Fraud Report 9/9/2021

The Fraud Report is going on vacation; may not send it the next two weeks

Top Stories

My new BBB in depth study on job scams

  • Complaints up 27% from 2019
  • 32% never get paid
  • ID theft common; 24% of victims post their Social Security Number with their resumes
  • Reshipping scams reported 65% of victims
  • Stolen credit card numbers used to buy goods, have them shipped to victims who repackage them and then them on;often to Russia
  • Fake checks used in job scams;
  • Losses to fake checks continue to grow;  half in mystery shopper scams

EU Commissioner and US attorney General hold inaugural meeting to talk ransomware, transnational organized crime

Florida : Three from Peru get prison; ran call center in Peru that called US Spanish speakers and threatened arrest or deportation

Los Angeles:  Telemarketer in toner scam gets four years prison; took in $126 million; defendant in previous FTC case

Atlanta: Nigerian scammer and partner who laundered stolen funds sentenced to prison

  • Scammer hacked tax preparation firms and stole identities
  • Use those to file bogus tax returns and sought refunds
  • Also used stolen identities to get Washington State unemployment benefits
  • Laundered through money orders
  • Had people travel from Zambia to open bank accounts

Full Report here

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Fraud Report 9/2/2021

WSJ: T-Mobile hacker that stole data on 10 million talks to the Journal

DOJ criminal charges and civil court complaint against US citizen living in Ukraine that posted small charges debiting bank accounts that were wholly bogus; millions lost ; complicated scam

Massachusetts: Four charged with processing $150 million in credit card charges for debt reduction scams, payday lending and online gambling and other high risk areas

BBB Studies. Here are links to some of the study topics: puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, government imposters, online vehicle sale scams, rental fraud and gift cards.

Full Report here

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Fraud Report 8/26/2021

Kentucky :  Romanian man gets 140 months (11 years +) for fraud in selling vehicles on line that were not delivered; also ran two other scams

Good news on bogus debt collectors:  Efforts to fight bogus debt collectors, who often try to collect debts that consumers never owed, have dropped dramatically from 484,220 in 2018, 134,320 in 2019, to 120,190 in 2020.   This was once the top source of fraud complaints to the FTC. So what happened? Was it the result of enforcement?  Let me know what happened.

Review and Recommendation: Darkest Hour.  How in a disastrous situation and against the appeals of the British elite to capitulate, Winston Churchill consulted the regular people of Britain, found them willing to fight on, and saved the British (and much of the French) army at Dunkirk.  Very well done.  A best actor Oscar for Gary Oldham.  BBB Studies. Here are links to some of the study topics: puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, government imposters, online vehicle sale scams, rental fraud and gift cards

Full report here

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Fraud Report 8/19/21

Brooklyn: Four arrested for counterfeiting $130 million in Uggs boots, Air Jordan’s, headphones; goods shipped from China and labels applied

Report:  $29.8 billion lost by U.S. consumers in the last year to phone scams; 23% of the public has lost money to these in the last year; 60% as the result of a robocall

Hackers offer to sell personal information about 100 million T-Mobile users on the dark web; including 30 million social security numbers, dates of birth

BBB Studies. Here are links to some of the study topics: puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, government imposters, online vehicle sale scams, rental fraud and gift cards.

Full report here

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Fraud Report 8/12/21

AARP releases “Consumer fraud in America: The Black Experience”

  • One in five have lost money
  • More than half of victims have also been victims of another scam
  • Most common are government imposters, lottery and work from home scams

The fastest growth in fraud is among those under 21 says new study

Tip of the week:  An alert reader reports that Marriott Reward points are being stolen and used.  This may be due to a series of data breaches the company experienced.  So this is a reminder to check your reward point accounts and frequent flyer miles from time to time so make sure someone hasn’t been stealing the awards you’ve earned.

Full Report here

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Fraud Report 8/5/2021

UK fraud reporting system Action Fraud to be replaced; scams account for 42% of all crimes

FBI warns that grandparent scams now using couriers to pick up money from elderly victims; includes Uber and Lyft drivers

Solar Winds hackers got into email systems of federal prosecutors

Spanish-speakers most likely victims of grandparent scams says AARP

New Jersey: Two from India plead guilty; worked with scams impersonating Social Security and with tech support scams;  took in $618,000; used robocalls

Scammers are now using QR codes

Full report here

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Fraud Report 7/29/2021

Top Stories  

Six Nigerians on FBI Most wanted list

In depth article on unemployment benefit theft in the U.S.

  • May hit $440 billion
  • Bots used to file for unemployment
  • IP addresses from China, Nigeria and Russia
  • Also Cuba, Eritrea, Fiji and Monaco

Study of complaints to CFPB about virtual wallets (PayPal, cash apps); finds they soared during the pandemic; how they work and protections they have (if any)

Why people can’t cut their losses; the sunk cost fallacy

Review and recommendation: High Noon, for which Gary Cooper won the best actor Oscar.  Excellent, and not a shoot ‘em up.  An honorable man faced with a town that won’t help.  Named one of the 25 best films ever made.

BBB Studies. Here are links to some of the study topics: puppy fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, apartment rental, crooked movers, government imposters, online vehicle sale scams, rental fraud and gift cards.

Full report here

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Fraud Report 7/22/2021

Majority of counterfeit drugs seized by US Customs are for erectile dysfunction; massive worldwide problem; may be unsafe too

Ohio: Two from Romania indicted for fraud that advertised and took payment for cars, motorcycles and other goods online and never delivered; often pretended to be with eBay or Amazon; victim losses at least $9 million;  had network of people in the US laundering money

US says China was behind hack of Microsoft Exchange servers

Full report here

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Fraud Report 5/15/21

Top Stories  

New York: Long Island woman pleads guilty over sweepstakes mail scam where victims had to send money back; no one won; scam took in $30 million; most victims elderly

7 ½ years prison for Peruvian whose business called immigrants in the US, impersonated court officials/law enforcement, and threatened deportation; two coconspirators plead guilty  

23% of those in the US say they lost money to a phone scam in the last year

Fraud text messages supposedly from State agencies.  I’m in Illinois, and now get one of these almost every day, as do my neighbors.  Is it just the Land of Lincoln? I’ve not seen much on this topic, but it seems to be growing incredibly fast.

Full report here

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Fraud Report 7/8/2021