Category: Education

What should you do if you believe you were scammed?

If you believe that you have uncovered a scam or you were the target victim of one, ĠEMMA advises you to report this. Do not let the scammer get away with it. Remember that there are vulnerable people who may not have the knowledge you have and may be at a high risk of being scammed unless the scam is stopped.

The following are entities to whom you may wish to make the report:

Cyber Crime Unit at the Malta Police Force

You will find the website of the Cyber Crime Unit on this URL: pulizija.gov.mt/en/police-force/police-sections/Pages/Cyber-Crime-Unit.aspx.

You can contact the Unit as follows:Online:computer.crime@gov.mt; telephone: +356 2294 2231/2.

In person:  Call or visit any Police District station and lodge a report.  The District Police Officer will request the assistance of a member from the Cyber Crime Unit as required.

Your bank

If you are the victim of a debit or credit card fraud, contact your bank immediately. Do the same if you lose your debit or credit card.

The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) establishes that if you, as a client of a bank, have lost or had your debit or credit card stolen, and it transpires that a fraudulent transaction has occurred after you notified your bank of the loss of your card, you are only liable to pay a maximum of EUR 50.

It is, however, important to note that you will not be entitled to any refund for losses relating to any unauthorised payment transaction if you have incurred such losses by acting fraudulently or by failing to fulfil your obligations with intent or gross negligence.

Complaints and Conciliation Directorate at the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority

You will find the website of the Complaints and Conciliation Directorate on this URL:www.mccaa.org.mt/Section/Content?contentId=1193.  You can contact the centre as follows:  online:info@mccaa.org.mt; submission of an online form: mccaa.org.mt/home/complaint; freephone:356 8007 4400; and in person as follows: Mizzi House, National Road, Blata l-Bajda, Gozo: Elizabeth Street, Xewkija, Gozo

ĠEMMA has on 21st June 2021 signed a strategic partnership with the Local Councils Association.  Both ĠEMMA and the eSkills Malta Foundation are working the Association so that come October 2021, monthly public fora are held on scams and fraud in local communities.

Article prepared by ĠEMMA (within the Ministry of Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights)

Read More

The 10 Commandments to protect yourself against scams and fraud

ĠEMMA strongly advises you that you follow these 10 Commandments religiously at all times to protect yourself from scams and fraud:

01Watch out for scams.   Scammers target you anytime, anywhere, anyhow.
02Do not respond.   Ignore suspicious emails, letters, house visits, phones calls or SMS messages – press ‘delete’, throw them out, shut the door, or just hang up.
03Do not agree to an offer straightaway.   Do your research and seek independent advice if it involves significant money, time or commitment, and get the offer in writing
04Ask yourself who you are really dealing with.   Scammers pose as people or organisations that you know and trust.
05Do not let scammers push your buttons.   Scammers will play on your emotions to get what they want, including adopting a personal touch. Alternatively, they seek to rush you into making a quick decision before you look into it. Remember there are no guaranteed get-rich-quick schemes!
06Keep your computer secure.   Always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and buy only from a verified source.
07Only pay online using a secure payment service.   Look for a URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol.
08Do not hand over money and information to someone you do not know and trust.   Any request for payment by an unusual method such as wire transfers, reloadable cards, or gift cards that are nearly impossible to reverse or track is a tell-tale sign that it is part of a scam. And if you do hand money … it is rare to recover
09Protect your identity.   Your personal details are private and invaluable. Keep them that way and away from scammers.
10If you spot a scam, spread the word.   Tell your family and friends, and report it to: computer.crime@gov.mt.

In addition to these 10 Commandments, keep in mind the following:

  • It is NOT always true that companies, businesses and enterprises are always legitimate. Scammers can easily pretend to have approval and registrations when in fact they do not.
  • It is NOT always true that all websites are legitimate. It is easy and cheap to set up a website. And an enterprise’s website can be easily copied by scammers who will want to trick you into believing it to be genuine.
  • It is NOT always true that scams involve large amounts of money. Sometimes scammers target many people and try to get a small amount of money from each person.
  • It is NOT always true that scams are always about money. Some scams are aimed at stealing personal information from you.

Last year, ĠEMMA (www.gemma.gov.mt) and the eSkills Malta Foundation (https://eskills.org.mt) signed a strategic partnership to disseminate knowledge on digital financial capability.  Fraud and scams is such one digital financial capability.  Jointly we have issued 4 e-books on scams and fraud (https://gemma.gov.mt/ebook-download-page/) and Infographics (https://gemma.gov.mt/resources/infographics/) on tips of how to protect yourself with regard to over 30 different scams and frauds. 

ĠEMMA has on 21st June 2021 signed a strategic partnership with the Local Councils Association.  Both ĠEMMA and the eSkills Malta Foundation are working the Association so that come Octover 2021, monthly public fora are held on scams and fraud in local communities.

Article prepared by ĠEMMA (within the Ministry of Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights)

Read More

Do you know how a scam works?

Recently we have seen a spate of scams in Malta – including phishing, romance fraud and business email fraud.  News papers have reported that one business lost nearly €90,000 as a result of a business email fraud and over €100,000 have been defrauded from persons scammed by the Maltapost phishing scam.

In summer of last year, ĠEMMA (www.gemma.gov.mt) and the eSkills Malta Foundation (https://eskills.org.mt) signed a strategic partnership to disseminate knowledge on digital financial capability.  Fraud and scams is such one financial capability.  Jointly we have issued 4 e-books on scams and fraud (https://gemma.gov.mt/ebook-download-page/) and Infographics (https://gemma.gov.mt/resources/infographics/) on tips of how to protect yourself with regard to over 30 different scams and frauds.  Both ĠEMMA and the Foundation have been disseminating these over their respective social media channels.

This is the first of 3 articles we are presenting on scams and fraud to make people more aware of what scams and frauds are, basic but important cardinal protection measures one should taken, and what one should do in the event that they realise they are scammed.

Most scams follow the same pattern – understand this pattern and it will be easier to spot. The way a scam works is described here.

The Scammer’s approach:  A scammer will approach you with a story designed to make you believe a lie. S/he targets your emotions and behaviour – a chance to make money, to find a partner, to help somebody in need. Invariably the scammer will dress him/herself as a government official, a company – including branding names you are familiar with, an expert investor, a government official, a lottery officer, a lovely lady.  The scammer will use any one of these approaches:

EmailStill the favoured method. Cheap and a good way to communicate with many persons.
Social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Dating sites, Online forumSocial media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Dating sites, Online forum
Online shopping, classifieds, and auction sitesThese are used by scammers to trick you, with initial contact often made through reputable and trusted sites or fake websites that look like the real thin
Phone callsCalls are made by scammers to homes and businesses in a wide variety of scams, from threatening tax scams to offers of prizes or ‘help’ with computer viruses
SMSScammers tend to send a whole range of scams, including competition or prize scams.

The scammer’s tools are designed to get you to lower your defences, build trust in the story and act quickly or irrationally and proceed to the final stage – sending the money or providing personal information.  The scammer’s tools include:

  • Creating a sense of urgency so that you will not have the time to think things through and make you react on emotions rather than logic.
  • Similarly, using high pressure sales tactics saying it is a limited offer, that prices will rise, or the market will move and the opportunity will be lost.
  • Having all the hallmarks of a real business using glossy brochures with technical industry jargon backed up with office fronts, call centres and professional websites.
  • Using your personal details to make you believe you have dealt with them before, and make the scam appear legitimate.
  • Creating counterfeit and official-looking documents – documents that appear to have government approval or are filled with legal jargon can give a scam an air of authority.
  • Similarly, using high pressure sales tactics saying it is a limited offer, that prices will rise or the market will move and the opportunity will be lost.
  • Contacting you regularly to build trust and establish a relationship.

Asking for money may be set at the point of contact or after months of careful grooming. Scammers have their preferences for how you send your money. Methods vary: wire transfer, credit / debit card, bank transfer, Bitcoin, etc.

ĠEMMA has on 21st June 2021 signed a strategic partnership with the Local Councils Association.  Both ĠEMMA and the eSkills Malta Foundation are working the Association so that come October 2021, monthly public fora are held on scams and fraud in local communities.

Article prepared by ĠEMMA (within the Ministry of Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights)

Read More

Local Councils Association enters into a Strategic Partnership with the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights and ĠEMMA on financial capability education

The Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights and the Local Councils Association today signed a strategic partnership to jointly work together, through ĠEMMA (the government’s financial capability education platform), to improve the financial capability of Maltese and Gozitan residents during life-events, including retirement.  The outcome resulting from this strategic partnership between the Local Councils Association and ĠEMMA is to ensure that people are better informed in matters that affect their finances and thus can make the right decisions that fit their personal circumstances.

Through the Local Councils Association, ĠEMMA will work with regional and local councils to carry out financial capability programmes – which range from budgeting to protection against scams and frauds – within the communities.  ĠEMMA will also make resources – such as videos, handbooks, etc. – on financial capability available to regional and local councils so that these are accessible to persons within the communities from their offices, or as may distributed within the communities.

The Local Councils Association will make its digital resources available to ĠEMMA – including its You Safe portal, Facebook site, the LCA website as well as faciliting partnering between ĠEMMA and respective regional and local councils digital resources – to assist ĠEMMA in broadening its reach with regard to financial capability knowledge and information amongst Maltese and Gozitan residents.

This is the 11th strategic partnership that the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights entered on behalf of ĠEMMA with other institutions and bodies.  The other strategic partnerships include the Central Bank of Malta, the University of Malta, BOV, MAPFRE MSV Life, the General Workers Union, the eSkills Malta Foundation, Mental Health Malta, the Malta Chamber of SMEs, and the UĦM Voice of the Workers. 

Dr Michael Falzon, the responsible minister, stated that this strategic relationship between ĠEMMA and the Local Councils Association is a game changer with regard to bringing financial capability knowledge and education closer to Maltese and Gozitans persons.  Through this strategic partnership, ĠEMMA is now able to inculcate financial capability education and knowledge in the heart of local communities.

Mr Mario Fava, the President of the Local Councils Association underlined that the Association is proud of this relationship with ĠEMMA and the Ministry as it allows it to continue to build on previous and current initiatives to build up within Malta’s and Gozo’s communities understanding of money management and planning for one’s future – and thus directly contribute to the financial wellbeing of residents.  Mr Fava stated that the first initiatives between the Association and the regional and local councils and ĠEMMA will be rolled in early autumn of this year.

Mr Mark Musu, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry, and who is responsible for the stewardship of ĠEMMA, emphasised that building a Malta that is financial capable is a societal objective – one in which government must play a key role, but an objective that a government on its own will not be able to reach.

Mr Musu expressed his satisfaction that the joining up of strategic partners, such as the Local Councils Association with his ministry and ĠEMMA, shows that there is a strong understanding from societal players of the importance of such a joined up approach towards instilling a financial wellbeing in Malta.

The ĠEMMA’s financial capability platform can be viewed at www.gemma.gov.mt.

Read More

Eko Skola

EkoSkola, run locally by Nature Trust – FEE Malta, is an international programme for schools, helping them towards Education for Sustainable Development through a seven step process. Eco-Schools is the largest global sustainable schools programme – it starts in the classroom and expands to the community by engaging the younger generation in action-based learning. It guides students and all school stakeholders towards leading a sustainable lifestyle involving the whole community.  The Eco-Schools programme caters for students of all ages providing guidelines, explanations, resources, activities and lesson plans all related towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.    

EkoSkola Website: www.ekoskola.org.mt YouTube Channel mPower4Change.  Updates and schools inputs can also be followed on the dedicated Facebook page EkoSkola Malta.

Read More

Eko-Skola – Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE)

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) is an international programme coordinated by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and represented locally by Nature Trust Malta. The programme empowers young people to take an educational stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about and gives them a platform to articulate these issues through the media of writing, photography or video. The programme develops participants’ skills and knowledge about the environment, enhances communication and citizenship skills, individual initiative, teamwork, critical analysis, social responsibility, and leadership abilities. Students follow the four step methodology: investigate, research solutions, report and disseminate. Apart from the annual competition, students also have the opportunity to work with foreign students, report international conferences and acquire international certification. Integration with the school curricula is also highly encouraged. 

YRE Website: www.yremalta.org.mt YouTube Channel mPower4Change.  Updates and schools inputs can also be followed on the dedicated Facebook page Youngreporters Malta

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this email.

Read More