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Beware of traps

Scammers have many ways of ripping off their victims. Often the scam is carried out over the internet, but it can also be done by post or telephone. It is common for many criminals to claim to be based abroad.

We have listed some of the most common scams reported by consumers.

A man sits in front of his laptop and holds his hand to his head.

Tips against subscription traps on the internet

It can happen that dubious companies lure you into a subscription trap on the internet. We give current examples and explain how those affected can defend themselves against demands for payment.

Eine Frau nutzt Social Media auf Tablet un Smartphone.

Fraud through career networks

Criminals are using scams to rip off career networking users. We explain how phishing and scams work on LinkedIn and Xing.

Telefon-Hotline mit zwei Männern

Fake airline hotlines

Flight cancelled, luggage problem? Beware of fake websites and phone numbers. These are scammers who just want your money.

A woman is on her laptop and uses facebook.

Credit fraud

Fraudsters lure people on social media with loans at low interest rates. Those who take up the offer have to pay a fee in advance via Western Union. Then you don't hear anything more from the crooks and the money is gone.

Red bra on a bed.

Phone sex trap

In dubious letters and text messages, consumers are asked to pay for phone sex. The scammers are companies from the Czech Republic, such as Tework or Allround.

Paketanlieferung: Frau mit Tablet

Triangular fraud

On second-hand online platforms like Vinted, fraudsters steal your money and your data. How does the "Zalando scam" work and how can you defend yourself?

Hand auf Laptop-Tastatur mit stilisierten Einkaufswagen

Dark Patterns

Dark patterns: Many websites, apps, social media and search engines use technical means to get us to click, buy, subscribe and reveal personal information. How can you spot and avoid these manipulation techniques? We provide the answers.

A hacker sits in a dark room in front of his laptop.

Investment fraud with dubious trading platforms

Scammers lure their customers into the trap of dubious investment products and high profit promises. Those highly speculative investments usually end in a total financial loss for the fraud victims.

A person signs a contract.

Rental fraud

Fraudulent landlords often claim to be abroad. They will ask you to pay a deposit in advance and promise to send you the keys.

Numerous banknotes on a table.

Supposed inheritance

A letter or fax announces an inheritance worth millions. Before the money is paid out, administrative fees and other absurd demands are made.

Scam with online trading.

Online trade fraud: False helpers

Online trading: Supposed regulators, arbitrators and lawyers give investors hope of getting their lost money back. Beware! Only more losses are threatening.

Two people are sitting on a sofa. One of them is holding a remote control.

Dubious streaming portals

Numerous consumers are being lured into subscription traps with a nasty rip-off scam. We explain the tricks of the scammers and show how you can protect yourself from the rip-off.

Food supplements: colourful pills on a table.

Subscription Trap: Aliaz Cooperation

We receive numerous complaints regarding the "Aliaz Cooperation SIA" that operates several online shops. Free samples are advertised in social media. However, consumers are caught in a subscription trap.

Two persons check an invoice with a calculator.

Debt collection fraud

Criminals first lure you into a subscription trap and then use dubious debt collection agencies and reminders to build up massive pressure and collect money. You should not ignore debt collection letters, but always check their seriousness.

A teenager girl is sitting on a bed and uses a laptop.

Contracts with minors

People under the age of 18 only have limited legal capacity. We explain what contracts minors can enter into and what the pocket money clause is in Germany.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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