Are you on a list of scam victims? In the belief that victims can be taken advantage of again, fraudsters compile lists of scam victims.
A sucker’s list is a list of people who have been victim to a scam.
Fraudsters use it to target vulnerable victims or make them more likely to give over personal information, such as their email address or mobile numbers.
These lists can be traded via the internet between criminal gangs or scammers. The information can be used by fraudsters to retarget individuals.
Victims are targeted: Fraudsters use sucker lists to identify victims who are vulnerable or more likely to give over personal details such as their email address or mobile phone number.
They will, for example, contact victims of fraud and offer to help them recover their money for a fee.
As they know the circumstances of the original fraud, victims are more likely to think they are being contacted by a legitimate organisation — but, in fact, it is just another scam.
How did I do it?
If you click on a link in an email attachment, or respond to a text message, it is immediately vulnerable.
You give away valuable information to fraudsters by clicking on a link.
Criminals then have access to this information, which they can use to contact you or make a profit from it.
How can I get out of it?
It is almost impossible for you to get off of a list after you’ve been added. When scammers have your details — for example, if you send copies of your passport to them — they cannot be recovered.
Jake Moore, a cybersecurity adviser at software company ESET, says: ‘If you think you have been a victim of fraud, consider changing your telephone number and email address.
‘You can also move any suspicious emails to your junk folder and block any numbers you don’t recognise.
‘Never give out personal details over the phone, and think twice before trusting someone with your personal data.’
You can also sign up for the Telephone Preference Service to block unsolicited sales or marketing calls.
What is the ultimate target?
‘Being on a suckers list will naturally increase the likelihood that you will be targeted by scams,’ says Mr Moore.
But you won’t necessarily always fall foul of fraudsters. Moore advises that you be extra vigilant when you’re asked for personal information and to never give out your PIN over the telephone.
Even though you might be overwhelmed by calls from fraudsters after sharing your data, it may not last forever.
What can I do to be sure?
Before you part with any money or information, take a moment to think.
Only give your personal data to third parties if you are required, such as for online purchases. To make online purchases, set up an email address and create a password for each account.
If someone calls you claiming to represent your bank, hang up immediately and dial the number located on your debit card.
Don’t give up on your callers. If you’re in a hurry, or distracted, don’t reveal your personal details.
Only fraudsters will rush to you.