Scam examples seen by Consumer Protection
Probably the most heart breaking stories we hear at Consumer Protection are from the victims of romance scams who, in some cases, have lost tens of thousands of dollars. Not only have these people been ripped off financially, but they have also had to endure the emotional fall-out from the fraud as well. We warn people on dating sites to be particularly wary about sending money to people they have only met online and don’t know very well.
The other major scams that cost victims the most money are bogus buyers and sellers of cars for sale and fake online ads offering rental accommodation. Consumers, who think they have bought a bargain and pay money upfront, then find that the car or property advert was a fake and they have lost their money.
There are also the advance fee frauds where people get an email or phone call saying they have won a lottery, are beneficiaries of an inheritance or are entitled to a grant but must first pay some fees before they are able to access the fictitious funds.
Consumers should always be suspicious when asked to send money to people they don’t know, particularly by wire transfer. Make every effort to verify that the person or business that you are dealing with and what they are offering is genuine before parting with your money.