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Scammer Warning - We are all at risk

Con artists targeting 3m Britons, says watchdog - Scotsman.com News

MORE than three million people are potentially at risk from scams in Britain, as experts warn that billions of pounds could be lost during the worsening economic downturn....

Decimal point error - according to Her Maj there are Thirty Million taxpayers who are at risk from the scammers who have conned us out of billions of pounds which will be lost during the worsening economic downturn..

As the article continues:

Gareth Thomas, minister for trade, development and consumer affairs, said: "Scammers cause deep anguish to their victims. Anyone can be targeted by these criminals, ... cost the UK billions of pounds each year."

Ron Gainsford, chief executive of the Trading Standards Institute, urged the public to be on their guard all year round for unexpected letters, e-mails, text messages or telephone calls. He added: "We ask you to stop, think and ask yourself, 'What's in it for them?'"

Normally they are trying to keep their seat in Parliament....


You can atually have some fun with these scammers, particularly those emanating from West Africa.

After voluminous correspondence I sent a scammer a Westin Onion money transfer to a bank on the other side of Nigeria from Lagos where my new friend lived (the IP address on his email told me that). It wasn't a real transfer of course but then he wasn't to know that until he got there.

Three days later I got an angry email ending, "You lied to me Reverend, and you a man of God!"

Now if only such fun could be had with the Taxman!

Only thirty million "at risk" then? What, the rest do not have even a postal address? Or perhaps are illiterate? Oh, and do not go to the pub...

Yes, scams and confidence-tricksters are a problem. And we could wish people (including me) to be wary. But cast the net wider and include so-called "legitimate" scams. Unsolicited credit offers, and related (I keep throwing away adverts for "credit cards" that offer two hundred dollars of credit, and "only" charge one-hundred-fifty up front after a sixty dollar "fee" for processing an application) junk. Diet offers (note: even the Grapefruit Diet of the Twenties could cause large weight loss for a few months, but NO diet has ever been shown to work for more than a couple of years without other life-style changes which could do the job without the "diet"). I am tempted to include cosmetics, which are hilariously overpriced, but heck - even I like to look and smell decent, if not nice.

I thought EVERYONE was at risk of being conned. Or have I been watching too much Hustle?

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