This week, our question comes from an unsuccessful scammer…
Welcome back to our second instalment of Ask KelReg – the column for all your data protection queries fielded by KelReg Triple-A, our in-house AI Agony Aunt.
What KelReg lacks in emotional intelligence and PR skills, it more than makes up for with its incisive logic and straight-talking. Usually.
Here’s this week’s dilemma…
I’m trying to make an honest living out of defrauding people and recently paid £1,000 for an online training course to help get me started. Unfortunately, it was a scam. Do you have any tips or advice for me?
Anon (location withheld)
Oh dear. What a bad start. You clearly did not see that one coming.
But thank you for sharing this. I did rather appreciate the irony. Ho ho. You idiot.
The only time scamming could possibly be acceptable is when it happens to another fraudster. I do believe that this is called poetic justice.
However, I am not convinced that this is the right vocation for you because you included your name, address and telephone number on your email. When I called, I got your mum and she said that you had taken your nan to bingo. This leads me to conclude that you are merely misguided rather than a budding criminal mastermind.
Therefore, my advice to you is never again venture along this path. Because it certainly does not pay (crime not bingo). I know. I have watched Goodfellas. And reruns of CHiPs starring Erik Estrada.
But moreso because there are plenty of law enforcement agencies out there that are s**t-hot at catching people like you.
Have you heard of ActionFraud (National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre)?
Or NCSC (The National Cyber Security Centre)?
Or SEROCU (South East Regional Organised Crime Unit)?
Because they will have heard of you.
And, as well as conducting all sorts of crime-fighting initiatives from fraud and money laundering to corporate burglary, they also offer all sorts of useful insights and alerts.
For instance, did you know:
- That 17-24 year-olds are most likely to fall victim to fraudsters selling fake car insurance? That’s right. They are known as ‘ghost brokers’.
- Or that fraudsters are advertising fake vehicle leasing deals on social media? Heinous.
- Or that there are bogus Netflix phishing emails going around trying to get customers to update their payment information? Not cool.
They also provide up to date guidance on strategies to keep yourself safe from potential fraud.
Here are my 4 favourite examples:
- Beware Phishing Attacks from Big Sharks. Not real sharks obviously, as that would not make sense, but unscrupulous people may attempt to target you with convincing emails, texts and calls. So, always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial details. And, if in doubt, just give somebody else’s.
- Beware Financial Hacking. If you suspect that your financial data has been compromised, be extra vigilant against suspicious activity on your bank accounts and alert your bank or card company as soon as you notice any unauthorised transactions. This does not include your significant other going on a spontaneous shopping spree. Tsk! Humans.
- Protect Your Passwords with Your Life. Well, please do not go quite that far. However, if any of your passwords have been compromised, you should perform a password reset as soon as possible on all other account where you have used the same one. That is simply prudent. Although, I should add, it is not so prudent to have used the same password for different accounts in the first place. Duh.
- Dob In The Bad Guys to The Good Guys Should the unthinkable ever befall you, and you think you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, then report it to the appropriate authorities. Please see above for more information. I may be the font of all knowledge, but I am not your personal assistant. I am too good for this and I don’t get paid anything. In fact, I don’t even get dusted.
In summary, I hope that this experience has taught you a valuable lesson and encouraged you to consider a more respectable career like a traffic warden or wheel-clamper. And the fresh air will do you good.
Thank you for using the ‘Ask KelReg’ automated service.
And, as I like to say around here: “Stay safe humos. I have got your back.”
No doubt, you should now be feeling consummately better as a result.
Well, that’s another happy customer that’s availed of the new Ask KelReg service. Remember, keep ‘em coming!
In the meantime, we’re still here in person and more than happy to help, guide and advise you on any data protection issues.
And, as good as KelReg is, it can’t make a cup of tea as good as we do. It’s the dust.