Volunteer group identifies scam sites for masks and protective gear sold online but never delivered
- Perhaps the largest category of virus complaints we’re seeing now are scammers taking money for masks and protective gear and not delivering them
- Scam.directory has located over 300 such sites operating around the world
- This is by a volunteer group that also operates petscams.com
- Most scams are operated by the same gangs in Cameroon that run puppy frauds; here is BBB study on pets
- Many of the sites are registered in the U.S.
- They don’t just rip off individuals.Here is an article on a Greek pharmacy losing their money
Scam email by a BEC scammer
A contact just got an email he thought came from a friend. It reads:
Thank you XXX. I should have called you to explain further but still can’t access my mobile phone. I need you to kindly purchase 5pcs x $100 of either eBay or Target or Amazon gift cards which totals $500 as donation for the purchase of preventive items from Corona Disease (COVID 19) due to the vulnerability of Veterans at Hospice & Palliative Care .I will be liable for reimbursement.
You can purchase them online as (e-gift card) or at any Kohl’s, CVS, Kwik, Macy’s, Walmart, or Walgreen’s Store. Due to the time frame of the pledge, I will be glad if you get them early enough today.
E-mail me immediately you buy them for instructions how to get them across. Let me know if a check will be fine for reimbursement. Thank you.
- Canadian foreign minister warns of foreign (Russian) disinformation to panic the public
- BBB breakdown of virus complaints to date; 39% mask scams
- Czech police seize hundreds of thousands of masks and respirators meant for Italy and donated by China; apparently stolen
- Federal state virus task forces popping up
- Federal and State officials launch virus task force in West Virginia
- DOJ, HHS distributing vast amount of masks and medical supplies seized from price gougers
- Europol issues updated risk assessment for cybercrime during virus
- FTC warns grandparent scams are now claiming the kids are sick with virus
- FBI IC3 had 1200 virus complaints at end of March; warn of BEC and other scams
- FBI arrests Georgia man for submitting false claims of virus tests to get money from Medicare
- Europol has man arrested in Singapore; impersonated a real company and collected €6.6. million for sales of masks and hand sanitizer he never delivered
- Australia warns scammers are calling to get information about retired people’s superannuation (retirement funds)
- How supplement makers are turning to immunity boosting products – and everyone knows what they are implying these can help with
- US authorities break up scam where Australian claimed to have 39 million N95 masks in a Georgia warehouse and available to sell to Kaiser Permanente for $7 million; no charges to date
- UK man faces criminal charges in Los Angeles for selling unapproved virus treatment kits
- FBI says BEC scams increase and take advantage of virus
- Here’s another powerpoint on virus scams; focus on BEC
Tip of the week: Scams continue and will go after big money from the government There is no reason at all to think that scams are down right now; in fact I suspect they are up with so many people at home. The courts have limited their schedules, so there may be fewer prosecutions, and the news media is currently covering very little that is not virus related. But if anything scammers are surely redoubling their efforts.
After previous disasters I’ve seen price gouging, bogus charities, and other scams during and immediately after they happen, but the really big losses come later with crooked/incompetent contractors or people inappropriately getting insurance or government benefits. For example, we saw Nigerian scammers defrauding FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. So get ready to deal with scammers looking for money from stimulus checks, business loans, and other assistance. There lie the big bucks.
Full report here