Britain’s greatest fraudster’ who stole £30million reveals how to avoid scams

Britain’s greatest fraudster’ who stole £30million reveals how to avoid scams

Mirror

A reformed criminal dubbed ‘­Britain’s greatest fraudster’ has given tips on how Mirror readers can stay safe from scams.

 

 

 

Tony Sales, 47, stole £30million using hacked personal information and was once one of Britain’s most-wanted men.

He carried out his first credit card fraud aged just 13 before turning to a life of crime that included theft and scams against banks, jewellers, shops – and even violent criminals.

London-born Sales said he was addicted to crime and the riches it brought, before ending up with a 12-month prison sentence in 2010 for passport forging.

Then he decided to turn his life around, and now works for a company called We Fight Fraud , helping companies keep themselves and consumers safe from scams.

Speaking to the Mirror, Sales lifted the lid on his career as a scammer, how fraudsters think and how consumers can protect themselves from being conned.

“I was young, foolish, full of ego and wanted to be someone,” he said. “I’ve spent the rest of the time trying to prove myself.

As a human, how can you stand by, if you know how to stop something and you don’t? Fraud causes poverty, and some people never recover from it. And most of the money stolen is squandered on high-value items that mean nothing. I couldn’t just stand by.”

The journey is long, the job is humungous. I sometimes think it’s so big that I haven’t achieved anything at all.”

How successful frauds work
Sales says many successful frauds manage to bypass our natural defence mechanisms that would otherwise make us suspicious.

They also rely on volume – the more people that can be contacted, the greater the chance of success.

“Fraudsters play the numbers game, they try thousands of people, Sales said. “They use reassurances, and often tap into things that we humanly do.”

An example is fraudulent ‘Royal Mail’ text messages about parcel deliveries during the pandemic.

The journey is long, the job is humungous. I sometimes think it’s so big that I haven’t achieved anything at all.”

How successful frauds work
Sales says many successful frauds manage to bypass our natural defence mechanisms that would otherwise make us suspicious.

They also rely on volume – the more people that can be contacted, the greater the chance of success.

“Fraudsters play the numbers game, they try thousands of people, Sales said. “They use reassurances, and often tap into things that we humanly do.”

An example is fraudulent ‘Royal Mail’ text messages about parcel deliveries during the pandemic.

The con involves scammers texting people claiming they’ve had a parcel returned to a Post Office branch or Royal Mail depot.

The text contains a link to a fake website that looks like the official Post Office one.

Read the full story in Mirror

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