Fraud Report 10/8/2020

Top Stories

Very good podcast on the Black Axe, (Nigerian Organized Crime); where they came from, what they do, how they work with the Italian Mafia in prostitution (30 min.)

Europol releases annual cybercrime threat assessment; problems getting worse

US Treasury warns of fines against those who pay ransom; FinCEN says may need to file Suspicious Activity Reports

Virus benefit theft

Business man in Madison, Wisconsin pleads guilty to PPP and a second fraud as well

Full report here

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Fraud Report 10/1/20

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FBI warns of potential for foreign actors to try and affect voting; stress no evidence of this so far

FTC announces nationwide effort to tackle “phantom” debt collectors; collect money that is not owed

  • This scam often targets people in real financial difficulties
  • Over 50 actions by FTC and state/local partners
  • Three new FTC cases; settlements of three previously filed
  • Two CFPB cases
  • Criminal cases announced as well
  • Chart of cases filed here

Plans to expand and improve UK Action Fraud hotline

Virus benefit theft

Full report here

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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

Top Stories

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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