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Friday, January 06, 2006

Scams 'dupe millions in Britain'

As many as five million people may have been lured into responding to con artists, according to new research.

The consumers' magazine Which? says the most common successful fraud involves people dialling premium rate phone lines to claim non-existent prizes.

Other cons involve prizes offered by letter or e-mail, adverts for home money-making schemes, bogus lottery winnings and clairvoyants.

Research by Which? suggests that 28 million people have now been targeted.

Most Common Types of Fraud

  • Premium rate phone calls - 34% of adults

  • Direct mail - 33%

  • Home working - 28%

  • International lotteries - 16%

  • Bogus clairvoyants - 10%

  • Pyramid and matrix schemes - 6%

Kassie Smith warned that once you respond, it exposes you to more such frauds.

"You end up on a 'suckers' list' and keep getting targeted by new scams," she said.



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