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My new BBB study on online shopping fraud

  • Biggest overall source of complaints to the BBB
  • Break down into several categories
  • Pet scams 30%, nonexistent vehicle scams, free trial offers
  • Biggest category is items sold on Facebook/Instagram
  • Nothing delivered, counterfeits, or cheap knockoffs instead
  • Payment by credit card or PayPal
  • Web sites often pretend to be in the US, items mailed from China

Europol announces actions against money mules in 27 countries; 1800 arrested; 18,000 identified

Thought of the week:  Who is behind the scams?    For example, we know many/most lottery scams are conducted from Jamaica, Romanian gangs are deeply involved in selling nonexistent vehicles online and in ATM skimming, and free trial offer scams usually emanate from the US and Canada.  Where law enforcement knows who is behind the scams, they can focus their efforts to fight it better.  So I try to give the best information available about who the scammers are.  This is an organized industry and there is a need to focus if we are to fight it.  Of course nothing on criminal groups can suggest that the broader populations of countries are complicit in the scams, any more than the presence of Al Capone in Chicago tells you anything about the character of the its citizens.   In these sensitive times there is a temptation to disguise countries where the scams flourish to avoid the potential of being accused of giving offense.   But crime exists, it tends to concentrate in specific places, and law enforcement both in those countries and elsewhere need the best information available to combat it.

Full study here