Greed is innate of man. Some may disagree with this, but even selfless individuals have varying degrees of greed in them. The difference among men is how they control their negative characteristics. We all have been given the free will so we can decide which path to take. Unfortunately, not all men have been guided properly to choose and do what is right and just.
It has been said over time that money is the root of all evil. However, common sense tells us that money is just an object and we, creatures of intellect, are supposed to be wise enough not to be slaves of wealth. Still, this is not always the case.
For quite some time now, our society has been plagued with various schemes that guarantee big profits in no time. More often than not, and sadly enough, these quick money-making businesses are those deemed illegal. What’s even sadder is that, over the years, a number of people still fall victim to those deals despite widespread media exposure. Moreover, perpetrators take advantage of people from the rural areas, because they are the ones who have limited access to resources that would make them aware of such illegitimate businesses.
Scamming, in general, is cheating, swindling or doing fraudulent business.
At the height when these crimes were committed, a victim, most of the time a house help, was made to believe that his/her boss was in peril and that he/she was apparently instructed by his/her boss to give all cash and valuables on hand to a certain person. Thieves would really sound convincing and urgent over the phone, enough to make them believable that the victim would not think of checking first if the news was indeed true. Sometimes, the victim would check with the boss right after the transaction and find out that it was all a scam. Sometimes, the victim would be surprised when the boss comes home after work. Everything though is too late for the valuables to be handed to the thieves.
Almost all business transactions recently have been done online. From giving out salary to paying bills to shopping, online banking has become almost a necessity. However, there are still transactions that require consumers to pay in cash so consequently, withdrawing through an automated teller machine is necessary.
ATM skimming rose in the 21st century, when technology made it possible to steal money quietly. Thieves employ concealed card readers to copy all the personal details of the user from the magnetic strip of the card. To be able to know the PIN, thieves mount cameras giving a full view of the keypad. Another way of getting the user’s PIN is the use of a fake keypad that they put on top of the real keypad. After all these are done, they create a clone of the user’s card and now have full access to his/her money.
Charity is also being taken advantage of by people who let greed run their lives. The simplest form of generosity being abused is when a certain individual goes person to person, handing out a solicitation letter for some cause. More often than not, people will no longer check if such a cause is legitimate, especially if they will only dole out a small amount of money. However, if more people will be fooled by such, naturally, the small amount they donate will add up to a big amount.
Over the years, donation scams go up to the establishment of fake charitable institutions to be able to solicit money from well-known people (celebrities and politicians) and big companies as well.
Kidnap for Ransom
Kidnap for ransom, or taking a person against his will in exchange for money or other form of compensation, became rampant in the early 21st century. Crime syndicates involved in this kind of business take their time in studying a target’s schedule, until his/her routine is established and a plan is made around it. Usual targets are business people and their loved ones, usually kids, as they are easier to hoodwink and carry when needed.
Negotiations for ransom see the abductors resorting to blackmail to ensure that the victim’s family do not involve the police. Out of fear, naturally, the family, especially when able, will just give what the abductors ask for in exchange for their loved one’s freedom.
Blackmail, like many other things, has also become a part of our everyday life. In its simplest form of using serious or non-serious threats to get what we want, it has become a form of negotiation that people employ most of the time.
Parents use it to make young children eat vegetables or take naps or behave, for example.
Negatively, blackmail is also used to extort money. Common victims are well-known people like politicians and celebrities who are inclined to do anything to uphold their reputation. Taking advantage of this, thieves would either search for a target’s dark secret, or would fabricate one to make sure the target will agree to whatever they ask for just for the information to be contained.
Fake Freelance Jobs
With the advancement of technology giving way to various opportunities to work from home, more people, especially mothers with little children to take care of, try their luck in several freelance jobs online. There are a lot of sites to join in, with minimal fees to cover the security of each transaction.
Some people, in search of bigger income, take risks in entering transactions with no assurance of security. Even with websites that are supposed to be secure, there are still fake employers lurking who take advantage of newbie freelancers especially. The most common form of getting victimized by fake freelance jobs is doing what was posted on the job application and not getting paid afterwards.
For a long time now, illegal drugs have been a major problem in every society. No matter how people are made aware of their destructive effects on the body, they always find their way into families, encompassing all age groups and social status.
It is sad that nowadays, even those who live in the slums, with no food to eat sometimes, could afford drugs and become sellers as well. What’s worse is that those who are entrusted to ensure that these illegal drugs are disposed of and kept from the people are the same ones who protect the drug syndicates that distribute these stuff.
Fake Prize Bonds
The continuous progress of technology did not only bring about beneficial outcomes. It has also been used in perpetrating crimes that bank on people’s greed to succeed. One of these is sending out electronic mails informing the receiver that he/she won a huge amount from some raffle of a big company. The proof of the prize, bearing the official letterhead of the company and apparently signed by the designated person, is sent to the receiver and it is carefully made so that the receiver will be convinced that it is indeed a legitimate raffle prize. There is a catch though. The receiver is then asked to pay for a certain amount, which when compared to the alleged prize money seems like pocket change. Because of this, a lot of people have become victims of this scam.
Identity theft is not something new nowadays. It has even become more progressive with the advancement of technology.
Until now, there are still credit card owners who get surprised by unknown transactions billed on their accounts. Apparently, crime syndicates coerce people from the post office so they can get hold of credit cards instead of the real owners. Since credit cards are pre-activated already and most establishments don’t require identification with each credit card use, it became so easy for these crooks to make purchases on the stolen cards. In case of an identification check, they prepare counterfeit identification cards as well to present to the cashier.
Another form of this impostor scam that has been happening lately is one where the impostor asks for a replacement SIM card with the same number as the old SIM. Naturally, the old SIM that is with the owner will get deactivated and the impostor can gain access to the owner’s e-mails and bank accounts. He now has the power to change all the passwords and enable transfer of money online.
The influx of various social media sites brought a big impact not only on how people got connected with friends and relatives, but also in giving entrepreneurs and small business owners a wider reach for their products and services. Of all the sites, Facebook is still admittedly the most popular and widely used. However, like all the others, Facebook is no exception to being used for bad purposes as well.
While Facebook became a haven of trusted online shops, it has also become a platform for bogus buyers and sellers to flourish. Scammers included sellers who, after receiving payment for goods they apparently sell, would not ship out the items paid for or would ship out wrong items. There were also sellers who fell victim to scamming buyers. Those who do not have online access to their bank accounts would just rely on images of the deposit slips sent by their buyers. Little do they know that these deposit slip images could have been edited and by the time they shipped the items out, they would find out that no deposit had indeed been made.
These cases are not only common on Facebook, but on other social networking sites as well. It is important to do further research before entering into transactions to avoid being victims of scammers.