April 27, 2017
Scam tip of the week: If you send money through Western Union or MoneyGram it does NOT have to be picked up at the address you specify. But both companies say they will now tell victims where the money was actually picked up. Thus if victims and police move fast they may be able to find surveillance video of the person who gets the money.
Fake Lowe’s $50 coupon for Mother’s Day appearing on Facebook; gets victims to enter personal info to receive it; Reports that there are similar fraudulent coupons for other companies, such as Home Depot.
According to this article: Indian Police Allege IRS, FBI, Other Law Enforcement Not Interested In Phone Scam Arrests
Frauds from India: The DOJ indictment last October of of many fraudsters from India focused, of course, on IRS impersonators. But there are other frauds that that these defendants were operating from India. These include:
- IRS scam: India-based call centers impersonated U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officers and defrauded U.S. residents by misleading them into believing that they owed money to the IRS and would be arrested and fined if they did not pay their alleged back taxes immediately.
- USCIS scam: India-based call centers impersonated U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers and defrauded U.S. residents by misleading them into believing that they would be deported unless they paid a fine immediately for alleged issues with their USCIS paperwork.
- Payday loan scam: India-based call centers defrauded U.S. residents by misleading them into believing that the callers were loan officers and that the U.S. residents were eligible for a fictitious “payday loan” (small, short-term, unsecured loan in which repayment is generally linked to a borrower’s next paycheck or regular income payment, such as a social security check). The India-based callers directed the U.S. residents to pay an upfront “worthiness fee” to demonstrate an ability to repay the loan. The victims received nothing in return.
- Government grant scam: India-based call centers defrauded U.S. residents by misleading them into believing that they were eligible for a fictitious government grant. Callers directed the U.S. residents to pay an upfront IRS tax or processing fee. The victims received nothing in return.
Jamaican Sweepstakes Fraud
- Eight extradited from Jamaica, including a Jamaican Policeman, at request of US Attorney’s office in North Dakota
- “Expect hundreds of extraditions,” says Luis Moreno, US Ambassador to Jamaica
- Assistant Police Commissioner in Jamaica calls for a special court to deal with lottery fraud
- Man arrested in Jamaica for sweepstakes fraud was a practitioner of Voodoo
- Jamaican man sentenced for lottery fraud in Jamaica
- Charlotte, NC man sentenced to two years in prison for collecting money from victims of Jamaican Sweepstakes fraud; kept some and sent some to Jamaica
FTC and CFPB
DC Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejects CFPB administrative subpoena to agency that accredits for profit schools
FTC settles case against envelope stuffing work at home scheme; alleges losses to victims at $1.2 million.
DC Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms District Court’s refusal to enforce CFPB subpoena
State AG’s intervene in CFPB case, ask that restitution that can’t be returned to victims be paid to NAAG instead of to the Treasury
FTC prevails in getting redress in telemarketing fraud selling magazines after case is appealed
Small Art Gallery in Okotoks, British Columbia, crippled by Ransomware
- Pedicatric clinic in San Antonio, Texas hit by ransomware
- Ransomware phishing emails hide in an attachment to an attachment
Treasury Department audit of IRS refund filings to date
- The IRS identified and confirmed 14,068 fraudulent tax returns involving identity theft as of March 2, 2017.
- IRS says it stopped 95% of bogus filings
- Says it prevented $961 million in fraudulent refund claims
Woman who worked for the IRS in Atlanta indicted for stealing identities to file bogus tax returns
You can’t settle tax debts for “pennies on the dollars”: Confessions of a former employee
Warnings, trends, and Other Updates
- New York AG Issues Alert warning of frauds that employ gift cards
- Florida a haven for fraud
- Lebanon warns about online sextortion gangs
- Montreal woman finds someone had filed a change of address on her to do identity theft; Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says complaints about this have gone up seven and a half fold in the last year.
Other Enforcement Actions
- Nigerian arrested in Rhode Island for fraud. Used bogus passports to open bank accounts, deposited fake checks in those and wired proceeds to Nigeria before bank realized checks were no good
- Nigerian man pleads guilty to wire fraud in Houston. Used fake passports to open bank accounts, where he collected money from Romance, Business Email Compromise, and other frauds
- Romanian woman sentenced for ATM skimming in Buffalo, NY
- Oklahoma woman ripped off by Grandparent scheme loses part of funds sent through Green Dot, but police recover $7000 more she sent by Fed X and arrest person picking it up
Just for fun….
One of my favorite music videos on Youtube. It starts a bit slow, but it is worth watching.