Category: Uncategorized

Baker Fraud Report 9/24/2020

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BBB releases my new study today on online sales of cars, RV’s and other vehicles that are never delivered

Advertise on Craigslist and other online platforms

Claim must sell quickly and cheap because of divorce, deployment overseas, or that car belonged to dead son or husband

Have people do bank to bank wire transfer to supposed third party escrow company; really goes to crooks

Largely the work of Romanian organized crime gangs

FBI warns of dangers from foreign disinformation on election results

FTC sending $147 million in refunds to victims from settlement with Western Union

Thousands of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) leaked from FinCEN to Buzzfeed; highly confidential investigation records

Europol announces worldwide effort to disrupt sales of illegal items on the dark web; 179 arrested

The rise and fall of Nigerian Instagram star Hushpuppi; in jail for laundering BEC money

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Phishing, BEC fraud, spyware all peaked during the pandemic

Full Report here

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Baker Fraud Report 9/17/20

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New York Times on rise in money mules during pandemic; reshipping scams, romance fraud, and others

Montreal police arrest 12 in massive romance fraud; expect six more arrests in the Ivory Coast; at least 50 victims and $2.3 million losses

US indicts four, including two Canadians, for mass mailings claiming victims had won and needed to send back a small payment to get prize money; tens of millions in losses; also violated Postal consent decrees

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

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Baker Fraud Report 9/10/20

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

History review and recommendation of the week:  American Lion, a biography of Andrew Jackson, by John Meacham.  Once the hero of the New Deal, he is now vilified.  But the story is far more complex, and he is far more interesting, than the detractors know. He adopted an Indian boy as his son.  He saved the Union from the first secession attempt.  And of course winning the Battle of New Orleans was hugely important for the infant United States.

BBB studies: They can all be found here. There are links below to several topic areas, and there are also studies on puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, government imposters and rental fraud

Fraud News From Around the World

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 9/3/20

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US Agencies warn of North Korean hacking group that is hacking and robbing banks around the world

Jamaican Police Superintendent in charge of lottery scam task force shot and killed

Herbalife resolves SEC and criminal charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for business in China; to pay $123 million

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

History review and recommendation of the week:  Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose.  How Thomas Jefferson decided to send an expedition to explore the West.  The incredible trek of Lewis and Clark over two years or more.

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 8/27/20

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Texas: Nigerian living in Canada extradited over Toronto-based scam sending sweepstakes mailings containing counterfeit checks; elderly victims lost at least $900,000: also did stolen identity refund fraud

Virus benefit theft

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 8/20/20

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Los Angeles: Criminal charges against Nigerian man, Ray Huspuppi, who was expelled from the UAE

  • Laundered hundreds of millions from BEC scams
  • Social media influencer; flaunted wealth; famous in Nigeria

Las Vegas woman pleads guilty in fraud that sent mailings to seniors telling them they had won sweepstake and needed to send back a fee to claim money; took in $10 million

Ukraine arrests 20 over ransomware scam; laundered $42 million

First ransomware prosecution in years?

Virus benefit theft

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 8/13/20

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Update to 2018 BBB study of prize/lottery/sweepstakes scams finds 80% of the money lost is from victims over 65

Appeals court rules police do not need a search warrant for bitcoin transaction records

Check that Zoom invite: Phishing scams now pretending to be schedulers

Minnesota: Third person arrested in magazine scam; he was fleeing to Canada; called elderly to “renew” magazine subscription and charged them; at least $100 million in losses; call centers in Florida and southern Missouri; two others have pleaded guilty

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

History review and recommendation of the week:  One of the best things I’ve read in a long while is Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.  Where did civilization first develop and why? Why did European diseases ravage native Americans instead of their diseases wiping out new settlers? Fascinating.

BBB studies: They can all be found here. There are links below to several topic areas, and there are also studies on puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, government imposters and rental fraud

Read full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 8/6/2020

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California:  Three arrested for celebrity twitter hack; two from Florida, one from UK

People across the US and Canada are getting seeds in the mail from China – that they didn’t order

  • What gives?  It’s possible that this is something that is being called “brushing.” 
  • They send you goods and then post a positive online review in your name for some other product;
  • BBB alert on brushing scams

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Tip of the week: Paypal woes/glitch.  The BBB warns that it continues to see online orders where goods are never delivered but the victim does get a tracking number – where the goods were actually shipped somewhere else. Because the item was actually delivered (to someone else) Paypal (at least initially) won’t cover losses.  There are hundreds of complaints about this.

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 7/30/20

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BBB releases my new study on government imposter scams

  • Claim to be calling from Social Security, IRS, US Marshalls about jury duty, etc. and threaten to arrest you
  • Tens of thousands of complaints; $450 million lost 2105-2019
  • Threaten immediate arrest; study details what happens in calls
  • Want people to buy gift cards; changing now to want cash by mail
  • Calls mainly from India; country can do much more to help
  • DOJ efforts to block VoIP calls coming into the US effective; robocall complaints in the US are way down; no decrease in Canada
  • 91 US prosecutions of those laundering money for this scam

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Quote:  Dr. Robert Kirkpatrick: “Civilization is maintenance”

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 7/23/20

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Federal court class action filed against Apple for facilitating scams that have victims buy an iTunes gift card; claims:

  • Apple keeps 30% of gift card sales, which it could return to victims
  • Losses from use of iTunes cards reported to FTC is $93.5 million from 2015-2019
  • iTunes 23.7% of all gift card complaints to the FTC
  • iTunes cards can’t be used to buy physical goods, only music, videos, etc.
  • Those using iTunes cards have to have an Apple ID, and thus Apple can track who ultimately got the gift card and look for fraud patterns

DOJ indicts two hackers working for Chinese government over ten year effort to steal vaccine research and other trade secrets

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Reviews and Recommendations: I highly recommend J.D.  Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, about growing up in a fractured lower middle class family in the Midwest.  At some level we all know that people come from all sorts of backgrounds but it is easy to overlook what we used to call the working class and that they have many problems as well.

BBB studies: They can all be found here. There are links below to several topic areas, and there are also studies on puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, and rental fraud

Fraud News From Around the World

Humor

FTC and CFPB

Business email compromise fraud (read BBB study)

Social Media

Data Breaches

Ransomware

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

IRS and tax frauds

ATM skimming

Jamaica and Lottery Fraud (read BBB lottery fraud study)

Romance Fraud and Sextortion (read BBB romance fraud study)

Chicago: Two Nigerians and a third person arrested for romance, inheritance and other frauds in suburbs  Criminal complain here

Full Report here

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