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Beware of traps

Fraudsters know many ways to take their victims to the cleaners. Often the scam is executed via internet, but it can also be done by mail or telephone. It is common for many criminals to state that they are based abroad.

We have listed cases that consumers have complained about particularly frequently.


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, search engines use technical ways to make us click, buy, subscribe and reveal personal data. How do you recognise these manipulation techniques and how can you avoid them? The European Consumer Centre…

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.

Red bra on a bed.

Phone sex trap

In dubious letters and text messages, consumers are asked to pay for alleged telephone sex. The senders are supposedly companies from the Czech Republic.

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.

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

Investment fraud with dubious trading platforms

Dubious trading providers lure their customers into a trap with dubious investment products and high profit promises. The highly speculative investments usually end with a total financial loss for the victims.

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.

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.

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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