Top Scams of 2022, which might stay around in 2023 – Aemilius Cupero
It is challenging today to imagine a life without the Internet; it has become an integral part of our daily lives. When the World Wide Web was launched, it was advised not to post your personal information online. Although time has changed, people are now comfortable sharing their information over the Internet. Still, people must remember that only a handful of people we encounter online have our best interests at heart.
Internet or online scams are continuously evolving and finding ways to be more convincing and difficult to spot. Statistics of these scams are mind-boggling; for example, in 2019 FBI reported a loss of over USD 3.5 billion due to internet scams in just the United States of America alone. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these numbers got even worse in 2020–2021, when people reported losing more than USD 5.8 billion.
Online scams are getting more severe day by day. Therefore, we at Aemilius Cupero have constantly tried to educate people regarding these scams through our several platforms such as Youtube, Linkedin, Medium, and many more.
As an International Law firm, we have encountered several scam cases in 2022 and decided to increase awareness concerning these scams in this article.
1. FOREX SCAM
Forex trading has gained enormous popularity among people to generate a sustainable and passive source of income. Although with the rising popularity, there is a growth in Forex-Scams as well.
What is Forex Scam?
Forex scams are investment frauds designed to attract investors by making false promises and unrealistic returns in the forex market.
Victims are targeted over the Internet through various social media platforms and are promised high returns on a comparatively small investment.
Forex Market has no centralized governing body. With an enormous amount of activity carried out daily, it is easier for a person to get confused and fall for a forex scam.
Types of Forex Scams:
Automated Trading Platform:
Some scam companies claim that you can make money while you are asleep and that you will get guaranteed returns as they have an automated trading platform. The system claims to analyze the trade and invest your funds to make a 100% profit, which is still far from the reality to assume.
No computer can predict economic events accurately, and people unavoidably lose money with such companies.
Multi-level/network marketing forex scams:
MLM forex scam companies ask people to pay a monthly fee. They will provide them with the signal, inside information, and forex education. These companies are more focused on recruiting people members in masses, allegedly, for a small commission. These companies usually take money from innocent people and vanish in thin air.
Forex Broker Scams:
Forex-broker companies allow people to buy and sell currencies through their trading platform. Sometimes these brokers are not even regulated by any government body. These unregulated brokers use fake trading platforms, which they control from their backend. They will discretely manipulate your trade transactions to get more money out of your pocket.
How to identify forex-trading scams?
Scammers are getting smarter these days, but a few trails of forex scammers are mentioned below.
Large/ Guaranteed profits. These scams often claim that you can yield a large amount of profit with a smaller amount to pay, that too, guaranteed! As they have some inside information or an automated trading platform. It is impossible to predict the forex market as many factors, mainly political and financial, affect it.
Unsolicited Emails/calls. These scammers tend to gather your information from various social media platforms beforehand. They will try to get in touch with you over email/calls and persist in investing in their platform with the collected information, often true as the user updates it regularly.
How to Avoid Forex Scams
Check if the broker/company is regulated:
It is easy for these scammers to develop a website. Before investing funds with these scammers, one should always ask for the company’s registration and see if they are regulated in your jurisdiction.
Check for genuine reviews:
Before investing your hard-earned money with any company, please check for the reviews for that company. Nowadays, these scammers manage to put fake reviews on the Internet; therefore, check their reviews on trusted platforms like Trustpilot, Sitejabber, etc.
The key takeaways about Forex Scams:
- Be careful while dealing with an offshore forex broker.
- Check for their legitimacy.
- Think before you invest in the forex market.
Please check our details article and video if you need more information on forex scams.
2. Shipping Container Scams
These scammers claim to lease you a shipping container as it will ship across the globe and generates profits. These scammers usually offer attractive investment returns up to 12% — 15% that too “GUARANTEED.” They are mostly based in a different jurisdiction than yours, due to which transparency becomes a concern.
Discounts on investments, guaranteed, and High returns on investments make people invest with them. They usually create an urgency like this offer is only for a limited period. It creates psychological pressure on victims to decide without properly verifying the supplier.
Now that these scammers have already convinced people to pay them a sum. After receiving the payment, they will return 20% to 30% to the people to gain their trust and convince them to pay even more.
After a certain period, they will tell you that your containers are not shipping anymore, and you will stop receiving your returns on investment. Although, in reality, no container existed in the first place. They will slowly stop answering your calls and emails, and no contact can be established with them.
How to avoid Shipping Container Scams:
Too good to be true discounts/offers:
We need to understand that leasing a shipping container is a costly undertaking, and they need significant investment. The scammer will offer you a “too good to be true” discounted rate and claim that it will be only for a short period to pressure you to loosen your pocket and pay them.
Know Your Supplier:
Scammers are getting smart these days, and they manage to host a website. You need to check their website carefully. Always try to get more information about the company by asking them several questions. Ask them for references and verify them personally.
Request for Appropriate Documents:
Request appropriate documents such as a Contract or an agreement (along with the Identity of the person signing it) and invoices for all the payments you make.
Check their Reviews:
The Internet is flooded with fake and genuine reviews. You should be able to identify genuine and fake reviews.
Pacific Tycoon and Davenport Laroche are prime examples of Shipping container scams.
Please check our detailed video explaining the Shipping container scam and Pacific Tycoon Scam.
3. Dating and Romance Scams
Recently, most adults have been using online dating websites or mobile applications. As more people seek to meet new people online, fraud opportunities also grow.
The criminals who carry out romance/dating scams are professional scammers. They do and will seem real, genuine, caring, and believable. These scammers intend to establish a romantic relationship as quickly as they endear themselves to the victim and gain trust. Scammers propose marriage and planings to meet in person, but that will never happen. Eventually, they will ask for money. These Con artists are present on most dating and social media sites.
Scammers mostly convince you they are Working in a crypto trading company and possess inside information to get guaranteed profits. They promise to meet in person or marry once the victim has secured all the profits. They usually ask the victim to make the payment in cryptos, making it difficult to track.
How to Avoid Dating Scams:
- Scammers use your details shared on social media and dating sites to understand better and target you, so be aware of what you post.
- Ask lots of questions and understand the intention of the person.
- Cross-check and verify their profile.
- Never send inappropriate pictures which scammers can use against you.
- Only send money to someone you have met, especially via crypto.
Check our detailed video covering this topic thoroughly.
4. Bitcoin Mining Scams
Bitcoin mining scams involve a fake company that claims to offer bitcoin mining services. Bitcoin mining is adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions or blockchain. These scammers request victims to make upfront payments and promise that the user will get rich quickly.
In Bitcoin Mining Scams, scammers are taking advantage of the hype around Bitcoin to steal money from unsuspecting victims. Bitcoin mining scams are not new, but they have become more common as the hype around Bitcoin has increased.
How to Identify and Avoid Bitcoin Mining Scams?
Always check for the company’s registration:
Most of these bitcoin mining scam companies need appropriate registration; they just put on a website on the Internet, having no means to validate their authenticity.
Check for the domain age of the company:
These scammers can not be in business for long as people notice their scam activities; therefore, they constantly re-register their companies with new domain names. While dealing with such bitcoin mining companies, It is important to check their domain age with the help of the Whois Domain Tool. It is a red flag if the company is a newly registered entity claiming to make millions as a profit.
Be aware of get-rich-quick companies:
The Internet is full of “get-rich-quick” bitcoin mining scams; if any company promises you will get rich overnight with bitcoin mining, they are trying to take your money and leave you with nothing. So always be aware of such companies.
We have a detailed video and article regarding BTC mining scams.
5. Tech Support Scams
A Tech Support Scam is a type of fraud that tricks people into paying for unnecessary technical support services. These scams are often carried out by phone, email, or pop-up ads.
The scammer will claim to be from a legitimate company and offer to fix your computer remotely. They will then request you give them access to your computer remotely so they can diagnose the problem. Once they have access, they will program your computer to malfunction and convince you that it is infected with malware and needs expensive repairs.
To fix the problem with your computer, they will ask you to make the payment using cryptos, gift cards, cash reload cards, prepaid cards, or money transfer apps because it is difficult to reverse the transactions made via these methods.
How to Identify and Avoid Tech Support Scams:
These scammers keep updating their tricks and technics; therefore, it is sometimes difficult to identify these scams. However, we will let you know the techniques they conduct so you can avoid them.
Below mentioned are some of their technics:
These scammers usually call you pretending to be from a Tech support company as a computer technician. They convince you there is something wrong with your computer and it has a virus. They ask you to give them remort access to your computer to run diagnostic tests. They try to fix the problem which does not exist in the first place.
Please listen to the call recording of such scammers recorded by my undercover FTC undercover agent.
“If you ever get an unsolicited call from a random person claiming a problem with your computer or your computer has a virus, it is most likely to be a Tech Support Scam. Do not entertain these types of calls.”
These scammers flood some websites over the Internet with a pop-up warning. These warnings will say that your computer has a virus and you must call a particular number to get rid of it. They might use logos of trusted companies to increase their believability.
“A legitimate company will never show a pop-up warning on a random website and never ask you to call a number to get support. Never call on such numbers or click any such link, as it might be a phishing link.”
A Note From Aemilius Cupero:
We at Aemilius Cupero have dealt with many scams and helped people recover their funds back, although we have a vision of a scam-free world. This goal can be achieved by educating people about these scams.
The sole motive of this article is to create awareness about these scams; please share this article with your loved ones to make them aware of it. Please ensure you send it to the older people in your circle, as scammers usually target them.
Some of the general tips to avoid these types of scams:
- Contact Aemilius Cupero and check the legitimacy of the company before investing.
- Be spectacle, always try to ask valid questions, and wait to give out money so easily to any company until you check their legitimacy.
- Do your preliminary research before investing your hard-earned money. Take a few minutes to examine the company. One of the easiest ways to check company’s legitimacy is to do a web search for its name followed by the words like “scam” or “reviews.”
- Watch out for suspicious payment requirements, as scammers often ask for wire transfers (to a different jurisdiction other than your own), cryptocurrencies, or gift cards. These are harder to track and cancel compared with other forms of payment.
Have you been a victim of any of the scams mentioned above?
Even if you have been a scam victim, please do not worry.
We at Aemilius Cupero have helped people recover money from all scams. Book your free consultation with highly experienced legal advisors to discuss your case and find a way to recover your lost funds.