If you are anything like myself, you would never think it possible that anyone could scam you. Well I belonged smugly in that club until yesterday.
My guilty pleasure is reading the online tabloids, there was a story in one, that I clicked on, about a boy who had paid off his mum's mortgage.
This is where the scam begins. It looks like you are reading a legit news story but it's actually an advert that diverts you off the main website, I'm still not sure how I didn't notice. The website is basically a clone of the news site that you are on and as you don't suspect anything you accept everything at face value.
It wasn't until later, when I properly looked I saw that the newspaper name had changed and I must have been redirected without knowing.
The story is written very well and even mentions the boy going on This Morning. Holly Willoughby apparently tries his technique (investing in bitcoins), this part is obviously fake but as a reader, you believe that it's true, you are suckered in - it's endorsed by a celebrity. I genuinely believed Holly Willoughby had invested £200 and made money in the space of an hour.
The next part of the scam adds to reeling you ion, hook, line and sinker. The 'journalist' who has written the article also tries making money from bitcoins and succeeds. This reinforces it as true, you think you are reading the work of a reputable journalist.
The last part of the scam is at the end of the article where the public normally post comments. Every single person claims to have made money.
1. You believe you are on a genuine website
2. A celebrity 'endorses' it
3. The journalist endorses it
4. The public endorse it.
At this point, I think there's no harm looking at the link and this is where I get very lucky. My anti virus kicks in. it flashes up a warning that the site is dodgy. it's then I notice that the site isn't the newspaper site I thought I was on. I then did a google search and saw all the references it to it being a scam.
I felt so lucky my anti-virus software was working as I on the verge of spending £200, which ultimately I would have lost.
Yes I knew if it's too good to be true it probably is, but did this stop me? No it wouldn't have, I was quite prepared to take a gamble and ultimately I would have lost.
The moral of this? Don't believe you are too clever for the scammers and check your anti-virus is up to date!