Top five worldwide scams

Top five worldwide scams everyone should watch out for.

Top five worldwide scams

There are many scams going around but here are five of the biggest worldwide that you should try to avoid getting caught up in.


For the most part eBay is a safe, hassle-free way to buy and sell inexpensively.  However, it can come with its possible scams, especially for sellers. A common problem to watch out for is a buyer who complains that the item they received is different to what you described in your advertisement. If the seller opens a Resolutions Case against you, and if they paid using PayPal, the funds you received from them are automatically frozen. There have been several instances where the seller agreed to refund the item and the buyer returns it. In the seller’s PayPal account there are two buttons: Issue a full refund, which returns the money to the buyer, and Request buyer to return then refund. If you click Issue a full refund, the buyer will get the refunded money and have the frozen funds returned to them.

Most eBay users are honest and easy to do business with, but avoid this situation entirely by describing the item you’re selling in minute detail. Leave no chance for the buyer to claim the item is different to how you described it in your advertisement.

 Gendered cosmetic products

When we’re at the supermarket looking to buy deodorant or a new razor, most of us will automatically head to the section designated for our gender—usually curve-edged, pink-coloured items for women, and sharper black/grey items for men. This is deceptive marketing at its finest. The theory is that product sales increase when consumers are split up into smaller groups. And gender is a big one. The video below details with painful accuracy how advertisers tweak the 'shape, texture, packaging, logos, verbiage, graphics, sounds, and names' of cosmetic products to target men and women. The video also makes the very valid point that apart from the exterior packaging, the actual product is often identical.

So, the next time you’re in the toiletries aisle at the supermarket, broaden your selection range by gazing across the aisle.

Video link

Dubious apps

Some iPhone and Android applications are worth parting with money for, others are definitely not.

One iPhone application called I Am Rich lasted only one day in the App Store before Apple hastily removed it. When the app is launched a glowing red gemstone appears, and when pressed displays the mantra:

I am rich

I deserve [sic] it

I am good,

healthy &


It served no function other than to show off how wealthy the owner was. Developed by Armin Heinrich this app would have set you back US$999.99. Eight people purchased the app, six from the United States and two from the European Union. At least one person said they bought it 'accidentally', thinking it was joke.

 Email scams

Email scams are something everyone should watch out for. These can range from a computer virus sent to you though an email from a friend’s hijacked email address, to scammers pretending to be reputable businesses asking for money.

A recent email scam targeting Australians is the ATO scam, which claimed to be from the Australian Taxation Office, and asked consumers to provide their names, addresses, date of birth and bank details, promising to search for any tax funds owed to them. The email was convincingly designed and included a replica of the ATO’s logo and a fake link to the ATO website.

More information about the ATO scam

Pyramid schemes

Based on a business model which relies on the recruitment of new investors to generate profit for current stakeholders, pyramid schemes are notoriously understood to be a scam for everyone involved. Except, of course, for those in charge (at the top of the pyramid), who continue to make money while the people further down do the work.

Pyramids schemes work on the premise that the more people investing in a particular business venture, the more money there is floating around for everyone. The opposite couldn’t be truer.  Since these schemes rely on new investors, rather than the sale of actual products, the venture must inevitably collapse because eventually there are too many people and not enough money to go around.

One classic example from 1920 was the 'Ponzi scheme', created by Charles Ponzi, who infamously promised investors a return of 50% in 45 days. These returns were set to be paid with the money from new investors, but the scheme failed, leaving five banks and all the investors broke. Ponzi himself made $20 million (about US$222 million today) through his scheme.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    16th Sep 2014
    Is this a SCAM please ?
    Or maybe a Virus/Malware ?

    I am having trouble with 2 sites that demand a 2-word identification test each time I want to log in to them
    They are: and
    I find this CAPTCHA test an annoyance and an inconvenience, and often the supplied words in the CAPTCHA are difficult to read/spell/re-type.
    They both have this identity test, and both sites say it is not caused by them, and that I should run AntiVirus test, but AVG does not find/fix/delete and the problem stays.
    The test is from “CloudFlare” and Wikipedia seems to imply that it is a test feature that the sites have set up.
    I can send screenshots of example window I get, and a screenshot brief from Wikipedia.
    There are two screen shots of window I am forced to respond to. i.e. the top half and the bottom half of the Window. The 3rd screenshot is an extract from Wikipedia.
    Your comments/help please ?
    Regards, Frank Frank Summers [email protected]
    Yer man
    16th Sep 2014
    Got a text message from my internet supplier to say that my e- mail address had been compromised. Sure was. In one day I got over 2000 e- mails. Could have contacted the culprit who left an email address on the letter that supposedly came from me. Would have been a bad move as this is what he wanted, confirmation that he had contact. Some mongrels out there.
    16th Sep 2014
    tikaroo, what do these sites promise?
    money, romance or what?

    to get rid of them run a malwaire program, that may do thtrick if not get a computer expert in.

    and i am amazed how peole fall for these scams.
    the end result is that in one form or another you will lose your money.

    if it is too good to be true than it is too good to be true.

    take all these offerings not with a grain of salt but tons and tons [imperial weight] and tonnes and tonnes [metric].
    16th Sep 2014
    About 10 years ago, my husband "bought" a camera on eBay for about $800.
    Turned out the site was a fake. He sent the money via Western Union. I believe PayPal is with eBay. To this day, I avoid all three. When we got in touch with WU it was too late - the disgusting thief had already collected the money. As for eBay, they didn't want to know and never answered our letters.
    My question is this : even if there is a lock symbol on a site, is it 100% safe??
    Can't scammers also put a lock symbol on a site? I never feel secure doing any business online. Even the banking, I get off-line asap.
    16th Sep 2014
    PS. Another question : why oh why is CAPTCHA always so difficult to decipher when it's
    only you around that has to copy it?? Seems so stupid.
    16th Sep 2014
    It's made difficult because there are computer bots that can read and respond to these sites as if they are human. The CAPTCHA tests are to sort out the humans from the bots. You just need to keep you glasses on when responding!
    16th Sep 2014
    Gotcha, OuterEastJeff! Thanks, now it makes sense.
    16th Sep 2014
    There is a good website called hoaxslayer which lists the latest hoaxes and you can also search their site.
    16th Sep 2014
    don't you worry there are many scams getting about. NOT all on computers either.
    In my local area, a lad was catching a train to geelong. but before i saw that, he was asking older ppl and perhaps some not so old, for $2 dollars. He had a brand new phone, newer than mine. and mines an old nokia, which is nearly cactus. anyway while i was waiting for train, another older lady came, and said to me you know that youngster just asked me for money? i said he asked me too. Then she said "that she was told, that if he asked 100ppl for 2dollars he could make quiet a bit.... and by looks of his electronics i beleive he has. and NOt even worked for it! lol unbelievable.
    16th Sep 2014
    first thing DO NOT use western union to send money to anyone unless you know them personally.
    second thing for scams is to subscribe to the scam alerts provided by the office of consumer affairs in the various state governments. i get mine from the w.a state.
    thirdly never take up a "free" offer or offers that promise money.
    and don't get sucked in on "romance".
    Coachman on the box
    29th Sep 2014
    Old people shouldn't be using stuff they don't understand.

    17th Apr 2016
    I got scammed but I was able to catch them before reporting to the police by hacking their emails and getting the real identity of the scammer with the help of this guy at [email protected] Thank you.

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