Sweetheart frauds usually involve someone who purposely and knowingly obtains money from an individual by providing information which they clearly knew to be a lie. The fraudster will create a relationship with an individual that eventually leads to a request for money under some pretense. The fraudster may also request that the victim receives money into an account to be later transferred to the fraudster. Often these funds have been stolen. The smitten victim willingly hands the funds over, then may never hear from the fraudster again.
This involves unsolicited letters and email messages offering the recipient a generous reward for helping to move a staggeringly large balance of funds, usually in US Dollars. These funds are said to be anything from corporate profits / accumulated bribes / unspent government funds to unclaimed funds belonging to a deceased person.
The fraudsters are after banking details. The transactions typically require the recipient of the letter or email message to pay something like a fee / tax / bribe to complete the deal – this is the Advance Fee. Such fees will be lost.
A recent development is to convince the recipient that the funds are ready to be moved by getting them to log on to a fake bank website and look at a specific account which shows a credit balance of tens of millions of dollars. These funds do not exist.
It is also common for recipients' details to be used to perpetrate in other types of fraud.
This involves letters or email messages which advise that the recipient has won a prize in a lottery. To obtain the funds the recipient has to respond to the letter or email message. A request will then be made for the recipient to provide his/her bank account details to allow for funds to be transferred. The recipient may also be asked to pay a handling/processing fee. This fee, if paid, will be lost. Also any details given will probably be used to perpetrate other fraud.
It is a sad fact of life that there are those who enjoy exploiting the concerns of others. Many emailed warnings about viruses are hoaxes, designed purely to cause concern and disrupt businesses.
Such warnings may be genuine, so don't take them lightly, but always check the story out by visiting an anti-virus site such as McAfee, Sophos or Symantec before taking any action, including forwarding them to friends and colleagues.
HSBC is aware of the increasingly prevalent scam currently being employed by unscrupulous individuals known as phishing.
Phishing involves an email message being sent out to as many Internet email addresses that the fraudster can obtain, claiming to come from a legitimate organisation such as a bank, online payment service, online retailer or similar.
We wish to remind customers that any requests received to validate personal information should be declined. Under no circumstances would the HSBC or any member of the HSBC Group send emails requesting you to confirm debit / credit card numbers, account numbers or your personal log on information.
If you have received a suspicious email please forward it to email@example.com.