The possibilities opened up by technology are endless - but nor just for the law-abiding.
Beware of Olympics scams
Tickets for the London 2012 Olympics do not go on sale until March 15, but that hasn’t stopped the fraudsters.
According to the Metropolitan Police, 30 people have been arrested for trying to get people to part with their cash for fake tickets.
Smart criminals know how easy it is to set up professional-looking fake websites; remember that the only way to apply for a ticket in the UK is at tickets.london2012.com or in any Lloyds TSB branch.
If you buy a ticket from an unauthorised website or tout you risk losing money and not getting what you paid for.
iPhone ‘jailbreaking’ scam
Since it was announced that iPhone jailbreaking – where users can download apps not approved by Apple – is legal in the US, fraudsters have been trying to take advantage. In one scam iPhone users receive an email telling them to visit a web page where the software is available. This is a scam to try to steal victims’ bank details and other information. Clicking on the link will add a virus to your iPhone, which logs the information the user puts into all the sites they visit. Fraudsters can use this to steal a person’s identity, withdraw money and make other transactions in the victim’s name.
British soldier dating scam
A number of women have fallen victim to a twist on familiar internet dating scams, where the fraudster pretends to be a British soldier. These fraudsters form online relationships with individuals over weeks and months, then ask for money so they can set up a telephone link near a military base abroad.
Some women have parted with hundreds of pounds only to be left feeling humiliated. Many people caught by this kind of con are too embarrassed to tell anyone – don’t be. It’s the only way they will ever get caught.
What was your first Facebook status?
Now Facebook has become so popular, the potential for con artists to take advantage of it is huge.
One trick involves asking users if they want to find out what their very first ‘status’ update was. A message which has been posted to a user’s profile will ask them to follow a link and fill out their personal details.
In reality they are taken to a fake Facebook application that asks for permission to access the victim’s profile; allowing them to access to personal information.
Free iPad scam
This ‘offers’ you the chance to review an Apple iPad and keep it as a reward. Victims are sent an email to say market research companies want people to review the gadget. They’re told that the testing lasts for a month, after which they can keep the device. The emails seem to be sent from a friend and are signed off by a believable-sounding company. Those who click on the link land on a website that asks them for their name, email addresses and passwords for social networking profiles.