Category: Uncategorized

Baker Fraud Report 7/30/20

Top Stories

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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Baker Fraud Report 7/16/20

Nigerian police rescue romance fraud victim kidnapped and held by scammers for 16 months

  • Fraudsters got her to travel to Lagos
  • She is a retired civil servant from Washington, DC
  • Took her for $48,000
  • Crooks also took over her pension payments
  • Suspect arrested

Supreme Court agrees to hear two cases on the FTC’s legal authority to combat fraud

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 7/9/20

Top Stories

Agari releases new study on BEC fraud gang; now by Russians

  • Claim money needed for an acquisition in Asia
  • Nearly perfect English in emails
  • Also impersonate real prominent UK lawyers
  • Actively avoid use of mules in the US; money goes to Hong Kong, or sometimes Romania

Supreme Court strikes down provision that allowed robocalls for collecting money owed to US government

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 7/2/20

Top Stories

 Appeals court finds that Amazon is strictly liable for defective products from third party sellers; would cover counterfeits; different outcome from other courts; may end up with Supreme Court

Supreme Court rules SEC can get disgorgement in fraud cases; ruling may affect pending issue of that tool for the FTC

  • Opinion suggests FTC may be able to use equitable powers of court
  • Limits disgorgement to net profits, after deducting expenses
  • Disgorgement must go to victims; but FTC always tries that first; left over money goes to Treasury
  • Joint and several liability of defendants also considered

Supreme Court finds CFPB unconstitutional; but saves agency by allowing President to replace head at will like other executive branch heads

My new BBB study on crooked moving companies was just released

  • Thousands of complaints to BBB
  • Crooks give very low estimate; double or triple the price AFTER loading goods; illegal to raise price after loading
  • Goods arrive weeks late, often serious damage
  • Crooks often born in Israel; located in South Florida
  • It is critical to check movers out carefully in advance; go to BBB.org

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

FTC saw huge spike in complaints about online shopping during shut down; half of them about products never delivered

  • Face masks, PPE, puppies and many other products
  • Number of people that got nothing at all quadrupled since 2015
  • Losses $420 million reported since 2015

Phone recording of scam sale of nonexistent PPE

Happy Fourth of July!  We’re all Americans together, and will get through these times.  No major country in history has been so tolerant and offered such freedom and opportunity. For those with an interest in US History I heartily recommend the Oxford History of the United States.  It is eight volumes now, and perhaps my favorite is Battle Cry of Freedom by James MacPherson, perhaps the best one volume history of the Civil War you can find.

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 6/29/20

Top Stories

Australia issues fraud report for 2019

  • Top three:  BEC, investments, romance scams
  • $634 million lost;   30 % increase from 2018

BBB issues new report on employment scam; younger more likely to be scammed; fake check and reshippers common

Kentucky: 15 defendants have pleaded guilty, most of them Romanians, and scheme selling nonexistent cars on Craigslist and eBay.  

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Ransomware in Canada poses as government virus tracing app

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 6/18/20

Top Stories

FTC now has live data online about virus and stimulus complaints

Robocalls dropped sharply this year says FTC; April 2020 complaints down 68% from April 2019

Report finds lax internet security – at the CIA

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center warns scammers are now seeking extra fees supposedly related to the virus; e.g. shipping, insurance

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 6/11/2020

Top Stories

EU launches new Financial and Economic Crime Center; not clear where it will be located or if it will take complaints from vicims

Criminals got 5 billion records in data breaches and hacks in 2019, costing U.S. organizations more than $1.2 trillion

  • Healthcare most targeted
  • Social Security numbers most common type of data stolen

FCC sues two robocalls companies that made over 1 billion calls about health insurance; seeks largest ever $225 million fine; 7 State AG’s also sue the companies

Phishing attacks seeking log in information for corporate computer systems traced to operation in India; owner wanted by the FBI

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

Full report here

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Baker Fraud Report 6/4/20

Virus benefit theft

Coronavirus

UK victims receiving a flood of text messages, over 11,000 claiming to be notifying people of virus contact tracing; designed to get people to enter personal information

Read the full report

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Baker Fraud Report 5/28/2020

IRS is mailing at least 4 million prepaid debit cards with stimulus money on them

Coronavirus

Full report here

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