London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Four convincing scams that Which? is warning people to watch out for in 2023

Four convincing scams that Which? is warning people to watch out for in 2023

The consumer group has issued a warning about the most convincing scams targeting consumers so far this year.
Consumer group Which? has issued a warning about the most convincing scams it has seen so far in 2023.

The consumer group said a range of sophisticated scams are circulating.

Lisa Barber, Which? tech editor, said: “It’s appalling that 2023 has seen scammers continuing to thrive, as a new wave of convincing scams bombards consumers from every direction.”

She added: “Consumers can help protect themselves from scams by accessing the wide range of free, expert advice on Which?’s website, from signing up to our scam alerts service to getting answers on how to get their money back if they do fall victim to fraud.”

Earlier this month, the UK Government published a new fraud strategy, to include banning cold calls on all financial products, such as those relating to insurance or sham cryptocurrency schemes.


The Government also plans to work with Ofcom to use new technology to further clamp down on number “spoofing”, so fraudsters cannot impersonate legitimate UK phone numbers.

Under the plans, banks will be allowed to delay payments from being processed for longer to allow for suspect payments to be investigated.

Here is Which?’s list of scams to watch out for:

1. Pig butchering

These scams have been given their name by fraudsters because they “fatten up” the victim by forming a romantic connection before executing the investment part of the scam.

The scammer and victim typically meet on a dating site and the victim is “love-bombed” for some time by someone who appears to take a great interest in their life. The scammer will often encourage their victim to move from the dating platform to a private messaging service, thus removing them from any protections the dating website might offer.

When the victim is sufficiently groomed, the scammer claims they have been having success investing – typically in property or cryptocurrency – and they offer to invest some of the victim’s money. If the victim consents, they are sometimes shown a crypto trading platform controlled by the scammers, and encouraged to sign up and begin depositing funds. One UK victim lost £107,000 to such a scam, believing she was investing in retirement apartments overseas, Which? said.

2. Fake missing person appeals

People are being asked to share fake online posts about missing people more widely.

Which? said its experts know they are fake because there are near-identical posts in community pages across the world, simply with the location being changed.

Comments are turned off on the posts to avoid people pointing out the inconsistencies, Which? said.

After the post has gained a large number of likes, the contents are edited into something completely different, such as a straightforward investment scam.

The large number of likes and shares that stay on the post lends credibility to the fraud.

Which? said the “despicable” scam relies on responsible citizens liking and sharing posts in an attempt to help, which they do, in large numbers.

Some missing person posts are genuine but Which? said it can sometimes be difficult to tell.

To avoid perpetuating a scam or unwittingly participating in stalking or harassment, Which? suggests only sharing official posts, posted by organisations such as the police or the Missing People charity (missingpeople.org.uk).

3. PayPal scams

People will receive a “money request” from a genuine PayPal email address. This might seem above board but scammers may send out fake payment requests, often for high-value items, or posing as HMRC to demand “overdue” tax payments, Which? said.

In some versions of the scam, the fake invoice states the victim’s PayPal account has been compromised and urges them to call a fake fraud hotline.

People should never pay PayPal invoices they do not recognise, or call phone numbers in those invoices, the consumer group said.

4. Fake app alert

Some apps can install malware on phones, steal data and perpetuate scams, Which? warned.

It said app stores do take steps to crack down on the problem but threats can remain.

When installing an app, click on the developer’s name and check what other apps it has made to see if these seem legitimate, Which? suggested.

It also said people should remember that app reviews can be faked. The app will likely ask users for permissions – to use the camera, for example. These need to be relevant and proportionate to the functions of the app, Which? said.

People who believe they may have been scammed should contact their payment provider immediately and report it to Action Fraud.
Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen Assaulted in Central Copenhagen
UN to Add Israel to Human Rights Blacklist
×