Have you ever been a victim or a witness to a scam? Do you think you’d be able to tell if someone was trying to scam you? Scams come in many forms, it includes emails that attempt to trick you into handing out financial information.
In this article, I’ll show you the top countries where fraudsters and the risk of being scammed are very common. When it comes to scamming, it looks as if crime really does pay.
Internet scamming is most prevalent when people are in need of a certain item or service, usually things that they cannot afford. The internet scamming business has been growing over the past decade and is becoming more prevalent every year. Internet scammers have been able to outsmart the government and law enforcement agencies by staying one step ahead of them.
Unfortunately, internet scams are difficult to track down because these criminals operate through offshore banks. The victims of these internet scams are often left with little to no recourse, missing their money and no way to even report it.
Being a victim of a scam, fraud or robbery is not a nice experience at all. It can cause emotional and mental trauma for the victim. It’s quite rare to see someone who hasn’t been a victim of a scam in our world today.
Technology has so advanced that one does not need a gun to rob a bank, or homes to invade and get valuable items to steal and sell. They can now do this in the comfort of their homes. All you need to do is build your skill in computer literacy.
Before now, scammers operated physically. They met different targets in person and used various dubious ways to swindle people of their money and properties. In many nations, this is still a significant part of the game, while in others; it has been completely changed with the world tending to the digital space.
Before reading this guide, I suggest you see our post on how to reverse a mistaken bank transfer.
Over time, scamming has morphed into a global problem. Because so much money is exchanged via the internet, e-commerce platforms have been one of the methods used to defraud people and businesses all over the world for millions of dollars.
Could be in form of cryptocurrency (BTC is the most common cryptocurrency used). Scammers also use Non-Fungible tokens (NFTs); the latest trend in the digital world.
Experienced scammers or should I say highly upgraded scammers prefer to hack accounts that hold lots of funds. Some hackers hack into the country’s database and charge the excess amount of funds to release it or sell it at a very high rate to their enemies.
Table of Contents
Medium Used By Cyber Criminals to Scam
There are several different types of internet scams. Some of them are designed to steal your personal information while others are designed to steal your money. It is important that you know the tell-tale signs of an internet scam before you fall victim to one.
The most common types of scams that involve the Internet include:
- Phishing schemes or spoofing
- Identity theft
- Credit card fraud
- Scholarships and grants advance fees
- Dating, relationship, and hookup scams
- Fake checks
- Tech support for a non-existent issue
- Impersonator in distress
- Payments to claim fake lottery winnings, sweepstakes, gifts, and prizes
- Fake business loans advance fees
- Bogus charity
Which Country Has The Highest Number Of Scammers In The World
Recently, it was made public in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine that Ukraine’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) was disrupted causing a lack of communication both between troops and civilians who want to reach out to their loved ones.
Also, One Ring Finance revealed internet fraudsters stole a mouth gaping sum of $1.4 million from the One Ring protocol through a flash loan attack. The hacker, who made off with over $1.4 million in USDC, set the contract used for the exploit to self-destruct at a specified block, making it nearly hard to determine which functions from our contracts were utilized to steal the funds.
Another cause of a high-level scam is the recent NFT Heist where $600 million worth of NFT assets were hacked. There was a security breach on Ronin Network. The hackers used this as an exploit and hijacked the assets which totaled up to 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC. This heist is said to be the biggest crypto-related theft of all time.
And if it is not, it is one of the greatest.
Seeing all this easy money, people who are desperate for money will do anything to learn the right skills to make this easy money. Governments around the world are trying to implement top-notch security to curtail these scams. It’s funnily sad that scammers are also upgrading.
If you by any chance live in one of the top ten most scamming countries, you should be aware that there are a large number of scammers and be careful in how you operate in the digital space.
The countries listed below, in no particular order of priority, have been confirmed to be more involved in the business of scamming than the majority of the world’s countries.
In Pakistan, the most common scamming system is disguising as military personnel on social media and online dating sites. Scammers pretend to be soldiers on duty in Pakistan. It is an honor to date a soldier or chat with military personnel, especially a high-ranking officer. This is why many unsuspecting people get scammed.
Law enforcement agencies have created awareness for citizens to be alert. Catching such scammers proves to be tough because it’s a fake profile.
Indonesia is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet yet a terrible reputation due to scammers. If you plan to visit someday, have it in my mind that you can be scammed.
Because of its high youth population and robust economic growth, Indonesia has always been a viable market for e-commerce and online shopping development. Each year, the number of online shoppers in Indonesia rises in tandem with the growth of e-commerce.
According to FT Confidential Research, Indonesia acquired 11 million new online consumers in 2017, raising the overall number of users to 35 million (compared to 24 million users in 2015). Although Indonesia is the cheapest and nearest country to visit from India or Asia, it is not a safe place to pay your bills online because it is one of the world’s top ten scamming countries.
Scammers in Indonesia are so technologically advanced that they don’t even need to know you as a person to defraud you. Since the year 2000, the number of fraud cases has increased, with syndicates defrauding bank clients by illegally installing data-capture technology in bank computers.
Brazil has been given the nickname ‘scam capital of the world.’ Guys have taken the opportunity of their beautiful ladies and used pictures of these women to scam people, especially men both young and old.
Brazil has a system of payments called BOLETO. It is a system where you print a piece of paper with a bar code. This system was built to battle the high level of fraud in the country but it proved futile as scammers rewrite these bar codes and redirect the payments. This system has made gained scammers over $3.75 billion.
Pickpocketing and Kidnapping are also negative money-making activities for Brazilians. People get kidnapped close to foreign exchange institutions by these men to demand ransom.
For a country so advanced in technology, it is not a surprise that China is among the top 10 countries with the highest scammers.
Chinese factories require buyers to make an initial deposit when they make an order. The popular structure is 30% down and 70% paid before shipment. A factory that is out to scam will take this deposit and not deliver. They will just shut down. If they have enough foreign buyers of the product, it’s a substantial amount for them. This type of scam is very hard to detective and this is what makes it effective.
Another method of scamming is selling fake products; similar to the ‘what I ordered versus what I got’ trend. Companies sell a product; tag it with an incredibly high discount that looks too good to be true. For sake of this high discount, they require full payment before shipping. They ship a different order from what you made online and disappear. It could be frozen food that is rotten when melted or sand in food containers and many more.
Chinese scammers also implore phishing as an active system of scamming in China. “I’m your husband’s mistress,” is a very popular approach. Women generally don’t joke with cheating husbands and so rush to click such links when received. The image (s) embedded in such messages entice them to click the link thereby submitting their details unknowingly through The Trojan Virus.
Hospital Scalpers are a common problem in Beijing, where people gain money by convincing others to seek medical care at a specific hospital. They initially harm the hospital’s reputation and profession, instilling suspicion in you, and you will believe them. They’ll take you to their chosen clinic, where you’ll be subjected to a battery of unnecessary and pricey testing.
Parents are complaining each passing day of being scammed by agents who promised to get their children and wards admitted into colleges even with low grades.
After all these, it shouldn’t be a surprise that China, the world’s digital powerhouse, is also involved in the internet fraud scheme.
The most common crime in Nigeria is credit card theft, which is followed by gold sales and online dating, confidence fraud, bogus documentation and inheritance transfers, fake websites, phony contracts, kidnapping and robbery, and employment scams.
Hushpuppi is a prime example of how successful Nigerians are when it comes to scamming people of their hard-earned cash.
Nigerians are also becoming increasingly well-known for their involvement in dating and romance scams. Scammers prey on those looking for love connections, mainly through dating websites, apps, or social media, by posing as potential partners. They use emotional manipulation to persuade people to donate money, gifts, or personal information. To deceive the gullible, Nigeria employs a single deception strategy.
One of the most popular sorts of confidence tricks is the advance-fee scam, which is a type of fraud. The scam usually involves the fraudster promising the victim a major portion of a huge sum of money in exchange for a little upfront payment, which the fraudster claims would be utilized to achieve the large sum.
If the victim pays, the fraudster either creates a series of additional expenses for the victim to pay or simply vanishes. When a victim pays money to someone with the expectation of receiving something of higher value, such as a loan, contract, investment, or present, and then receives little or nothing in return, this is known as an advance fee scam.
Another scenario is where scammers will tell you a lavishly fabricated story about huge sums of money in their banks or large inheritance from their predecessors that can’t be accessed due to certain government restrictions in their country. They then request your bank details for them to transfer funds to you.
When communism fell, Romania slid into poverty and corruption.
Keep in mind that Romania is not a romantic destination if you are planning a trip there. It has, however, always been in the news because of a long-term price reduction, poverty, or corruption. Romania comes in last on our list of the world’s top scamming countries or has a scamming crime rate that pales in comparison to the rest of the list. But keep an eye out.
If you have a problem with paying money online or using dating sites, you should seek help. Romanians always have a larger risk of deceiving or defrauding you.
Scammers have taken advantage of unsuspecting people through online dating, phishing, and the sale of non-existent items. Romanian online con artists defraud you using tried and true methods; they aren’t usually on the A-list, but they always get the job done.
7. The Philippines
If you are visiting a foreign country for the first time, the Philippines should not be on your bucket list. People randomly approach you in the Philippines and claim you look familiar, which is a common tactic used to fool the unwary. Then they decide to take you on a tour around the Philippines, where you can end up being robbed.
There are several techniques to fool you once you’re in the taxi. Even though you indicated the places you wished to see, drivers go the opposite direction and demand ten times the amount of money you initially agreed to pay.
In February 2016, unknown criminals used fake SWIFT instructions to steal funds from Bangladesh’s central bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A Philippine court found a former bank manager guilty of eight counts of money laundering in the theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank in January 2019.
Maia Deguito, a former branch manager at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp (RCBC) in Manila, was sentenced to a prison term ranging from 32 to 56 years, with each count carrying a penalty of four to seven years.
Maia Deguito, the former RCBC branch manager, was also forced to pay a $109 million punishment. The Philippine central bank fined RCBC a record Php1 billion ($19.17 million) in August 2016 for failing to block the transit of stolen funds through the bank. Money laundering charges were filed against a former RCBC treasurer and five other employees at the branch where the cash was withdrawn.
After Ghana and Nigeria, the Philippines is the most prevalent source of dating or romance fraud. Worse yet, these are real people with real photos and profiles. They simply want your support and will tell you anything to get your money, but it’s always primarily based on the truth, making it harder to identify.
Another way of scamming people in the Philippines is through bank transfers. Banks have started sending out text messages to their clients to warn them about SIM card swapping which scammers disguise as promos from the bank and also reminding them never to disclose the one–time PIN (OTP) and card verification value (CVV).
The Department of Justice warns that having issued this warning, banks will not refund the victims any money they are scammed of because it is registered as a legit transaction on the bank’s system.
The DOJ also warned Philippine citizens against false messages about offers for jobs with links that they must click to apply. These fraudulent job postings will either ask the applicant to pay for the application or training fees. They might also assure you of high wages. In some cases, questionnaires would be sent to the applicant. This enables them to commit fraud with your identity.
Since the Venezuelan national economy collapsed into turmoil, it is only logical for any random person to think or infer that huge examples of scamming ranging from online dating to fraudulent government bonds have occurred.
“Express kidnappings” are opportunistic abductions that take place for a brief period to collect money from the victim. Questionnaires and surveys are never completed by locals since they are scams designed to gather contact information about family members. Inside kidnappings are on the rise, in which criminals pay domestic servants for keys to allow them to enter foreigners’ homes and steal their children.
Carjacking is an issue both during the day and at night. Carjackers prefer to target high-end automobiles, particularly 4x4s. Armed gangs ram their intended victim’s cars from behind or try to flag them down to rob them.
Victims have been shot dead as a result of their resistance to robbery.
Be wary that well-armed criminal groups operate throughout the country, frequently putting up bogus police checkpoints. Inside tunnels, travelers should be wary of chokepoints and avoid roadblocks. Taxi drivers in Caracas have a reputation for overcharging, robbing, and injuring passengers.
Wear as little jewelry as possible, especially expensive-looking watches, whether sightseeing or walking. Also, don’t show off your pricey photography equipment.
Because hotels are unable to provide currency exchange due to currency regulations, you will have to use ATMs. ATM malfunctions are common, and ATM data has been hacked and used to make unauthorized withdrawals from users’ accounts. (Hand-held scanners have been reported as being used by crooks to obtain account information.)
Also, to prevent being targeted by street gangs, travelers should only use ATMs in well-lit public settings.
In terms of lodging and accommodation, Sabana Grande is not a safe neighborhood in Caracas; cheaper hotels can be found in safer neighborhoods like Chacao, La Castellana, and Altamira.
Theft from hotel rooms and safe deposit boxes is a typical occurrence, as is the theft of unsecured goods on the beach and from rental automobiles left in remote regions or on city streets. A locked trunk or guarded garages are no guarantees against theft.
Airports and their environs are also considered unsafe.
Corruption is endemic at Maiquetia Airport, Caracas’ international airport. Personal item theft and muggings have occurred in both arriving and departing travelers, including foreigners.
Some of these crimes are performed by people who appear to be in official clothing, so be aware of anyone who approaches you.
Uniformed airport personnel is allegedly attempting to extort money from passengers as they go through the routine check-in and boarding procedures for departing aircraft.
As they arrive, others are approached and brought to a different location for a bag examination. Victims are then asked to sign a form that they do not understand in Spanish. If you are required to sign a paper that you do not comprehend, simply write “I do not understand this document” in English.
Also, be on the lookout for anyone offering to exchange foreign currencies at the airport. You may be given fake local cash.
The road connecting Maiquetia Airport and Caracas is notoriously hazardous. Visitors traveling this path late at night have been kidnapped and held captive for ransom in wayside huts. Travelers are advised to enter and depart only during daylight hours due to the high frequency of armed robberies. You should plan ahead of time for transportation from the airport to your lodging.
Be warned that you may be overcharged while paying airport taxes for both international and domestic flights within Venezuela.
Scams have occurred in the Indian financial system on various occasions. However, the most recent one was the largest in terms of size. This scandal is claimed to have cost Punjab National Bank, a state-owned Indian bank, more than Rs. 11,300 crores ($1.7 billion). This fraud occurred when an Indian businessman named Nirav Modi conspired with bank executives to defraud the financial system of large quantities of money.
The Indian digital payment ecosystem has been taken over by wallets and UPI. UPI has revolutionized the payments landscape since its inception in 2016 by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). However, while the lowering of payment friction promotes the establishment of new firms, it also facilitates fraud. Things may only become worse in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, with a likely influx into new-age payment platforms (early research indicates virus droplets can linger on currency notes for days).
Also, taxi drivers may attempt to deceive you by claiming they are unsure how to get to your hotel. They’ll suggest that you stay in a more expensive hotel.
Another disadvantage, especially in the Jaipur region, is the duty-free importation of rubies. Tourists are approached by a gem salesman who persuades them to buy worthless gems. You’ll be told to bring them in under the duty-free threshold, then sell them for considerably more than they paid to one of his fictional eager partners in their native nation.
10. South Africa
Phishing and spam continue to be among the most effective methods of acquiring access to business systems or exposing personal financial and other information that may be used to commit identity theft.
Phishing attempts have been reported throughout the country, luring unsuspecting victims into divulging personal information such as bank account details, social security numbers, and more. Cybercriminals have improved their strategies, incorporating more advanced technology to entice individuals to click on things they shouldn’t.
South Africans were the most hit by banking-related frauds in 2015, according to a report by the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Cyber Security. The most prevalent incidents documented in Gauteng province were phishing, accessing fraudulent financial websites, and receiving phony SMS warnings of bank withdrawals or payments.
People also act as false real estate agents to prey on victims who have limited knowledge of the real estate market and are unfamiliar with the process of buying or selling a home. Fake agents pretend to be in the process of facilitating the entire deal; after that, the suspect will generate forged contracts and ask the customer to deposit significant sums of money as a security deposit for the property. The suspect is not heard from again once the deposit is made.
We’ve all gotten that one SMS from a number we don’t recognize claiming we’ve won a few million dollars. These scammers always end their SMS messages by pushing you to call a telephone number for instructions on how to obtain your winnings. When the victims phone the number, they are told that they must pay a tiny sum for “tax purposes” in comparison to their “winnings.” The scammers normally vanish as soon as the money is paid.
Another system of scamming in South Africa is in football. There is no shortage of talent in South Africa, and many footballers simply require a rest. Fake football clubs, clinics, and even sister clubs, on the other hand, have sprung up throughout the country.
Players are approached by “scouts” who claim to have seen their talent and want to sign them. They will frequently supply documents that appear to be genuine, such as a letterhead or a phony letter from the South African Football Association (SAFA).
Players will be asked to pay a large sum of money for their equipment, lodging, food, and transportation, and will be promised that they will be repaid “tenfold.”
Internet scamming is a worldwide problem that is on the rise. It causes losses to scammed customers and companies by defrauding them on their banking details. The best way to fight internet banking fraud and other internet scams is to be aware of common scams, to be skeptical of any emails that purport to be from an official source, to ensure you have the latest software updates, and that you are using the latest versions of browsers.
Scammers find new ways to defraud people using the latest technologies. They also use traditional methods of scamming that has been used for many years. The most common scams involve soliciting money or personal information under false pretenses, such as promising large sums of money or prizes in exchange for small amounts of cash or sensitive personal information. Since most people have access to computers and the Internet, scammers take full advantage of this opportunity to spread their scams over a much wider geographic area than ever before.
Scammers may try to pressure their victims into sending money quickly, making it difficult for them to think clearly about the situation. Because these criminals are so convincing, it’s important for everyone to remain conscious of what could be an Internet scam.