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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

  1. 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

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

Ransomware

Small Art Gallery in Okotoks, British Columbia, crippled by Ransomware

Tax Issues

Treasury Department audit of IRS refund filings to date

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

Other Enforcement Actions

Just for fun….

One of my favorite music videos on Youtube.  It starts a bit slow, but it is worth watching.