BAKER FRAUD REPORT – news you can use
April 20, 2017
Consumer tip of the week: Did you know you can google a picture? Fraudsters often just copy photos from other sites. So if you’re looking at something on the internet, such as a car, boat, pet, or even the profile picture of a romantic interest you can check it out at google images or Tineye.com. If the photo appears with a different name or location you know you’re dealing with a fraud.
Have you received an email that looks like it came from someone you know, but it only had a hyperlink. What is that all about?
The FTC’s Chicago office has brought two cases against the people that use these spam emails to sell bogus diet pills.
Several years ago crooks hacked the Yahoo email accounts of a massive number of people, also obtaining the email contacts in these hacked accounts. Thus if they had hacked the account of Bob Heinlein, all of his contacts would receive an email containing a hyperlink, perhaps with a subject line such as “Hi, have you seen this?”
Those who click on the links are taken to web pages that look like articles by real consumer reporters, who claim that they tried diet pills and were “astonished” at how well they work. These fake news pages also claim that celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey use the pills, and contain fake testimonials from supposed users. The fake news pages have a hyperlink to one of the web sites where victims can order the Defendant’s worthless diet pills.
The FTC says that the Defendants in the Fowler case made at least $1.3 million from their efforts, and in Sale Slash at least $43.4 million.
FTC and CFPB
- FTC posts video interview of Grandparent fraud hitting Spanish-speakers
- FTC shuts down California-based fraud that used telemarketers in Peru to telemarket products to teach English; pretended to be calling from the government or companies such as Wal-Mart
- FTC settles with recidivist robocaller. Had placed calls for home security systems with claims that FBI says there are lots of break ins
- CFPB sues law firm for debt collection letters that implied a lawyer had reviewed the file
Warnings, trends, and Other Updates
Increase in hacking of third party sellers on Amazon; fake deals posted and bank accounts raided
Scotland Yard warns of new Phishing scam. Victims receive an email from a “law abiding citizen” that claims to have accidentally received personal information about you, and invites you to open an attachment that supposedly contains this info. But opening the document will install spyware on your computer.
Nigerian runs frauds from cell at Nigerian maximum security prison
Facebook deactivates huge number of fake accounts that were used to send spam
50 Chinese scammed out of life savings: Promised jobs in Malaysia, arrived in Johore but no jobs so they are stranded at the airport
Regina, Canada businesses being hit by bogus bills for an online phone directory operating out of Montreal
UK government pays for 1500 call blocking devices for patients that have been diagnosed with dementia
Text messages in the UK supposedly from tax authorities say you are owed a refund; provide link to a site where you enter your personal info and bank account info; opening link also put virus on phone
Police in Mumbai (Bombay) arrest Bulgarian for ATM Skimming
Romanian man pleads guilty in the Bronx for ATM skimming; third of eleven to plead to date
Business Email Compromise Fraud
Nigerian Man pleads guilty in Utica, New York for engaging in BEC from Nigeria
- Nabbed when he flew to JFK airport
- Defrauded victims of at least $6.5 million
- Victims wired money from New York, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas
FBI offers reward for Nigerian man that was engaged in BEC:
- Kelechi Declan James last seen in Brooklyn.
- Has defrauded victim out of $5 million so far
- Collected money by taking over bank accounts and using romance scam victims
- IRS starts hiring outside debt collectors that will call directly
- But the IRS will send a letter first
- And payments are made though a secure portal at the IRS site
- OR by check directly to the IRS
- NOT by Western Union, Greendot, Itunes, or gift card
- IRS employee indicted for using stolen identities from people in a homeless shelter and filing bogus tax returns
- Cuban man extradited from Venezuela pleading guilty to stealing identities from hospital employees in Pittsburg and filing bogus tax returns
- Undocumented woman from Mexico uses ID theft to file bogus tax returns and is charged in Wisconsin
Jamaica and Sweepstakes Fraud
- Elderly woman in Prince Edwards Island, Canada, loses money to bogus sweepstakes fraud by Facebook “friend”
- Jamaican man charged for lottery fraud in Jamaica and gets bail
- Jamaican law student sentenced to prison in Orlando for role in sweepstakes fraud
- LA man sentenced for role in working with Jamaicans on lottery fraud
- Court in Maryland sentences Nigerian ringleader of romance scam gang to 19 years in prison; other members sentenced as well
- Australian Consumer Agency warns of Romance scams
- Indonesia has 200 cases every month of Romance Fraud involving parcels. Police there arrest four Nigerians: Victims are told that the romance scammer has sent them a parcel as a gift or to help with a business issue. Victims are then called by people impersonating law enforcement and told that they have to pay money to have the parcel released.
- Tech Support fraud claiming to be from H-P, H-P admits it was subject to a data breach
- AARP does interview with Dr. Oz on tech support fraud
- Ransomware now hitting Skype accounts
- Reports that the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York has computers shut down; believed to be by ransomware
- Ransomware loads if you click on Windows plug in. Here is the message that pops up:
Just for fun….
My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations. I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.