I expose scams now

One day, teenage me was walking down a busy highstreet in Croydon with my friends when someone came up to us and launched into a lightning-fast pitch about children in poverty. I thought he said he was collecting money to help said children out. I thought they were a charity. “Please donate,” he said (or I thought he said), “a few pounds for a keychain [with our logo on it]”. “It means a lot”.

I had just received some good news about a university offer and, a few weeks prior to that, had donated a bit to charity. With that mental link fresh in my mind I thought, maybe I’ll make another little donation, and another good thing will happen to me. They call that karma, don’t they? So I handed over the cash for the keychain. Later, I went to open the packet and, on the back, written in bold letters, was the phrase “WE ARE NOT A CHARITY”.

I’d just been scammed.

I hadn’t actually donated anything to charity. And I never made it into that University, either.

Obviously, I got off lightly. Billions is lost to fraud & scams every year. Thousands of people lose their life savings and get into debt. Some, very sadly, commit suicide out of sheer embarrassment.

So, it’s time for a new era of the whinge. My mission now is to raise awareness of scams of every variety. From showing you little hints and tips to save money (which, okay, are not even remotely scams) all the way through to criminal fraud and, crucially, the vast middle ground between these two extremes.

I’ve got ideas to write about dropshipping (despise it); Kickstarter (full of crap that will never get made); phishing (becoming increasingly sophisticated); greenwashing (all the rage); affiliate marketing (worse than dropshipping); street scams (I do occasionally go outside); Web 3.0 (give me a break)…and many more.

I want to debunk that miracle health product you get shoved in your face every day on Instagram. I want to expose people who sell you “get rich quick” schemes. I want to teach you to be skeptical enough to avoid being scammed, and maybe save you a penny or two as well. Because the more you know about scams, the harder it is to scam you.

This is what drives me. Welcome back to the whinge!

p.s. I will definitely still be littering this blog with random rants and complaints.