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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Baker Fraud Report 5/21/20

Top Stories

Secret Service warns Nigerian gangs are running massive fraud to steal state  unemployment benefits; losses may be hundreds of millions

  • Use stolen identities of law enforcement, teachers, others to apply
  • Money goes into money mule accounts, often in other states
  • Many of the accounts opened by romance fraud victims
  • Biggest problems found so far are Washington State, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Florida

ID theft victims can’t get benefits
Nigerian fraud gang Scattered Canary involved
Here is my study on how romance fraud victims are used as mules

Three big US credit report agencies now let people get one free every week for the rest of the year

FTC launches new dashboard that allows searches of international scam transaction;

Coronavirus

Full report here

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Good news on virus

Virus Data

People are totally freaked out by the virus, and it is reshaping lives and the future in often unpleasant ways.  We know that there is a risk, but we also want to know just how big that risk is. We all want accurate scientific data, but despite a flood of information out there, it is difficult to find really reliable information that is not colored by politics.  So here is one piece of information people may find useful.

How do we know if we’re making good progress against the virus?  It turn out it is hard to find out.  Several of the public metrics that are almost always used are less than useful. 

New virus tests:  Testing is expanding rapidly, and most of those tested turn out negative.  But of course if you test more people you are going to find more that test positive.  So it is hard to see trends from that data.

Total hospitalizations: This is also a common feature for graphs, but since those hospitalized may be there for a long period, they are a poor way to show trends.

Deaths:  Again, those who die may be hospitalized for a long period.  Thus even if the virus magically disappeared tomorrow there would still be deaths in the days to come.

New daily virus hospitalizations:  In my view, this is a great indicator for trends. It shows those people that have the virus and are really sick, and it can readily be tracked over time.  Unfortunately, many states don’t seem to report this rate, so I was only able to find it for New York City. But that is the hardest hit place in the U.S.

The graph below is from Monday, May 11.  But it clearly shows that new virus hospitalizations have gone down rapidly, suggesting that the worst of the problem may be gone. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

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Baker Fraud Report May 13, 2020

Top Stories

YouTube filmmakers reach out to IRS impersonator in India; interview him; raise money to help him get an honest job; scammer says they know when police are going to raid them

New York AG settles with Zoom over privacy issues during shut down

Coronavirus

Full report here

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