Baker Fraud Report February 22,2024

Top Stories

FTC releases fraud data for 2023

  • Complaint numbers up a bit; losses jump 21% to over $10 billion
  • Most money lost to “investments,” meaning crypto romance fraud, at $4.6 billion; a 21% jump
  • Next most complained of were government/business imposters
  • Largest amount of money lost by bank to bank transfers
  • Those 20-29 years old lost money in 44% of complaints; those over 70 only 25%, though older group lost larger amounts

Singapore police release 2023 fraud data; fraud up on Meta platforms, including Facebook and Instagram; job scams top the list

China-sponsored hacking group has been infiltrating US electric utilities and emergency management services

FinCEN sends alert to financial institutions warning of crypto romance “pig butchering” frauds

Pet scams are now using sponsored ads on Google to appear at the top of search results; 31% of recent complaints about pet scams identified this tactic; sites usually registered from Cameroon

International effort seizes the infrastructure of Russia-based Lockbit, one of the largest ransomware groups

Full report here

Baker Fraud Report February 1, 2024

Identity Theft Assistance Center releases 2023 report, data breaches up 72% from 2022; affected 353 million individuals

FBI IC3 warns of sharp increase in tech support scams asking people to buy gold and other precious metals and send couriers to pick it up

UK reports fraud was down 13% last year, so it still the most reported type of crime; tech support and lottery fraud down

Europol: In extensive European effort police arrest 15 in major crackdown on Nigerian confraternities engaged in smuggling drugs, human trafficking and fraud

Huge amount of romance fraud enforcement this week.  As you can see below, a huge amount of great work has been done recently.  Why? Possibly it will promote education efforts around Valentine’s Day. But whatever the reason, these are welcome efforts.

full report here

Fraud Report January 18,2024

National Consumers’s League: Ten Resolutions on Fraud for this year

Technology used by scammers.  We all know that they can Spoof caller IDs, make fake web pages and passports, fake videos, and use ChatGPT and AI to aid their scams.  Here is a 30 minute presentation by Wayne May from Scamsurvivors explaining where scammers get these tools and how they use them.

How Walmart’s Financial Services Became a Fraud Magnet; use of money transfers and gift card fraud at stores cost victims millions

Full report here

Baker Fraud Report December 21, 2023

Top Stories

Europol releases report on online fraud trends (does not contain any data on scope of fraud there)

Cyber Attack in Iran hit gas supply;  shuts down 70% of the countries gas stations

Canada: British Columbia forfeits $10 million from PacNet, which processed payments for sweepstakes fraud claiming victims had won money and had to return small sums to claim

Canada: York Regional police arrest six (Chinese?) for handling gift card payments after tech support frauds; all Home Depot cards; had $3 million

New Jersey: Man gets five years prison for laundering fraud money for Black Axe gang in South Africa; handled $525,000

Two men from Toronto arrested for altering gift cards in stores

Los Angeles: Four men indicted for crypto romance frauds; got $80 million

Full report here

Fraud Report December 14, 2023

Baker Fraud Report December 7, 2023

Fraud Report November 30, 2023

Inside the crypto romance industry; billions stolen; suicides of victims; call centers where people are kidnapped

Need an expert witness for consumer protection or fraud issues?  Let me know.

Fraud Studies: Here are links to the studies I’ve written for the Better Business Bureau: puppy fraud, romance fraud; BEC fraud, sweepstakes/lottery fraudtech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, crooked movers, government imposters, online vehicle sale scams, rental fraud, gift cards,  free trial offer frauds,  job scams,  online shopping fraud,  fake check fraud and crypto scams

Fraud News Around the world



Artificial Intelligence and deep fake fraud


Virus Benefit Theft

Social media

Kidnapping and forced to scam

Business Email compromise fraud


IRS and tax fraud


Ransomware and data breaches

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

ATM Skimming

Jamaica and Lottery Fraud

Romance Fraud and Sextortion