email address. Email has improved a bit behind the scenes but unfortunately there is still so much that can be exploited.

The scam you have fallen for is quite targetted as such, it's spearfishing as they know something about you and the organisation. It's probably the boss that might have been emailing lots of people so they know his "email signature" so can present at first glance a credible request.

Even the people working in the security field can get burnt by it particularly if they are targeted so by all means alert people but don't worry too much and move on.
 

Lucy Van Pelt

Distinguished Member
So sorry to hear what happened to you OP but I can see why you were lead down the garden path, especially as you hadn't been in your job for very long

I haven't been a victim of scam myself. I worked for a couple of finance companies where I had to do anti money laundering exams, guess that helps to keep me on my guard as I can be by nature slightly gullible at times

I do remember a few years ago a guy a temp job I was at got scammed for 20 grand buying a restored VW camper van on ebay which turned out to be non existent, even though I hardly knew him I really felt for the poor guy

At the the time I left the short term contract he was still fighting PayPal for his money back, I hope he managed to get some of it back but I guess he had a battle

I think in this day in age no one should go ahead with any on line deal or similar without speaking to a couple of people you know first to suss out if you are being a fleece target

Too many scumbags out there with no conscience

Vultures wanting to peck at you like you are a rotting buffalo carcass
 
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ssbib

Distinguished Member
Don’t feel bad mate. You can be the most cautious person of them all but we can all let our guard down from time to time. I got done myself once. I tweeted Amazon one day to ask about a return. A short while later they sent me a DM and said they would process my refund no problem and I just needed to confirm the card number etc I paid worn first. I queried this but they said it needed to be done. I thought to myself that it was amazon and definitely trust worthy so I gave them the details. They had the right username etc and I didn’t think anything of it until 5 mins later when I realised they didn’t have the blue check mark. I instantly blocked my cards but in that time they’d emptied it (it only had about £80
In there at the time) by buying Xbox codes and dominoes pizza. I reported it and got my money back and learned a valuable lesson that day.
 

Grizabella

Standard Member
I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I almost fell for the Microsoft scam when it was first doing the rounds. I think I was just very tired and stressed at the time and they managed to trigger than panicked reaction which scammer seem to be so good at doing. Fortunately I came to my senses just in time.

I know quite a few perfectly intelligent and rational people who have fallen for scams including 2 IT security managers.

I think it's very positive to share experiences to try to stop it happening to other people.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Thank you!

I do think this is such an important topic, even for a tech Forum where everyone is (supposedly) clued up about this sort of thing.

It's just so easy to click "Send" or "Buy" these days, you can practically do it with your eyes shut.
Done
 

Plumsandpearls

Distinguished Member
Sorry to hear that woody.
Not really a scam, but amusing. The centre director in my workplace got hacked and sent out ab e mail to everyone " hey, are you free now ;)"
 

reiteration

Member
i got scammed out of 150 quid - was for an inflatable hottub from a 'seller' on facebook... he said he had a few to get rid of...knowing it was a decent price and that they wouldn't hang around long, i coughed up (well, from our joint account..)
 

reiteration

Member
Sorry to hear that woody.
Not really a scam, but amusing. The centre director in my workplace got hacked and sent out ab e mail to everyone " hey, are you free now ;)"

some years ago i at work i downloaded some software that allowed you to spoof emails and i sent a few to some colleagues pretending to be our manager and telling them off for surfing the web haha - it resolved his name from the GAL too so looked real - so, if they had or replied it would have went to him so i quickly went over and confessed :D

but another time i did similar to a colleague pretending to be paypal - i got all his details correct except his email address (sent it to his work one, and he used his personal one) and he spent hours trying to sort it out :D
 
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aVdub

Distinguished Member
Years ago I was looking for advice on AV equipment and general building around that kind of setup and had plenty of money to spend on it.

I was told to visit a placed called avforums and read their threads and now years later I am totally skint and feel as though this place has forced me to spend far too much buying the latest tech and most of the time, stuff that will sit in a draw.

If I could I would report all of you ;)
 

aVdub

Distinguished Member
some years ago i at work i downloaded some software that allowed you to spoof emails and i sent a few to some colleagues pretending to be our manager and telling them for surfing the web haha - it resolved his name from the GAL too so looked real - so, if they had or replied it would have went to him so i quickly went over and confessed :D

but another time i did similar to a colleague pretending to be paypal - i got all his details correct except his email address (sent it to his work one, and he used his personal one) and he spent hours trying to sort it out :D

You would have loved a program called Pri$m :)
 

FavouredAntelope

Well-known Member
I've posted on a few scam threads having totally forgotten I actually did fall for a scam many years ago!

It was perhaps 15 years ago now, but I remember trying to log into my online banking in what seemed like a natural way at the time: I typed my bank's name into Google and clicked on the first link. I just don't think it occurred to me anything could be wrong with that. Turns out it was a spoof site that looked just like the real one and I mustn't have clicked that it asked for my full security code instead of some of it. Nothing came of it as my bank flagged a fraudulent transaction and reset everything. I'm pretty certain Google have got better in this area since then, but I do still access every financial website via bookmarks or typing in the full address rather than searching.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
It must have been around 20 years ago I bought a laptop on Yahoo Auctions which wasn't anything special or particularly cheap and the seller had replied promptly to questions. However the moment payment was made I never heard anything from the seller and the laptop was never delivered. I made a number of stupid mistakes mainly because I thought Yahoo offered protection on their auctions which they didn't and I paid by Western Union. I know, I still can't believe I did that but at the time I just thought it was another payment method.

I remember how sick I felt initially as I realised it was a scam and then so angry with myself for being so stupid. However it was a valuable lesson and I've never been scammed since and far more careful with any purchases.

I feel sorry for scam victims who feel shame and want to hide what they've done when they are victims and they need help especially to try and make sure it doesn't happen again. Many of these scams are very clever and convincing as the scammers know the best way to trick people.
 

Notorious PIG

Well-known Member
Thankfully not so far, but the scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. I enjoy the Youtuber Pleasant Green’s exposés where he plays scammers at their own game. At times he also manages to delve into the psyche of scammers, and finds out a lot of background info about the scam call centres, the bosses, and how the scams operate. He’s also managed to help save duped victims from making huge payments to these scammers. Fascinating and educational stuff.
 

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