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Fraud Awareness

At UK Asia Remit, we believe that by working together, fraud can be averted. This starts with understanding the various scams in the market. Below is a summary of the common types of fraud in the market but please remember that there are always new and more advanced methods of fraud being deployed by fraudsters, so please remain vigilant at all times. Also, we have compiled a list of handy tips to avoid becoming a victim of a scam and what steps to take if you suspect that you may have become a victim of a scam.

Advance Fee Fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise. Types of advance fee fraud include: Career opportunity scams, clairvoyant or psychic scams.

The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim to pay or simply disappears.

The victim is contacted by mail, phone, fax or email.

Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code prohibits this activity, hence this activity is also known as ‘419’ Frauds.


You’ve won £30,000 cash prize or a lottery jackpot and in order to claim it, send a payment for £100 as a release fee in order for you to receive your prize.

A clairvoyant, for a small fee, will increase your wealth, happiness, love life, professional or personal success.

You’ve got your dream job, and have to make payments for taxes, visas, 'anti-terrorism certificates' or any other reason

Protect Yourself. Do not reply if an email is received and delete the email. Ask yourself why would a stranger trust you with such a large sum? Never travel to anyplace if requested to do so. Look out for badly written emails with someone claiming to be a distant relative requesting you to keep the request secret and to act quickly. Companies would never ask you to pay a smaller amount to release large amount. You are contacted by other individuals or companies making the same request, these are the same people using different details.

Accommodation Fraud

An accommodation is offered for rent below the market rate, popular sites such as Gumtee are used to advertise the fake property. Pictures of actual properties are added to the advertisement so that the property appears to be genuine. If the victim wishes to view the property, the fraudster will claim that he is out of the country and due to the high demand, a deposit should be sent to him using a money transfer company.

Protect Yourself. The best way to protect yourself is to book directly with reputable company. Research the property being advertised. Ask the property owner about the area, is he vague or can he confirm the information you have obtained from researching the area. If booking a property for travel through a travel agency, check if the body is registered with ABTA or ATOL. Never send money through a money transfer company as a deposit or any other payment for the property.

Lottery Scam

This is a type of advance fee fraud. The fraudster will contact potential victims to tell them that they have won a lottery. The victims are then told they need to pre-pay taxes, legal or registration fees to claim their winnings. Fraudsters can contact victims over the phone, email, mail, text message or even through social media.

Protect Yourself. Lottery companies do not ask you to make a payment in advance to claim your winnings. Ask yourself, if you are contacted by a particular lottery company, have you played that particular lottery? Lottery companies never contact you over social media.

Grandparent Scam/ Family Emergency Scam

The fraudster contacts the victim, usually a grandparent claiming that the grand child is in distress requesting for funds to be sent to pay hospital fees or other fictious expenses. The fraudster will tell the victim not to inform anyone of the request and may call later at night to confuse the relative, pushing the relative to act quickly. Contact is made via social media or emails.

Protect Yourself. Ask yourself, does the message sound like the language used by the relative? Ensure you contact the relative on a known contact number to ensure that the request is genuine.

Employment Fraud

The demographic most targeted by this fraud are 18-25 year olds. Fraudsters often recruit for dream jobs that require few skills, qualification or education. The fraudster will then ask for money to help with writing a CV or to pay for expensive training programs, to pay immigration lawyers for overseas jobs, to pay for travel and accommodation for a foreign job. The fraudster can also ask you to call a premium rate number and keep you on hold for a long time or a fake interview is conducted. The fraudster could request for your bank account details then steal money from your account.

Protect Yourself. Ask yourself, does the job seem too good to be true? Check ads/documents for poor spellings & grammer, check official records to confirm the organisation offering the job actually exists- If the company exists, contact the company directly, has the agent or recruitment agency provided a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook or other non-company email addresses?



Mystery Shopper Scam

Mystery shopper scam is when scammers pose as retailers looking to lure people into being secret shoppers. They ask victims to pay for their products or training and then take off with their money. Fraudsters will also steal a victim’s personally identifiable information from the application they filled out and commit identity theft.

Fake checks are used in another variation of the mystery shopper fraud. In this scam, the victim fills out an online form to sign up to be a secret shopper, potentially disclosing important personal information like their address, date of birth, and national insurance number. The victim is then mailed a cheque to utilise for covertly shopping at a retailer. The victim starts shopping as directed after the check posts to their bank account. In some cases, the victim is instructed to purchase reloadable cards and email images of them along with their PIN card numbers. The victim is responsible for paying back all of the money they spent along with any bank fines once the bank realises the check is a phoney.

Protect Yourself. Ask yourself, does the job seem too good to be true? Check ads/documents for poor spellings & grammer, check official records to confirm the organisation offering the job actually exists- If the company exists contact the company directly, has the agent or recruitment agency provided a Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook or other non company email addresses?

Romance Scams

Romance scams involve victims being tricked into giving money to fraudsters who go to great measures to win their trust and convince them that they are in a real relationship. They use language to manipulate, persuade and exploit so that requests for money do not raise alarm bells. These requests may be very emotional, such as when scammers demand money for urgent medical attention or to cover travel expenses to see the victim if they are located abroad. Over time, scammers will develop a relationship with their target.

Protect Yourself. Do not send money to someone you have not met. Speak to family and friends to get advice. Profile pics may not be genuine. Conduct a reverse image search, this can be done by conducting a search using google image and uploading the picture.

Charity Fraud

Fraudsters claim to be raising funds for a fake charity or imitating a genuine charity. Recurring payments may be requested. A demand will be made to make a donation immediately. Request will be made for payment by using a money transfer company, cash or wire transfer.

Protect Yourself. A check can be made on the charity commission website to confirm if a charity is genuine. Genuine charities do not pressurise to make a donation immediately. Genuine charities do not ask you to make payment using a money transfer service company, cash or wire transfer.

Immigration Scam

The fraudster will claim to be calling from a visa application officer or the home office. They will claim that there is a serious issue with your visa. They will normally target students and appear genuine, giving out fake names and a contact number. They will demand immediate payment to avoid deportation or the cancellation of your visa.

Protect Yourself. The home office or visa application officer will not make contact by phone or email, they will send a formal communication to your address. They will not ask you to send money using a money transfer service, wire transfer or cash. Do not give out any personal information, do not pay them.

Internet Purchases

The victim purchases an item on the internet but the item is not received after payment is made. Fraudsters use online shopping scams as they can hide their identify and target numerous victims. The most common scams occur on online auction sites.

Protect Yourself. Research the price of the item compared to other similar items, is It vastly different? Fraudsters will usually use stock images or images from other website, conduct a reverse google search of the image. Only use the payment methods advised on the site. Ensure you are not on a copycat/fake website of the original. The fake site will have a different website to the original site.

Tax Refund and Rebate Scams/ Tax Fraud

An email or text message is received from HMRC about refunds or rebates. Fraudsters may spoof a genuine email address or change the ‘display name’ to make it appear genuine.

The fraudster may also contact the victim demanding a tax payment and threatening the victim with arrests, fines or other consequences if the fine is not paid. An urgent demand will be made to make payment through a money transfer company.

Protect yourself. Never click or links given in an email or text message. HMRC will never send emails or texts about refunds or rebates. Government agencies do not demand payment over the phone nor do they ask for payment via a money transfer company.

Tech Support Fraud

Tech Support scams are where fraudsters use scare tactics for unneeded technical support services, to fix issues that do not exist. Fraudsters may call claiming to be representing a tech company. Fraudsters could also get the system to display a fake error message on a website with a support number given.

If permitted to access the system through remote access, the fraudster will install malware or other damaging software on the system.

Protect Yourself. Tech companies do not make unsolicited calls, emails or messages. Never call a number that appears on a pop up. Tech companies will not ask you to pay for tech support, especially via a money transfer company, through gift cards or Bitcoin. Ensure you use a strong firewall and anti-virus/ anti-malware on your system.

Counterfeit Cheque Fraud

Fake or counterfeit cheques are printed in a manner that they give the impression that they are genuine cheques. Fraudsters will usually make contact to pay for an item you are selling. The amount of the cheque will usually more than the amount of the item. The fraudster will claim that the reason for this is to cover shipping costs etc. The fraudster will ask you to bank the cheque and send the excess amount when the cheque clears. As the cheque is a fake, when banked, it will originally clear but only be later picked up by the bank as a fake. The bank will then debit the amount from your account. By the time the victim realises this, the money has already been sent to the fraudster.

Protect Yourself. Overseas buyers pose the greatest risk. If shipping costs are not agreed to then there is a good chance that the buyer is a fraudster. Never send back money for an excess amount of a cheque.

Flipping Money Scams

The fraudster sends a message over social media about a quick tip on how to double or triple your money if you give a small amount to a contact. Once the fee has been paid, the fraudster will block the victim on social media. Some fraudsters ask for additional personal details such as bank account details or banking logging in details. Once handed over, the accounts are cleaned out.

Protect Yourself. If it sounds too good, it probably is. Ask yourself, why would someone give you free cash? Never provide personal or financial details to strangers. If it is a known company that has made contact, hang up and call the company directly.

Debt Elimination Fraud

Unlike legitimate companies who work with debtors to help them responsibly repay their debts, debt elimination scammers promise to make you debt free in exchange for a modest upfront or membership fee ( which can be requested by sending a money transfer) which they simply pocket. Victims pulled in by these schemes will certainly lose that fee, but they may also lose property, incur additional debt, damage their credit rating, risk identity theft, or face legal action.

Protect Yourself. If it sounds too good, it probably is. Ask yourself, why would someone give you free cash? Never provide personal or financial details to strangers. If it is a known company that has made contact, hang up and call the company directly.

Follow the below rules to avoid becoming a victim of fraud

  • Ask yourself, does the offer appear too good to be true? If it does, then it probably is.
  • Do not give out the details of your money transfer to a third party, including the pin number.
  • Do not rush in to a deal or offer, take time to think about it. Consult a friend or take legal advice.
  • If a family member has made contact, have you tried calling them on a known contact number?
  • If you have not met the person, do not send them money
  • Never send money for goods and services using a money transfer service, only use the payment option given on the selling site
  • Ask yourself, when you have taken a loan or credit card from a reputable company, have they ever asked you to pay an upfront fee? If they are asking for payment then it is a scam.
  • You may not have won the lottery, but have you ever heard of someone winning the lottery but having to make an upfront payment? Why would the lottery company not just deduct the upfront payment required from the lottery winnings? If you are being asked for an upfront payment, it is a scam.
  • Never give out personal details or financial details to a stranger.
  • Always log in to a website directly, do not use links to log in.
  • Only download software from known sources
  • Be suspicious of ‘cold callers’, anyone calling to sell you goods or services.
  • Install an anti-virus/ anti-malware and firewall on your system
  • Do not click on suspicious links whether encountered on your browser, emails or text. Do not call any numbers given in suspicious pop ups on your browser or PC.
  • If you believe you have been contacted by a well-known company, hang up and call back the company.
  • Never send back money for an excess amount of a banked cheque.
  • Remember to use reverse image searching to check suspect items for sale and for suspect profile pictures.



Steps to take if you suspect you have become a victim of a scam:

  • Inform the police
  • You can also report the matter to action fraud: visit actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040 to log your case
  • Contact the UK Asia Remit customer support team on 03339202142. We will endeavour to provide as much help and support as we can.

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