Online scam academies are offering classes on how to defraud people

Online scam academies are offering lessons on how to send spam texts and emails, and use stolen financial information for online purchases, among others.

Scammers are diversifying their trade by creating educational videos on the art of defrauding. Prospective scam artists are taught how to send spam texts and to use stolen financial information for online purchases.

Scam 101

An undercover investigation by the Mail has found that scammers are selling detailed step-by-step instructions online, as well as offering tutorials to get newbies onboard.

These video packages include lessons on how to trick people into giving away their financial accounts such as account, bank card information, date of birth, among others.

Upon completion of that module, scam students are then taught how to use these details to buy goods online from retailers including, John Lewis, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. These high-end, luxury items are then resold on internet marketplaces, the most common one being eBay.

An eBay spokesperson told the Mail:

We do not allow stolen property to be sold on eBay. We have dedicated teams who work closely with law enforcement to prevent and disrupt illegal activity and investigate sellers who may be in breach of this policy so that the appropriate action can be taken.

The Fraud Bible

For a tuition fee of £205, paid via Bitcoin, one scammer in a Telegram group, offered investigators software that creates phishing texts linked to fake webpages for banks and payment companies.

The scam teacher told investigators that these techniques were deployed in the PayPal and Royal Mail scam messages that exploded during lockdown.

Some fraudsters sell fraudulently-acquired financial and personal details of their victims for as low as £150.

One scammer who clandestinely advertises his ‘trade’ on TikTok afforded lesson packs called the Fraud Bible at a fee of £200. The dossier teaches how to defraud some 20 brands, including Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.

The Fraud Bible also has lessons on how to claim cashback from some of these major retailers. Prospective scammers are taught how to send fake angry emails about orders not arriving.

TikTok has since removed this video and scores of others after being alerted by the Mail. A spokesperson told the news media:

Our guidelines make clear that we do not allow content that promotes or enables criminal activities. Through a combination of technology and human moderation we remove content that breaches these guidelines.
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