At ukdata.com we receive hundreds of emails about fraud of all types and over the years have built up a series of help pages to try and prevent people being ripped off. Most of it is common sense and the majority of the people we help read our fraud prevention pages, make some inquiries of the seller (usually when buying an iPhone) and discreetly bail out of the purchase.
Who knows, some of them may even head down to an Apple/Mobile Phone store, buy the real thing and be glad they didn't lose their money.
Several years ago I blogged that the frauds are usually obvious and even when a whole series of barriers were put in front of people, Western Union payment only, multiple payments for tax and shipping, the use of mobile numbers and free email accounts some people still fell for the con artist.
Late Friday evening I saw following live chat while managing the support desk, I have changed the names to protect the visitor but the message is clear - read the pages, they are there to help you.
Visitor: is tell limited a fraud company???and can we buy things from them???
Call accepted by operator Operator. Currently in room: Visitor, Operator.
Visitor: can u pls ans my questiond??
Operator: Have you bought the credit report or read the fraud pages?
Visitor: but i wud like to noe if tell company is a fraud??
Operator: Have you read our help section about company fraud?
Operator: Everything you need is explained here - much more easily than if tried to help you on this system
Visitor: i hav orderd for i phones and they r cheap
Visitor: but i am nt sure if i shud conti nue or not
Visitor: shud i back out???
Operator: Sorry, did you read those pages?
Operator: All of them. they detail our experiences with over 500 fraud cases. If you get offered a cheap mobile phone from a retailer who only takes Western Union and has no proper land line telephone number should you:
Operator: 1. Send some money or
Operator: 2. Stop being so daft
Visitor: no he does nt want western union transfer he has a bank account
Operator: So how are you paying?
Visitor: and he does hav a phone number and we contacted him also
Operator: And what is the phone number?
Operator: And why then are you concerned?
Visitor: cause i still am nt sure if he is a fraud or nt
Operator: How are you paying and what is the phone number?
Visitor: cause his deal is buy 3 iphone 4 and get 1 free
Visitor: and each of them costs 380 usd with shipping
Visitor: and he is published on many sites
Operator: and how are you paying?
Operator: and what is his number?
Operator: Did you read the whole fraud section of just the first page? - http://ukdata.com/help/company-fraud/identity-fraud
Visitor: tats his number
Visitor: and his name is xxxx jones
Visitor: about d payment he said tat he has an account in india and we can pay there
Operator: So you read this page http://ukdata.com/help/company-fraud/how-to-spot-fraud (I know that you did from the logs) and you have carried out the recommendations we make to check company/phone number?
Operator: No, you just want a cheap iPhone, you really want it to be true and no matter what i say, no matter what pages i send you, you really want to order!
Visitor: ya i want a cheap i phone
Operator: So, If you send me £1000 I'll send you 2 iPhones and a 1st class ticket to collect them
Visitor: but am nt sure if d guy is rite
Visitor: alrite i am going and reading tat page
Operator: At last!