Internet Fraud Advisory Group

A not for profit group based in Britain.



 We are sorry to announce the winners of the 20011 Fraud Awards.
Prizes include negative TV and newspaper publicity and the disapproval of millions of Web users around the world. Outright winners in the various categories may succeed in winning the attention of trade regulators and police agencies - but this cannot be guaranteed.


The Scammers' favourite supplier of e-mail services:
Winner: Yahoo! Next year should be even better - now that Yahoo will no longer accept criminal abuse reports e-mailed in the normal way.
Second place: Hotmail. But they now seem to be attending to fraud reports in a proper manner so Hotmail may slip down our rankings next year.
Third place: Gmail. Could move up in 2012 - see above.
Special mention, Aol, and many others ...

The Scammers' favourite money transfer agencies:
Winner: Western Union. Another big year for Western Union.  
Second place: The banks. We did not see so many UK bank account reports in 2011, although Lloyds seemed quite attractive to the scammers. Malaysian banks proved popular in late 2011 but for obvious reasons the banks will never be able to challenge Western Union's dominance in this category.  

The scammers' favourite supplier of fake UK telephone numbers* :
Winner: Magrathea Telecommunications, UK
Second place: Open Telecom International, UK
Third place:  Flextel Ltd., UK

* These are the so-called portable numbers - usually of the 070 variety - which the criminals use in their e-mails when they are pretending to be based in the UK. Calls to those numbers may be routed to any country of the scammer's choice.

The scammers' favourite regulatory authority:
Winner: OFCOM / PhonepayPlus, UK. Another record year - UK (+44 70) numbers remain the scammers' favourite. No other country comes close in its relaxed attitude to the criminal abuse of its telephony system. 
Second Place: The Financial Services Authority, UK. These days we are hearing lots of talk about London's importance as a world financial centre. The scammers like the present regime, but some admit to a fear that the FSA may not be with us for much longer.
Third place: The UK Police. Lack of resources - or a wrongheaded focus of resources? Whatever the reasons, the fraud criminals can sleep at night and for this they give thanks.
Special mention: The UK Home Office / UK Border Agency.

Our 2011 Scammer Awards would not be complete without mention of the criminals' LEAST favourite institutions of 2011. Britain's BBC and some commercial channels were found to have devoted air time to warnings about Internet fraud. The scammers found this unhelpful. However, they expect even less proper TV journalism in 2012. As in ancient days, bread and circuses can be expected to divert attention from the scammers and the companies which profit from their work.  


The lottery fraudThe money laundering fraud, Fraudsters haunting dating/matchmaking websites, The fake job offer fraud.  The bank accounts they use. A report on the mail service providers.  The fake loan offer fraud .  Why am I getting so much fraud mail?  One reason for this is that some service providers choose not to accept abuse reports, see The Bouncers. How Microsoft, Yahoo and others allow the fraud criminals to flourish. Why we need to attend to the Western Union problem.

A painful duty - Exposing the British (and Irish) connection. What happened to my money? All 419 fraud victims should read this.
 Google (and now Yahoo) put profit first - you don't count!