Croissant scam costs man £258,000
A Taiwanese gentleman spent £258,000 trying to buy a croissant, before realising it was a scam.The man, identified in a local newspaper only by his surname, received an email promising “French bread so delicious it will make you cry” and a picture of the delicacy he’d receive for the bargain price of 99 Taiwanese dollars £2.12.As a company executive, Chiu decided that was worth the price, the ‘Apple Daily’ paper reports. He then transferred the money to the bakery in question. But the croissant never came.The company called him back, saying there had been a mistake, so he re-sent the money. But the calls didn’t stop coming. A bank manager, a representative of the “Monetary Supervision Commission” and many more all repeated the request to transfer the money again and again. Some even said he had to re-send the cash or be accused of money laundering.It was only after the seventh transmission of cash, and after he’d transferred 12 million Taiwanese dollars £258,000, that he realised he’d been scammed, the ‘Apple Daily’ reports.He might never know how delicious the promised croissant would have been, but trying to buy it might well have made him cry.The dangers of scammersSadly, it’s not just in Taiwan that people lose money thanks to conmen.The Office of Fair Trading reports that half the UK population is targeted by a scammer every year, with three million Britons losing a total of £3.5 billion between them as a result.Scammers target everything from mobile phones through to online shopping and even tax refunds — anything that can key into people’s greed, fear, hope, sympathy or even trust and target the most vulnerable people they can.They also circulate lists of names, addresses and telephone numbers of likely targets and previous victims — known as sucker’s lists — as these are more likely to fall prey again.