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Radio Show = Gone

Due to unfulfilled promises and lies from Eads Broadcasting we are no longer doing the Scambusters show.  We will never advertise or be associated with KGAL or KSHO radio or broadcasting again. We have talked with other Radio Stations and it seems we may start a new show this late fall.  I needed to take some time off to move e-Powersellers and The Shipping Annex to Two Rivers Mall.  In the meantime I have been booked doing talks and interviews on Scams & Internet Fraud.   We don't recommend listening to the current broadcast of Scambusters as it is not the original and the host has no background or expertise on the subject.  When dealing with internet scams you really need to talk with someone that deals with these scams on a daily basis and not a radio person who just takes stuff and reads it from the internet.  Please feel free to contact us for more details and to have us speak at your event or organization. All the content below are shows written and hosted by me, Craig Solomon.

 

Scambusters Moved

 

We won't be posting here for Scambusters anymore, due to ease of posting, ability to comment and to fit with times we have moved Scambusters to Blogger.com.

 

Visit The New Home Of Scambusters Here

 

 

Craig Solomon   MP3 Audio Archives

 

5/15/2007 [Audio]

 

5/1/2007 [Audio]

 

4/17/2007 [Audio]

 

4/3/2007 [Audio]

 

3/20/2008 [Audio]

3/6/2008 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

2/20/2008 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

1/23/2008 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

1/9/2008 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]

12/26/2006 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2]

12/12/2006 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2]

11/28/2006 [Audio Part 1] [Part 2] Debut Show

 

Hotline: 541-905-0703 (message only)

 


 

 

Radio Show Content & Past Shows

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May 29th 2007

Craigslist scams

Within an hour of posting a personal mobile smartphone for sale on craigslist a T-Mobile SDA we got a request from a potential non-local buyer wanting to buy the phone.  The first email we received asked for payment method we accepted and some general questions just to make the email sound realistic. 

 

Since the item was advertised on a local craigslist we did not expect any long distance requests so I was suspicious, but never the less replied that we will accept all basic payment methods including credit cards, etc. 

 

On Sunday we received a reply asking if we still have the item and would accept a Cashier’s Check from his bank?  He said he wanted to pay this way so that I would ship it the next day to him FedEx and I did not have to wait for it to clear.  Our reply was that we hold all checks 10-days due to fraud and fake checks.  Needless to say we have not heard back from this buyer

.

Scam two with Craigslist, as we are liquidating our inventory and downsizing and moving our store from Second Street to Two Rivers mall, we are selling a ton of item, including a full liquidation from our old store the Relook Nook, so we have larger items including racks and fixtures for sale.  One of the items is a large 3-sided mirror for a retail clothing store, we listed it under furniture.

The next day we receive an email from the buyer

 

Am Jackson Lapachia, How are you doing today?i saw your advert on the craigslist .I have  interest in buying  any funitures avaliable.  please list out the available  funitures and price,   i just got an apartment and i have to funished it to my tastes that is  why i have to  mail you, i work  in a fabrics company. I will be making a full payment  my exboss is owning me. can you please hold the funitures  for me till i come over .

 

I am single aged 28 .i am an easy going person, regard  the payment my ex.boss will be issuing  you a  cheque  for the payment is owning me  ($4000 plus ).pls when you get it,you will have to deduct your payment, And you will have to send the balance to my travel agent here in state ... For him to get my  my return ticket prepare for my coming over for the picked up of the funitures . For the payment to be send  i will be needing your Full name, address state,city.zipcode,phone no. so that the check will be issue on you thanks

 

Please note I did not change any of the spelling to make it seem worse, this is what we got.  Notice he does not say where it is, what he wants, nothing specific about the item for sale, nor does our ad really have furniture, just a mirror and clothing racks.  The item is only $150 but yet he is willing to send us a check for $4k and expect us to send the balance back.  I guess the next answer would be that the balance needs to be wired back to his agent.  The funniest part yet is that my original email back to him includes my signature that has the KGAL logo and talks about the Scambusters Radio show. 

 

Our concern is how may thousand of these generic emails go out, and worse yet how many reply.  What a quick, fast and amazing way for people to earn a living overseas.

 
 

New Yahoo / Skype IM Scam

We have received recently similar scams on both Yahoo IM and Skype. Personally we use Skype for our Biz-2-Biz communication and I use Yahoo for friends.  My business partners are in California and it is easier for us to type back and forth a couple dozen times a day than it is to keep calling each other back and forth, and besides it is free. 

 

Recently I received a IM from someone we don’t know and is not on our list.  We are easy to find, as it is our business Skype and our name is the same as our company e-Powersellers.  This person had a picture associated with her Skype and she is a lovely woman, or a least a picture of a lovely woman, odds are it is not a woman doing this scam. 

 

The scam is simple, the person starts out wanting to just be a friend a contact, nothing more, just say hello.  One said they are from Nigeria (warning 1) and the other from the UK.  The UK one was trying to be friendlier, hoping I am single and that she can charm me and befriend me.  Regardless  I wanted to see where this was going as we have fun digging out the scams. 

 

Sure enough after a few friendly chats hello back and forth and such they ask me for a favor.  Seems their father passed away and has funds tied up in a bank in the USA.  She asked if I have a printer and a bank account, and I assured her I of course did.  She asked is it a big bank or a small bank (what a warning flag this is) so I told her it was a small local community bank, she said good, she does not like big banks.  She is going to send me a file with check forms on them, she wants me to print off the checks and send them out to different people throughout the USA and they will deposit the money in their account, keep a percent and send her the balance and for my help in this I would get a percent as well. 

 

This is a nice twist on the scam as they don’t even need to post the check, they will find a dupe in the USA to do it for them, and they rake in the cash.  What makes it worse if some patsy falls for it, they are now committing several crimes, some of which are Federal.  I can’t see how the Fed’s would let it slide, as the scam is so transparent.

 

Brazen, aggressive and out of control these scams are all over the internet and now in our IM’s.  I assume we will be getting them sent as text messages on our mobile phones soon!

 

Be afraid, be very afraid!  
 

Using HIV Research to Scam!

Received an email / letter from a Professor C. Redmond a researcher for HIV immunology from London and the William Harvey Research Institute http://www.whri.qmul.ac.uk/ a very well respected and well funded legitimate organization in the UK.

 

The letter in a nutshell basically says that they are receiving a lot of donations, some significant and they need a sponsor in the USA to receive the money, deposit it, keep a percent (10%) for themselves and then wire the balance to them in the UK.  Well the William Harvey Research Institute spends 10’s of millions of pounds each year on research and is well funded and of course they need me in Oregon to help them by washing their funds in the USA.

 

Here is their basic request:

 

Job Specifics:

1. Collection of Donations / Payments

2. Cashing of Donations / Payments

3. Deduction of commission 10% per donation/payment received

4. Sending cashed donation/payments to the institute following Our Instruction.

5. Keeping Record of each donation / payment received and sent.

 

But yet there is more, because after two months of good service we will be invited on an all expense paid trip to visit the institute in the UK as a bonus.

 

The email and host of this scam come though a newly registered website called infodeskonline.net.  We cannot be sure the owner of the site is involved in the scam, but since the website is not yet online and is just a shell it is quite scary.  Here is the info for this domain.

 

Admin Name........... DEBBIE MARSHALL

Admin Address........ KNOLL DR

Admin Address........ essex

Admin Address........ rm82be

Admin Address........ ln

Admin Address........ GREAT BRITAIN (UK)

Admin Email.......... dejavuchiky@yahoo.com

Admin Phone.......... (044) 7031931662

 

There is a website that already talks about infodeskonline.net scam and the many scams coming out of this domain. http://www.joewein.de/sw/419domains.htm

 

An obvious scam, need we say more, you receive bad checks, you deposit the checks, wire the balance out and then in a week or so your account is overdrawn and you lost all your money.    Really sad they are using HIV research as a way to scam people.

 
 

Lottery Scam via US Mail

 

Great, we have listeners, one such listener emailed us about a lottery scam with a twist, they did not get it through email, but it through US Mail.

 

Here is the email from our listener (names removed)

 

Hi Craig -

On today's Scambusters segment on KGAL you mentioned the Microsoft lottery scam.  I get those all the time, but yesterday I received one with a twist. This came in the US mail, and it included a cashier’s check for $2500 to pay the taxes on the $250,000 I had won.  

 

The cashier’s check looks real, down to the watermark and the micro-printing.  The bank it is drawn on is real (M&T Bank) but the branch information does not turn up in Google.  The letter says I need to send the $2500 to an account in London via Western Union to allow the full amount to be released.  It is an interesting twist on the old email scam.

 

Our listener is right, nicely done, nice looking check and overall a good letter, easy for someone who is not familiar with scams to fall for it.  We have seen similar scams on popular daytime judge shows, where one person who does not have an account asks their friend to cash it for them so they can get their lottery winnings, then the check is bad and the friend has to sue the check recipient for their money back.  A quick end to a friendship and of course we don’t need to mention the check and lottery winnings are all fake.

 

The listener was nice enough to email us copies of the letter and check and we have uploaded them for your viewing.  Don’t worry we blanked out stuff on the check to make sure no one prints it and uses it.

 

Letter: http://albanynotary.com/sbtemp/scam1.jpg

Check: http://albanynotary.com/sbtemp/scam2.jpg

 

6 indicted in ID theft ring

 

Nice to know at least Colorado is starting to take ID theft Seriously!

 

By Pierrette J. Shields

http://www.longmontfyi.com/Local-Story.asp?id=16510

 

A grand jury this week indicted six people accused of running an identification-theft ring targeting Boulder County homes and businesses.

 

Two of them face more than 100 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

 

The indictment names 52 victims — 17 people and 35 businesses — throughout the metro area, stemming from the accused ring’s operations from March to October 2006.

 

All of the suspects have been indicted on suspicion of violating Colorado’s organized crime law.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office in a press release on Tuesday credited the Boulder County District Attorney and Boulder County Sheriff’s offices with helping with the success of the investigation dubbed Operation White Rhino.

 

“As to the egregiousness of the violations, this case is certainly exceptional,” Attorney General John Suthers said in a prepared statement. Cmdr. Phil West of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the local investigation.

 

The U.S. Postal Service coordinated with local law enforcement to develop the case, which will be prosecuted in Boulder District Court by the attorney general’s office.

 

The investigation showed that the suspects stole mail from homes or cars and used the information to make fake identification cards and checks used to buy items at area businesses, according to the attorney general’s office.

 

A 72-page indictment names Christopher Applegate, 31; Brandy Creal, 25; Christopher “Sam Bam” France, 36; Brian Nicholson, 22; Jessica Prather, 25; and Allyson Turner, 25, as members of the suspected ring.

 

The North Metro Drug Task Force served a warrant on a Westminster home on Oct. 26, 2006, as part of an investigation into a methamphetamine lab. Officers collected garbage bags full of stolen mail and forged documents, and computer equipment used to forge driver’s licenses, according to the attorney general’s office.

 

Prather is indicted on charges of violating the state’s organized crime act, conspiracy, possession of ID theft tools, 10 counts of identity theft, two counts of criminal impersonation, four counts of forgery, four counts of theft, and first-degree aggravated motor-vehicle theft. She faces up to 165 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

 

France is charged with violating the state organized crime act, conspiracy, possession of ID theft tools, two counts of ID theft, two counts of forgery, theft, first- and second-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, first-degree burglary and menacing. He faces up to 1031/2 years if convicted on all counts.

 

Applegate is charged with violating the state’s organized crime act, conspiracy, possession of ID theft tools, three counts of identity theft, three counts of forgery, and theft. He faces up to 76 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

 

Creal is charged with violating the state’s organized crime act, conspiracy, three counts of identity theft, three counts of forgery, and two counts of theft. She faces up to 63 years if convicted.

 

Turner is charged with violating the state’s organized crime act, conspiracy, possession of ID theft tools, identity theft, and forgery. She faces a maximum prison term of 60 years.

 

Nicholson is charged with violating the state organized crime act, identity theft, two counts of forgery, criminal impersonation, and theft. He faces up to 43 years and six months in prison.

 

Pierrette J. Shields can be reached at 303-684-5273, or by e-mail at pshields@times-call.com. 
 

Scambusters Tip of the Week

 

Ton’s of ID theft happens due to people throwing out the pre-approved credit card letters they get in the mail.  It is easy for thieves to steal the mail from your mail box or trash and then redirect the cards to their home.  Once they have that they can start getting other cards and more.  You can now OPT OUT of receiving the pre-approved credit card offers.

 

Visit https://www.optoutprescreen.com to Opt-Out online or call 1.888.5.OPTOUT

 

May 15th 2007

Fake eBay Motors Scam

 

One of our partner’s at our California store in Granada Hills is looking online for a car for her teen daughter and found a very nice Toyota Rav4.  She found this car on Craigslist.  After contacting the seller, the seller replied that he still has the car listed on eBay, but will sell it to her offline.  The car is located in Ireland where is now living.  He must give up the car as it does not meet UK standards and they won’t let him drive it.  He is offering to sell it with FREE shipping anywhere in the USA.  At that point common sense would send anyone running, but of course we are Scambusters so I wanted to play with this person for a while and find out more.

 

Financial Details:  Selling the car for $6000 (about $8000 less than the car is actually selling for from the real eBay seller).  Offering to ship the car with a $3000 Money Gram wire transfer / deposit.  The wire transfer needs to go to someone in Ireland named “Primo Maldini” yet the seller says his name is Tom Diaz tom_diaz99@yahoo.com.

 

The scammer tries to give everyone the warm fuzzies by telling them you will buy the item through eBay Motor’s protection plan and sends off a very nice looking form email looking like it comes from an official eBay site, but of course it is not, as there is no plan and no guarantee by eBay that you get any vehicle.

 

The fake eBay “auction” is still online and perfectly safe to visit to see what a nice job the scammer did for this auction.  The obvious parts missing are the location where you actually bid and/or buy the item.

 

Fake Auction: http://www.motorslistingebay-carstrucks.com/ToyotaRAV4/ebaymotors/2002ToyotaRAV4.htm

 

Real Seller and Real Auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200103481096

 

You can see how easy it is for the scammer to fake the auction.  Of course seeing the URL you can see the car is not on eBay but motorlistingsebay-carstrucks.com a real site, but not related to eBay

 

The person who owns this domain and hosting this scam is

 

Domain-Name: motorslistingebay-carstrucks.com

Domain-ID: INT-70202

Domain-Owner: INT-35402

Name: Sebastian Tindall

Address: PO Box 1389

ZIP, Town: 99352 Richland

Country: US

Telephone: +1.5098457092

Fax: -

Email: rodneylanders41@yahoo.com

 

Remember…

bullet

·         Never buy anything offline / on the side, if going through eBay make sure the items is actually sold on eBay

bullet

·         Never wire transfer money to a non-verifiable company.

bullet

·         If buying a car, use a valid escrow company.

bullet

·         Always check the sites and redirected URLS

bullet

·         Cars worth $16K are not for sale anywhere for $6000

bullet

·         No one takes a Rav 4 to the UK and then ships it back to the USA for FREE

bullet

·         Read and verify everything.

bullet

          If the deal is too good to be true, it usually is.

 

Teenage con artist ignores court's warning

 

A London teenager convicted of perpetrating an elaborate Internet scam was back in business one day later, a report said Sunday.

 

The 16-year-old was warned by a London judge last Tuesday that his conviction would likely prompt a jail sentence, but the youth was back online a day later creating a new Internet scam, The Independent reported.

 

The teen, whose identity was not revealed, had created a profitable Internet fraud when he was only 13 and recently pleaded guilty to numerous fraud charges.

 

Despite the judge's warning, an official from the Safe Home Ordering Protection Scheme said the teen had attempted to post advertisements for a new fraud the day after his trial.

 

The teenager's schemes revolve around offering consumers online bargains and never fulfilling purchase agreements.

 

The boy spent his ill-gotten gains on international travel, horse riding and even prostitutes, the newspaper said.

 
 

400 college students now at risk for ID theft

 

A new employee at Montgomery College accidentally placed a file with 400 student's names and personal information - including social security numbers - in a public server where anyone could access it. Talk about starting off on the wrong foot. The list was up for about a day, and the 400 students whose information was on it have been advised to check their credit reports regularly.

 

The college was notified of the mistake when a friend of Leah Moody, whose information was on the list, contacted her and told her about the problem with her full name, address, phone numbers, and SSN. Moody then contacted the administration and removed the file. The list had been compiled for graduation certification, so all of the students on it will be graduating next week. As far as the college's administration can tell, the server was only accessed by a few students while the list was up.

 

Montgomery College has disciplined the new employee and the supervisor. They have also sent a letter to students and parents notifying them of the mistake and instructing them how to prevent identity theft.

 

Virus Scare – Back Again!

 

A never ending virus, keeps coming back because it works and people fall for it each and every time.  Everyone loves a friendly postcard so when they get one seemingly from a friend it is a quick click to disaster.  There are many variations on the virus, some do minor damage, some major, and some will steal your information, key strokes and passwords.  Reminder, never click on anything you were not expecting or initiated yourself.  Here is a sample of the Postcard Virus.  

 

 

Wow, we won the Lottery “Yet Again”

Wow, so much wrong with this email!  The top five reasons why this email is so bad…
 

1.      Bad Spelling
2.      Bad Grammar
3.      Bad Information
4.      They ask for our info yet we were chosen, based on what?  An email address?
5.      And the winner is…  They want you to email a Microsoft Company via a Yahoo UK email address!
 
MICROSOFT CORPORATION
BALEY HOUSE, HAR ROAD SUTTON,
GREATER LONDON SM1 4TE.
UNITED KINGDOM.
 
REF NO: YM35447XN
BATCH: YM 09102XN
MICROSOFT E-MAIL LOTTERY PROMOTION: UNITED KINGDOM
 
Finally, Today, we announce the results  of the MICROSOFT E-MAIL LOTTERY DRAWS held on April 24, 2007. Your  E-mail address attached to winning number YM09788, With serial number 647489, consequently won in the Tenth category. Since the draw  was conducted through zonal batching of the emails sampled, and the globe was divided, in this instance, into two zones, You are hereby notified that your winning falls under Europe Zone, and hence you are to be paid by our European Payment Centre.
 
You have been approved for lump sums pay out of £500,000 British Pounds Sterling  in Certified Cheque Credited to File REF NO:
MSW/56B-672GH/L and winning number YM09788 Selection process was carried out through random sampling in our computerized E-mail selection machine (TOPAZ) from a database of over 1,000,000 E-mail addresses drawn from all the continents of the world.
 
The online draws was conducted by a random selection of E-mail addresses from 29,031 lists of E-mail addresses of individuals and corporate bodies picked by an advanced automated random computer search from the internet. No ticket were sold but all E-mail addresses were assigned to different ticket numbers for representation. This is to encourage our prominent Microsoft Internet Explorer users all over the world, and for the  Continuing use of E-mail facilities.
 
Your fund has been insured with your REF NO: MSW/56B-672GH/L and winning number YM09788 To claim your winning prize, You are to contact the Fudiciary agent below:
 
Name: Mr.Alan Stubs E-mail Address: ukclaimsdepartments4@yahoo.com.hk Contact Number: +447024063995 +447031836648
 
In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and winning numbers in all correspondences with your claims officer. You are to keep all lotto information away from the general public especially your winning serial, and file reference numbers. (This is important as a case of double claims will not be entertained)
 
NOTE THAT YOU ARE TO INCLUDE ALL THE DATA BELOW WHEN CONTACTING THE PAYMENT AGENT:
 
1.Full Name:.....................................................
 
2.Address:......................................................
 
3.Nationality:..................................................
 
4.Sex:..........................................................
 
5.Age:...................... Date of Birth:...................
 
6.Occupation:.............................................
 
7.Home Tel:..........
Mobile Tel:................Fax:.................
 
8.State of Origin:.....................Country:.......................
 
9 Your File Ref No: ........................................
 
10. Indicate the zone where your winning falls.....
 
 Dr.MONICA SHAGAYA
 Online Co-ordinator
 
 
__________________________________________________________
 
                           Note:
Do not reply this mail, You are to contact Affiliate Payment Agency  in charge of the delivery of your Cheque immediately by E-mail. Microsoft Electronic Mail Lottery is approved and Licensed by the The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR)
 

 

One of the worst PayPal phishes ever!

 

Usually the scammer is willing to go through the effort of creating a realistic looking PayPal email and mask the URL / Link, but this scammer I think was just totally lazy and figured maybe one person with bad vision may fall for it.

 

 

VeRO NOTICE: eBay Listing(s) Removed - User Suspension - VeRO Program

 

**PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT EMAIL REGARDING YOUR LISTING(S)**

 

We would like to let you know that we removed your listing: http;//listings.ebay.com/dahlw0QQfrom4QQsacategoryZQsocmdbLis2247565647  (Bad link, Bad Code, Bad Item Number, Semicolon and not a full colon in the URL)  because the intellectual property rights owner notified us, under penalty of perjury, that your listing or the item itself infringes their copyright, trademark, or other rights.

 

(All VeRO notices will contain the information to who the IP owner is, and how to contact them via phone or email)

 

We have temporarily suspended activity on your account in order  to allow us to investigate this matter further. If you believe that this action may have been taken in error, or, if you feel that your account may have  been tampered with, please contact our Live Help team so that we can provide additional information and work with you to resolve this issue.

 

We have credited any associated fees to your account.  We have also notified the bidders that the listing(s) was removed, and that they are not obligated to complete the transaction.

 

If you believe your listing was ended in error, or have questions regarding the removal of this listing, please click here or contact the intellectual property rights owner directly at: Entertainment Software Association  eBay is available to answer questions, but since it is the rights owner that requested the removal of your listing(s), we encourage you to contact them first.

 

For more information on eBay's cooperation with rights owners through the VeRO Program, and a list of rights owners that have created About Me pages, please visit:

 

 http;//pages.ebay.com/vero-removed-listing.html
 http;//pages.ebay.com/help/community/vero-aboutme.html

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

Regards,

Customer Support (Trust and Safety Department)
eBay Inc

 

Not a good fake email, contains no specific information and the link of course (when valid) took you to a fake eBay page, for signing in and phishing for your eBay password.

 

May 01, 2007

 

Scambusters saves another location listener from losing thousands in internet fraud!

 

Listener emailed us at noscams@kgal.com with a quandary.  They are selling a vehicle online and received an offer from an overseas buyer to purchase their vehicle.  The buyer wants to send a check for the car, but wanted to send extra so that the seller can cash the check and wire the balance to the company who will be shipping the car to the buyer overseas.

 

Classic overpayment scam, with the check turning out to be a fake 7-10 days done the road.  The seller would lose the wired difference and have to repay it back to the bank.  The amount would most likely be around $2500 or $3000, but that is a large chuck of change for any of us to lose. 

 

Based on the emails and documentation we were shown by the listener there were other clues, but the scam is a common one and luckily a prevented one.

 

 

13 People Indicted in $3M Credit Card Fraud.

 

What happens when waiters in 40 restaurants over 5 states steal your credit card information?  Answer is 3-Million Dollars in fraud and ID theft.  The ringleaders of this fraud paid waiters and waitresses $35 to $50 for complete credit card information from their guests.  Suspects then created high-quality counterfeit credit cards

 

The credit card account information was stolen from customers who visited restaurants in Manhattan's Chinatown and other parts of the New York metropolitan area, as well eateries in Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Connecticut.

 

Some members of the group stole customers' information; some made the counterfeit cards; others shopped for merchandise; and finally someone bought the goods for cash, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.

 

Morgenthau said 12 of the 13 people indicted are in custody and are expected to be arraigned Monday. All the defendants are being charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, punishable by up to four years in prison. Seven are also being charged with second-degree grand larceny, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years.

 

The district attorney said conspiracy leaders recruited and managed people who worked as waiters and provided them with small, hand-held "skimmers" that read and recorded information on the magnetic strips of patrons' credit cards.  This fraud has been ongoing since 2005.

 

 

198 Million In Fraud Reported in 2006

 

Internet auction fraud was by far the most reported offense, comprising 44.9 percent of referred complaints. The "average" complainant was a man between 30 and 40 living in California, Texas, Florida, or New York. Of those individuals who reported a dollar loss, the highest median losses were found among Nìgerïan letter fraud ($5,100), check fraud ($3,744), and other investment fraud ($2,694).

 

Nearly 74 percent of the complaints said they were contacted through e-mail, and 36 percent complained of fraud through Web sites, highlighting the anonymous nature of the Web.

 

Three-quarters of the perpetrators were men. Nearly 61 percent lived in the U.S., with half in one of seven states. Other top countries included the U.K., Nigeria, Canada, Romania, and Italy. It is increasingly an international epidemic; one account of a recent arrest of eight Nigerians in Ghana also shares emails from those duped. In Bulgaria, with the help of the US Secret Service, a ring was uncovered which scammed over $100,000 from US citizens over the internet and was also engaged in money laundering.

 

 

Police probe report of N.L. internet fraud scam

 

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is investigating a report that an internet fraud and identity theft scam was being run out of Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

As part of the probe, Economic Crime Unit and West District Patrol officers searched a residence in Conception Bay South on April 2. Computers and related equipment were seized, police said, but no charges have been laid.

 

The investigation began in January, after police in Toledo, Wash., contacted the RNC about local teacher Jay Reimer, who said he had $1,700 siphoned from his credit card after responding to an e-mail in the fall of 2006.

 

The e-mail included a link to what he thought was the PayPal website, a service for making purchases on the internet, and told him to "update" what he thought was his PayPal account, he said.

 

The link "took me to a website which took my name, my driver's license number, my credit card number, my social security number," Reimer said.

 

But days after Reimer visited the site and entered his personal information, his credit card company called to ask him about unusual cash advances to the tune of $1,700.

 

The Toledo police believe Reimer was a victim of a scam known as "phishing," where websites are set up to look like credible sites but in fact steal personal information. They also believe the scam was based in Newfoundland.

 

"I constantly get reminders from my IT specialists at work: 'Don't answer these e-mails, there's a thing called phishing,' " Reimer said.  "I have received them repeatedly and yet I did exactly what the phishers anticipated and I swallowed the bait."

 

Reimer said he was lucky — his credit card company absorbed the $1,700 loss.

 

 

One tenth of UK consumers become victim of Internet fraud

 

UK consumers that think that banks and financial bodies are looking after their financial data and security online need to think again. Figures from Get Safe Online Campaign reveal that one in ten people in the UK have been the victims of online fraud, and each victim has lost an average of around £875 as a result of this fraud.

 

Internet spending in the UK has rocketed to thirty billion pounds a year, reflecting just how much confidence UK consumers have when it comes to making online transactions, despite the various warnings about possible fraudulent activity.

 

However, the survey also revealed that many of the people that spend online assume that banks and financial bodies are able to look after their financial security and safely online, which is not actually the case. It is up to the consumer to be more vigilant about security when making online transactions, and in some cases, such as with credit card fraud, some consumers may find that they are unable to recoup the costs of the fraudulent activity.

 

The Get Safe Online director, Tony Neate, stated: "The internet now is the real world. "We don't blame the police when we get burgled and we must take responsibility for what we do online in the same way we do for securing our houses and cars."

 

Nearly fifty percent of the people that were surveyed said that they did not have any basic security facilities such as spyware software. Many have also admitted to neglecting to use basic security procedures and checks, all of which can increase the chances of becoming a victim of online fraud.

 

 

Woman Sentenced to 55 Months in eBay Scam

 

Rachel Reyes, a 29 y/o woman from Williamsburg Virginia as sentenced to 55 months and prison, 3-years of supervised release and was ordered to pay over $400K in restitution.  Ms. Reyes, was part of a crime ring selling and distributing fraudulent celebrity memorabilia items on eBay.  The US District Attorney, Chuck Rosenberg, for the Eastern District of Virginia; and, Cassandra M. Chandler, Special Agent in Charge, Norfolk Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement after Reyes’ sentencing today before United States District Judge Walter D. Kelley, Jr.

 

According to court documents, Rachel Reyes, her husband Jeffrey Reyes, and her mother, Nancy Selisker, operated their own eBay accounts for the sale of the counterfeit memorabilia, which included record albums and photographs of celebrities with forged signatures. To conduct the fraud scheme, the three defendants purchased unsigned memorabilia from various locations in Virginia, and then forged celebrity signatures on those items. The items subsequently posted the items for auction on eBay's Internet website. The listings falsely described these items as authentic and offered fraudulent certificates of authenticity.

 

From July 5, 2002 through March 11, 2005, Rachel Reyes personally completed 5,265 sales of memorabilia with forged signatures to 3,359 victims, with losses totaling approximately $314,773.97. From July 21, 2003 through March 11, 2005.  Cohort in crime Selisker personally completed 1,620 sales of memorabilia with forged signatures to 1,104 victims, with losses totaling approximately $118,114.07. From August 10, 2002 through March 11, 2005 and third person Jeffrey Reyes completed 1,317 sales of memorabilia with forged signatures to 1,124 victims, totaling approximately $130,520.72. Victims were located throughout all 50 states of the United States as well as 33 other countries.

 

On March 26, 2007, Jeffrey Reyes, age 30, of Williamsburg, Virginia, was sentenced to 33 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $98, 948.94 in restitution for his role in the scheme. Selisker is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30, 2007.

 

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. eBay also provided assistance during the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Gill and Brian Samuels prosecuted the case for the United States.

 

 

Feds: ID theft ring run from prison

 

A man in prison for identity theft is accused of running a similar operation from behind bars, with an Emmy award-winning television producer and animator among the victims.

 

In a federal complaint filed Tuesday, investigators said Morocco Curry and three co-conspirators outside prison used stolen account information to request replacements for "lost" credit cards and to open new accounts.

 

Curry, 34, is accused of using a prison phone to make collect calls to his associates. Authorities say the group bilked tens of thousands of dollars from companies, including American Express, beginning in December.

 

Gabor Csupo, 54, who helped create the children's animated program "Rugrats" and has worked on "The Simpsons," was among those targeted, authorities said. Csupo won Emmys for his work on both cartoons.

 

Curry; Vanieca D. Samuels, 39; Brenda K. Butler, 47; and Tracy Chambers, 34, each face charges of felony identity theft. The crime carries a penalty of two years in prison.

 

Curry will be transferred to federal custody this summer, Mrozek said. He is serving a three-year sentence for identity theft at Centinela prison in Imperial County.

 

 

 

Member of Transnational Crime Ring Arrested In eBay Fraud

 

Bulgarian woman faces 30 years in prison for allegedly conspiring in an "elaborate scheme" to defraud eBay users of $350,000.

 

A woman described by the FBI as a Bulgarian member of a transnational criminal ring has been arrested in connection with what the government is calling an "elaborate scheme" to defraud eBay users of more than $350,000.

 

Mariyana Feliksova Lozanova is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The woman, who also goes by the names Gentiane La France and Naomi Elizabeth DeBont, allegedly tricked prospective buyers on eBay to wire her money for major purchases, like motor vehicles and boats, that were never delivered, according to a release from the FBI, which investigated the case.

 

If convicted, the woman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy and 10 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy. In addition, she also could be required to pay fines totaling more than $500,000, as well as forfeitures and restitution to the victims of the scheme.

 

A grand jury in the District of Columbia returned the indictment March 1, but it remained sealed until Lozanova was arrested in Budapest on March 22. She has waived extradition to stand trial in the United States.

 

According to the FBI, Lozanova and others in the "crime group" allegedly participated in a scheme to advertise the expensive merchandise for sale on eBay. When potential buyers from the United States showed an interest, they were contacted directly by e-mail from the purported seller. The victims were then instructed to wire transfer payments through eBay Secure Traders, which has no actual affiliation with eBay. The FBI contends it was a ruse to persuade the victims that they were sending money into a secure escrow account pending delivery and inspection of their purchases. Instead, the victims' funds were allegedly wired directly into one of several bank accounts, controlled by Lozanova and her co-conspirators, in Hungary or Slovakia.

 

The cars and boats the victims intended to purchase were never delivered and the victims' money was never returned. Lozanova allegedly withdrew the proceeds shortly after the funds had been wired into her account and distributed them to other members of the criminal group in Budapest, according to the FBI statement.

 

Lozanova allegedly opened the accounts using a fraudulent Canadian passport and a U.K. passport, which falsely identified her as Gentiane LaFrance and Elizabeth Naomi DeBont, respectively, the FBI reported.

 

"This arrest is an excellent example of the strong cooperation between the FBI and Hungarian National Bureau of Investigation to stem Eurasian organized crime," FBI Assistant Director Chip Burrus said in a written statement. "Since April 2000, the FBI-HNBI Organized Crime Task Force has worked closely to investigate transnational enterprises headquartered in this historic Central European center of commerce and finance."

 

The Budapest Task Force was established by the FBI in April 2000 in an effort to deal with the increasing threat of Eurasian organized crime groups to the United States.

 

 

WINNING NOTIFICATION (Your email have won £250,000.00)

 

This is a really sad attempt, even in the title they don’t know enough to put my email in place.   Other obvious things are the use of French words in a British Lottery.  The other is the horrendous formatting and use of words, language and grammar. 

 

The main trick is they try to make you believe it is real by sending you to the real UK Lottery website, but of course wants you to email them at a free Yahoo email address.

                             

We are pleased to inform you of the final announcement of the UK National Lottery Online thunderball Programme with draw numbers(#644)02,05,07,20,31,10 held on tuesday 17 April,2007.

Do endeavour to contact:Rev. John smith provide details for filing of claims.

Email:mail_thunderball@yahoo.co.uk

Email:contact_thunderball@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

Bank of America – Quality PHISH

 

We received a really nice, high quality Bank of America Forged / Phish this week.  This is one of the nicer fakes we seen, the page is different than the real BofA site, but still very good.  It said my account was hacked and I needed to log in and reactivate the account. We played the site for a minute with a user id of “asdfaerewre” and a password of “asfawerewaef” (garble) and of course it let us in as real.  We then filled out the next batch of info..  City of birth, seems I was born in the city of “asdfasl” and my first pet is “asldfkfd” and I graduated from “aslkfaskf asdlflod” high school.  I really wanted to get to the next page where the real trouble happens. 

 

The amount of information they are asking is staggering and if you were really logged into your real BofA site then the Bank would know this info.  Here is what they are asking.

 

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·         Bank of America ATM or Check Card Number

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·         Bank of America ATM or Check Card PIN

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·         Re-enter ATM or Check Card Pin:

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·         Exp date:

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·         Card Verification Number:

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·         Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number

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·         Mothers Maiden Name:

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·         Date of birth:

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·         Zip Code:

 

The site also reminds you that you are on a “Secure” site, when of course you are not on a secure site, so double trouble.  The only typo so far is “mothers” and not “mother’s” for maiden name.  Overall a good website.

 

The redirect for the fake site takes you to a registered domain of ebankingonlineauthentication. 

 

Fake site is in China, just registered last month.

 

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·         Domain Name: EBANKINGONLINEAUTHENTICATION.COM

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·         Registrar: BEIJING INNOVATIVE LINKAGE TECHNOLOGY LTD. DBA DNS.COM.CN

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·         Whois Server: whois.dns.com.cn

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·         Updated Date: 21-mar-2007

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·         Creation Date: 21-mar-2007

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·         Expiration Date: 21-mar-2008

 

Run far, run fast and watch out for phishing.  Remember, always go to the site direct and never follow the links in the emails.

 

April 17th 2007

Scambusters Radio Show

 

Next Show May 1st, 2007

Tax Scams

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday 4/13 warned of Internet scam artists trying to obtain people's bank account numbers and other information by posing as a participant in a program offering free tax preparation software to low- and middle-income taxpayers.

The tax agency said in a statement that the IRS's Web site, http://www.irs.gov/, is the only way to access the Free File program, and that taxpayers should avoid other Web sites claiming to be part of the program.

Even though today is the final day to submit your taxes, please be sure not to fall for this scam.

The tax agency said it was looking into allegations that the bogus Web sites, which were not identified, were accepting tax information from taxpayers, changing the taxpayers' bank account numbers to their own and filing the return through a legitimate Free File partner.

Oprah 4/13 with Brian Ross from 20/20

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USPS Inspectors have stopped over 6 Millions Scams / Fake Checks

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Nigerian Scams & Phishing take the lead on scams. Scammers look for 1% return.

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Not all Nigerian Scams come via email, many come from US Mail or Fax.

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Reverse on the Scam, a leagal form comes in from the Nigerian Government saying that they want to send you $1M due to your loss, but need $4K to process.

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Many of the people scammed are quite smart, intelligent people.

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Fake Lottery Scams

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Fake Oprah Ticket Scams / Contests / Sweepstakes

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Repackage Scams

bulleteBay Scams

 

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Many fall for it due to greed, something for nothing.

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Fake scams involving a Solider and Sadam's Money is highlighted

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Scam involving Teri Irwin, widow of the Croc Hunter, name is used in a Scam to move money out of Australia.

Scambusters saves local couple $7000 USD.

Luckily we were here to prevent a local Albany couple from losing $7000 USD on an eBay ATO car scam. The seller (Stolen Account) canceled the auction an contacted all bidders that they car was theirs. They told the buyers that they now live overseas and have no use for the car. The car however is in the USA and is titled in the USA. The buyer needs to wire the full amount to the seller overseas and once received they will release the vehicle and title.

The added "safety-net" to the buyers is they had everything set to be paid and guaranteed through the eBay Auto Buyers Safety program, however there of course is no such service and no protection. Anyone who falls for this deal would lose their money with no resources actually available to assist them retreive any of their wired funds.


2008 ID Changes Coming!

There are three rumours floating around the internet now on Federal ID and Drivers Licenses. The three rumours are...

1. By 2008 Motorists will have to submit to formal identification checks to obtain or renew Drivers Licenses in the USA
A. True, there are changes coming that will require people in the USA to provide more ID when applying for or renewing a drivers license. Items that are listed as accepted IDs include a birth certificate or a US Passport. Other documentation will be required to show that you reside at your listed residence such a utility bills. The original date for this requirement was May 11th 2008, but has been pushed back to December 31st 2008. There are more details regarding this "Real ID Act" that can be found online under the Department of Homland Security page.

2. A unique Federal ID number will be issued to each US DL holder as a unique identifier.
A. False

3. Starting in 2008 when you renew your license a chip will be implanted in motorists hands with all their personal information and Federal ID number.
A. False


Watch out for Notary Scams

Being a Notary myself, I read a lot of trade publications on the happenings on the Notary Community. Before becoming a Notary I was unaware of the likelyhook of Notary Scams, after all, it is seems like such a straight process, however there is no end to the scams surrounding Notary's. I became a Notary because of the natural fit with our Shipping Annex here in Albany, and even more so I am glad I became one as it gave me access to information to makes us better reporters at Scambusters.

The most common scam affects immigrants. In the U.S., there are reports of notaries (or people claiming to be notaries) having taken advantage of the differing roles of notaries in common law and civil law jurisdictions to engage in the unauthorized practice of law. The victims of such scams are typically illegal immigrants from civil law countries who need assistance with, for example, their immigration papers and want to avoid hiring an attorney. Confusion often results from the mistaken premise that a notary public in the United States serves the same function as a Notario Público in Spanish-speaking countries (which are civil law countries, see below). Prosecutions in such cases are difficult, as the victims are often deported and thus unavailable to testify.

The other scams to watch out for, mortage scams, power of attorney scams, insurance scams, wills and trust scams, divorce and custody scams and many more. Please be aware if a document is not properly notarized it is not a legal document and that it may come back later and vactate all value it had when submitted. Please visit our site at http://albanynotary.com for more information and please feel free to contact us for any Notary questions.


Updated 10 Tips to protect your ID

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Keep a list of all credit card and bank account numbers with bank phone numbers so in case of loss or theft they can be notified immediately.

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Use only one credit card for personal expenses and one card for business expenses and monitor accounts online weekly.

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Always send or receive mail only through secure and locked mail boxes.

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Never give out any sensitive information (SSN, Acct #, Pin #, Password Etc) via an email solicitation. Always type in and visit the website directly.

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Limit the information on your checks to your first initial, last name and address (nothing more).

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On all credit cards instead of signing your name write “Check ID!”.

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Never use a debit card or Visa/Master Check card as recovering fraudulently accessed funds from these accounts can be extremely difficult.

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Store all credit cards, bank statements and passports etc in a secure and locked place.

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Never give out your Social Security Number, Drivers License Number or Date Of Birth unless they have just cause and really need it.

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For details about establishing and initial fraud alert on your credit reports visit: www.experian.com, www.equifax.com www.transunion.com

Couple caught on 1m ID Theft Scam
New York Post Article by HASANI GITTENS

April 14, 2007 -- A married couple from Brooklyn went from better to worse after getting caught using a Queens man's identity to scam more than $1 million, authorities said yesterday.

Emerick Martin and his wife, Donna, both 42, allegedly obtained more than $1 million in mortgages and applied for a $90,000 loan for a Mercedes-Benz - using a forged driver's license in their victim's name, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office.

The Bay Ridge couple has been charged with attempted grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, identity theft, falsifying business records, scheming to defraud and unlawful possession of personal identification information.

The DA said the investigation of the Martins began this year when the victim, a 41-year-old man from Rosedale, learned someone was trying to obtain a $180,000 second mortgage on his home.

At the mortgage closing on Jan. 11, the Martins allegedly presented a forged driver's license in the victim's name, supplying paperwork with the Queens man's actual loan number, job information, telephone number and address.

The Martins also allegedly took out two mortgages totaling $1,123,000 on a home in Dix Hills, L.I.

Investigators said that just before Christmas, the Mar tins went to a Jamaica, Queens, auto dealership to buy a 2007 Mercedes S550 for $90,000 using credit in the victim's name.

Again they presented the victim's Social Security number and a forged driver's license, but were denied when the forgery was spotted

 

April 3rd 2007

Scambusters Radio Show

 

April 03, 2007

Next Show April 17th, 2007

 

Telephone Hotline: 541-905-0703

noscams@kgal.com

 

New twist on Overpayment Scam:

 

Customer comes into e-Powersellers, telling us about her sister who was bated for the overpayment scam, however with a new twist.  Her sister had an item listed for sale on a website with a phone to call if interested.  The scammer contacted her using a 3rd party service pretending to be deaf, so the service translated through the deaf TTY phone service.  Said they can’t talk on the phone because of their deafness and asked if they can communicate via email.  Most likely this person is out of the country using VOIP and the foreign language would be a dead giveaway.

 

The scammer wanted to do the typical overpayment scam, wanted to send a MO for nearly ten times the amount of the item, and wanted the money immediately wired back to the intended buyer (scammer).

 

This is not a massive change to the scam, but a nice twist to make it more believable to seller and may be enough to scam someone out of a good deal of money.

 

 

Fake Payment Scam

 

This is usually a short lived scam, you would get inundated with payments and most likely the scammer will want the money turned around quickly less your (fake) commission of course and wire the money back to him overseas. 

 

If this was a legitimate offer, then the seller would really need one person, after all, how much of his art is he really selling, and how would he figure who to send the money to?  A difficult thing to keep track of to say the very least.  If you were a buyer would you want to send a MO or Check to someone in another country in another name? 

 

The reason it is short lived is that within 1-2 weeks you will find out from your bank that the payments you received are totally fake and you just sent away your savings, as you will owe the bank them money.  On top of that, if the checks are stolen, you may be arrested for fraud.

 

Here is a copy of the email we received.  On a side note, we have contacted the sender via a free email account we have to “get the details” so we can participate in this wonderful opportunity.

 

“Good Day,

 

My name is Eric J. Turner, My Company is looking for a someone in the STATES/ CANADA that is trustworthy and honest who would be helping out with payment collection and processing.. All you would be doing is receiving these payments that would come to you via the mail system in your country, have them cashed and remit the rest to me. I would be willing to pay you 10% of whatever payment you process. These payments would come in different forms.

 

 I have been designing arts and crafts since I was a small child. That gives me about 20 Years of experience. I majored in art in high school and took a few college art courses. Most of my work is done in either pencil or airbrush mixed with colour pencils. I have recently added designing and creating artwork on the internet. I have been selling my art for the last 3 years and have had my work featured on trading cards, prints and in magazines. I have sold in galleries and to private collectors from all around the world. I am always facing serious difficulties when it comes to selling my art works to Americans; they are always offering to pay with Different Modes, which are difficult for me to cash here in the UK. Because of a hold of almost two weeks that would be placed on them before they clears the banks here in the UK.

 

These payments would be coming in your name, so that it would be possible for you to have them cashed. And there is NO FEE or SIGN-UP FEE of any kind. The payment would be sent to you directly from my clients in the states or by me after verifying the details on them. All you would be doing is cashing the payments and deducting your share

(10%) and having the rest sent down to me via WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER. the FEE for the transfer would also be deducted from my SHARE of the money

 

If you are interested, please get back to me as soon as Possible with your full contact details, which should include, your:

 

Full Name:

Contact Address:

Phone Number:

 

“removed”

 

REPLY

 

We did receive a reply from the FAKE Eric J. Turner, as the real Turner is an amateur cartoonist.  The fake one shows mismatched fine art saying the values are in the few thousand.  As we assumed the scam was clear, cash the payment (CASH THE PAYMENTS) and then WIRE the money to him immediately.  Here is the email

 

Hello
How are you doing? the job does not entail much. all you would be doing is receiving these payments in form of Money Orders, which would be coming from some clients of mine in the United States via the mail. So when you get these Checks all you have to do is have them cashed and deduct your share ( 10% ) and wire the rest down to me here in England via ( MoneyGram Money Transfer or Western Union Money Transfer).I would also be needing some proof of Identity. so i have attached an Employment form for you to fill and send back to me via email.my phone number in the UK is : + 44 7031851304. I have also attached some of my paintings to this email for you to see. the prices of my art work range from about £1,450 ($3,000) and above.

 

 

Wholesale Product Scam

 

Not really a typical email or internet scam, but we get more of these than most people.  As professional eBay sellers we get dozens of these a month.  We already know that you can’t buy wholesale Gucci and Louis Vuitton from Hong Hong or China or other countries, these are just good or poor quality knock off’s and illegal to sell here in the USA and may even be illegal to import them. Regardless it infringes on the manufactures trademark and could involve you in a federal trial.  Of course selling fake designer items on eBay can and would most likely result in the suspension of your account.

 

We were recently approached by clients at our store wanting us to sell two purses, a Chanel and a Louis Vuitton.  They wanted 1k and 2k for the bags each.  We took the bags in and before we listed them on eBay we did some research and found both bags to be fakes.  The customers asked that we sell them know and “Pay them early” as they needed cash for taxes, however the scam was clear, sell the bags, get the payment, ship the item and pay the client before the winning bidder finds out the item is fake and wants their money back.  We of course returned the items to the client and let them know we could not list them.

 

Here is the email we received.

 

Our products with high quality and a reasonable price,. You will be satisfied with our good service. Our company is growing up by integrity and profession. Please email us to get details. Fast and safe delivery by EMS, DHL, TNT, or UPS. FREE shipping fee with EMS shipment. we can deliver within 2 business days once receiving your payment, we accept: Paypal, Western Union and T/T for the payment.

 

If you need, we can do drop shipping for you.

 

We wish your visit and keep a long-term business. Please email us to get more details. Thanks for your visiting. If you have any questions contact us please. Best wishes

 

Bad PayPal Phishing

 

Some of the recent PayPal Phishes are good, but some are bad, this one is a mix of the two.  The visual aspects are good but the text and reasoning is poor.  Along with missing information and details there is a common missing fact in most poor phishing attempts and this is they have no actual account or personal details in the email.

 

This specific phish links to a website in the Netherlands, which is an unusual scam location, but still viable.

 

The obvious errors are:

 

(Your case ID for this r   <<< That is it, ends with an “r” they forgot to finish the email.

Your account access has been limited for the following reason(s):   <<< If you account is limited, then just go to PayPal log in and there will be notice stopping you from continuing.  One would never reply to a link or notice like this, always go to the website directly.

 

We recently reviewed your account, and we need more information to help us provide you with secure service.  <<< Pure Garbage, never will PayPal “review your account”

 

We got a different PayPal phish as well, saying to activate our PayPal Debit Card. This one has a bunch of holes, as if you did not just get a card, why would you need to activate one?  Also would you not get your activation information with the card? 

 

They added one trick to the text, as they assume that you did not get your PayPal card, as this is a random phish, so they ask you log into your account through the fake link.  Here is the text they are using to try to get you to log in.

 

Note: If you have not received your ATM/Debit Card, it was mailed to the billing address of your Primary Credit Card. To check that this address is still correct, log in to your account and go to the Profile subtab, then choose the Credit Cards link from the Financial Information column to view your billing address. Please contact us if the address is incorrect. 

 

The quality of the scam is that if you actually clicked on the link (subset of IP 66.111.224.11) is the fake site is very authentic looking which I makes it very dangerous if you accidently overlooked the errors in the email.

 

Bad eBay Phish

 

Bad on so many levels, the most glaring the link clearly shows you are going to the website by.ru in Russia.  Plus if they are looking in Russia, why would you ship the item to Daly City, California?  Also what is the difference if someone saw an item just like it? This whole email is rotten phish.

 

This is the email, please do not click on the link.

Hello, I am interested in your item. The problem is that i am a little confuse because i've seen another item exactly like yours. Please take a look : http://pages-ebay.by.ru/search.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll/WQQ_item120089542492/ Also please let me know how much will be shipping to Daly City, CA 94015. Thank you

Oh, and more importantly this email came to an email address of mine that has never been used or associated with eBay.

 

Government Grant Scams

 

Recent rash of fake government grant scams.  Many of the scams come via phone calls or email.  The scams include asking for personal information including Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and of course asking people to pay advance processing fees.

 

Please remember that no legitimate group will ever contact you offering you a Government Grant.  Third party companies also prey on people saying for a fee they will help you process the paperwork or research if you are a candidate for a grant, these are pure rip-offs.

 

All true grants go through an application and approval process, there are many legitimate resources for getting grants research those on your own and never reply to an email or phone call. Grants are always given for a specific need or purpose, they are not given because the government has spare money, you are the first to sign up or you are a good taxpayer.  All these are empty promises that are just methods to steal your cash.

 

Here are some legitimate resources for researching government grants.

 

 www.cfda.org, www.fafsa.ed.gov, www.govbenefits.gov, www.grants.gov

 

Quick review of Pharming

 

In this latest version of online ID theft, a virus or malicious program is secretly planted in your computer and hijacks your Web browser. When you type in the address of a legitimate Web site, you’re taken to a fake copy of the site without realizing it. Any personal information you provide at the phony site, such as your password or account number, can be stolen and fraudulently used.

 

Fake Investment Email We Have Received

 

Jim, received the email below to the investment show email address at KGAL.  On the surface this email reads scam, and of course why would Fidelity Investments spam out an email to get people to sneak money out of their company. 

 

The link at the bottom to Fidelity is legitimate but the email to the “Fund Manager” asking you to email him at home through a FREE email service is such a bogus attempt at a phish / fraud.  This is such a bogus email we hope no one would truly fall for this mess.

 

My Request,

 

I am Mr. Evan Davidson a Fund Manager with Fidelity Investment UK and I am

searching for a reliable and trustworthy person that can work out this

deal with me so that we can join hand as a Partnership to claim a huge

amount of fund in our company.

 

Explanation: I handle all our Investor's capital Project Funds that

enables me to divert 1.2 Percent Investors Excess Return Capital Funds to

our Magellan Trust Funds Account whereby anyone can be presented to claim

the funds. On this note, the total sum of 16.8Million Great British Pounds

GBP (Sixteen Million Eight Hundred Thousand GBP) has been diverted

representing the 1.2 Percent Excess Return Capital Funds from the Investor

Capital Project Funds for 2005/2007.

 

There is no risk attached and the funds in question can never be dictated

or traced. Our sharing ratio is 50:50. If you are interested, please send

your direct telephone numbers through my home email address

(evan1958@hotmail.com) for a smooth discussion of this deal in further

details.

 

Sincerely,

Mr. Evan.

Fidelity Investment UK

www.fidelity-international.com.

 

 

Informational Consumer Alert from Citizen’s Bank

 

Consumer Alert – Solicitations Regarding Certain Mortgage Programs

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has received inquiries and complaints from consumers who received solicitations about a "Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Program" that entitles certain homeowners to cash grants or equity disbursements. Some of these solicitations may be read to indicate that the federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies endorse or support the offers.

 

These solicitations appear to be a deceptive effort to encourage consumers to apply for a mortgage loan secured by the consumer’s home. The agencies do not endorse or sponsor particular mortgage loan programs. Additionally, the federal law known as CRA does not contain programs as described in the solicitations, nor do such programs exist. The agencies caution the public about loan solicitations or other offers from lenders or mortgage brokers that offer consumers cash as part of a "Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Program."

 

The Community Reinvestment Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1977. It encourages depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, in ways that are consistent with safe and sound banking operations. The CRA does not entitle individuals to any grants or loans.

 

Consumers should be very suspicious of conducting business with lenders or mortgage brokers that make deceptive claims. Individuals who are considering taking out a loan using their house as security are urged to shop around. Comparing loan programs offered by a variety of different lenders can help consumers get a better deal. This online pamphlet, issued by the agencies, Looking for the Best Mortgage: Shop, Compare, Negotiate, contains useful information about shopping for home loans: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/mortgage/mortb_1.htm

 

Consumers who have complaints about national banks should contact the OCC’s Customer Assistance Group (CAG). The CAG may be reached at 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450, Houston, Texas 77010-9050; toll free telephone number 1-800-613-6743; or email at customer.assistance@occ.treas.gov. In addition, questions may be directed to crahelp@frb.gov or the CRA Assistance Line at (202) 872-7584.

 

March 20th 2007

FBI 2006 Stats / Overview


During 2006, consumers filed 207,492 complaints. Complainants said they lost $198.4 million, the highest total ever.
Nearly 45 percent of the complaints involved online auction fraud-such as getting a different product than you expected-making it the largest category; more than 19 percent concerned undelivered merchandise or payments. Another pervasive scheme last year involved an e-mail threat of murder .


The perpetrators: Three-quarters were men. Nearly 61 percent lived in the U.S., with half in one of seven states. Other top countries included the U.K., Nigeria, Canada, Romania, and Italy.


Victims: All over the map. But the report shows that the "average" complainant was a man between 30 and 40 living in California, Texas, Florida, or New York. Individuals who reported losing money lost an average of $724; the highest losses involved Nigerian letter fraud, with a median loss of $5,100. Nearly 74 percent of the complaints said they were contacted through e-mail, and 36 percent complained of fraud through websites, highlighting the anonymous nature of the web.


See the full FBI report here: http://www.ic3.gov/media/annualreport/2006_IC3Report.pdf

 
Note: Oregon ranks #22 in fraud reporting

FBI Bulletin on Vishing Scam


With the new commonality and popularity of VOIP Voice Over IP Internet Phones, cyber criminals are using these systems to exploit Vishing scams. As we mentioned before on our show Vishing is very similar to Phishing, except instead of email the scammers use voice (phones) to contact the mark.


There are currently two versions of this new Vishing scam.

bulletIn one version, you get the typical e-mail, like a traditional phishing scam. But instead of being directed to an Internet site, you're asked to provide the information over the phone and given a number to call. Those who call the "customer service" number (a VoIP account, not a real financial institution) are led through a series of voice-prompted menus that ask for account numbers, passwords, and other critical information
bulletIn another version you're contacted over the phone instead of by e-mail. The call could either be a "live" person or a recorded message directing you to take action to protect your account. Often, the criminal already has some personal information on you, including your account or credit card numbers. That can create a false sense of security. The call came from a VoIP account as well.

 

The advantages of Vishing scams over more traditional phishing scams is that VOIP is inexpensive, especially for long distance which allows cheap fake international calls. Also because VOIP is web based it is easy for criminals to create real sounding incoming customer service lines. Because it is easy for these cyber criminals to hide and reroute the IP address they are hard to track and even harder to prevent.

 

Don't let this happen to you, be aware of the possibility a customer service call is fake, ask for the call back number and then check with the real financial institution to see if the information matches. If not the call is likely fake. Call the real financial institution directly to see if your account has any problems, odds are all is well and you just prevented a Vishing attempt.



Tangent couple lose $3,315 in 'Net scam
By Alex Paul
Albany Democrat-Herald


TANGENT - All Catherine Nelson wants is an inexpensive used car that runs well. Her 17-year-old car has nearly 200,000 miles and an engine that's running on borrowed time.

Nelson needs something reliable to get her back and forth to her job working with autistic children through the local Education Service District. She and her husband, Francis Romano, were ecstatic when they found a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder for sale for $3,200 on the popular Internet site Craig's List.
The two-owner SUV was within their budget and sounded like an answer to their prayers.

"Being a spoiled vehicle, the previous owner insisted that it be kept in the garage ... no, this vehicle is not a one-owner, but you will be proud to own it," the advertisement read.

The couple's joy turned to sorrow and frustration upon learning they had been scammed by someone who provided false information designed to make them think the transaction was protected by services provided by eBay.

"We had contacted eBay several times before we sent the MoneyGram, but we never heard back from them until the day after we sent the money," Romano explained. "Catherine was very nervous about sending money this way, we just haven't done it before and we were trying to be as careful as possible."

The couple wired $3,315 on Jan. 31. The next day they realized they had been scammed when they couldn't track their purchase through normal eBay channels. Romano learned that the seller was supposedly in Utah, so he contacted the FBI office in Salt Lake City. They were told they would have to follow the chain of command. In the last six weeks they have filed seven more complaints with the FBI and haven't received any personal contact, Romano said.

The scammer had sent the couple several documents to ease their fears about sending so much money sight unseen. All looked like real eBay documents but were fake. When Romano contacted eBay by telephone, he was told they had been "spoofed."

Romano says looking back over paperwork sent by the scammer, several red flags should have popped out at him. A purchase confirmation letter contained grammatical errors and the return e-mail address was not from eBay.

"We have no hope of getting our money back," Nelson said.

"I'm going to have to drive my car until it drops," she continued. "I hope it lasts long enough for me to save up money to buy another car. I'm sick about it but I won't let this rule my life. I'm going to write to as many places as I can and hope that other people don't get scammed in the same way. You definitely need to check everything."

The Federal Trade Commission warns online buyers they should never wire money to a seller's account unless they "know the seller personally or can verify the seller's identity. Buyers should be suspicious of sellers who insist on wire transfers as the only form of payment they will accept. If something goes wrong with the transaction, you most likely will lose your payment and not have any recourse."

Telemarketing Fraud
When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.


Warning signs -- what a caller may tell you:

 

bulletYou must act 'now' or the offer won't be good."
bulletYou've won a 'free' gift, vacation, or prize." But you have to pay for "postage and handling" or other charges.
bulletYou must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier." You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.
bulletYou don't need to check out the company with anyone." The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.
bulletYou don't need any written information about their company or their references."
bulletYou can't afford to miss this 'high-profit, no-risk' offer.

 

Some Tips to Avoid Telemarketing Fraud:

 

bulletIt's very difficult to get your money back if you've been cheated over the phone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:
bulletDon't buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.
bulletAlways ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware -- not everything written down is true.
bulletAlways check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state Attorney General, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.
bulletObtain a salesperson's name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.
bulletBefore you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.
bulletBefore you send money, ask yourself a simple question. "What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?"
bulletYou must not be asked to pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.
bulletSome con artists will send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.
bulletAlways take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won't pressure you to make a snap decision.
bulletDon't pay for a "free prize." If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.
Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are -- the kinds of financial information you will and won't give out on the telephone.
bulletIt's never rude to wait and think about an offer. Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor.
bulletNever respond to an offer you don't understand thoroughly.
bulletNever send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
bulletYour personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.

 

If you have information about a fraud report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

ABA WARNS OF FRAUDULENT PHONE CALLS


WASHINGTON, March 12 - The American Bankers Association has been alerted that someone or a group of individuals making phone calls purporting to be from ABA are actually part of an identity theft scam. These con artists are calling members of the public to falsely report that the receiver's personal financial information is on the Internet and ABA is calling them as a courtesy.
These fraudulent calls, which have been discovered in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, are an effort to obtain personal financial information and are not being made by the ABA. The ABA would never request such information. In effort to further legitimize themselves, the con artists sometimes do not ask for personal financial information during the first call but simply recommend that the person call their bank. The con artist will then ask for the personal financial information during a follow-up call
ABA is working with law enforcement to identify the source of the phone calls and to disrupt them. ABA offers the following advice to consumers:

 

bulletNever give out your financial information to anyone unless you have initiated the contact, and this includes emails;
bulletIf you have already responded to this type of call or email by providing your personal financial information, contact your financial institution immediately to protect your account;
bulletInform the ABA about fraudulent phone calls and emails that use ABA's name by sending an email to alert@aba.com.



Current Cell Phone Urban Legends


Must be popular, as in the last week I have had five emails from friends asking about these gee-wiz things you can do or use your mobile / cell phone for…


Claim 1. Dialing 112 on your mobile phone while in Europe will contact you with emergency services similar to 911.
 

bulletPartially True: Some countries allow for 112 access, but your call will still be blocked if the relay towers don't recognize the signal. This will also fail if you phones carrier does not share access.


Claim 2. That if your car has remote keyless entry, and you have an extra set of keys at home, you can call your home via your cell phone and someone at the other end can send the signal from the keys trough the house phone to your mobile phone and if you hold your cell phone about 1' away from your car door it would open.
 

bulletTotally False: Cars use RKE transmission systems and Mobile phones do not, they are two separate signal sources and transmit at different frequencies. This is completely impossible.
 

Claim 3: By hitting *3373# on your cell phone you can boost your battery for more time as there is a hidden battery reserve.
 

bulletPartially True: Nokia has what is called a half rate codec that adjusts the sound quality on a phone so that the battery has a longer talk life, there is no battery reserve and on a full charge may give you up to a 30% increase in battery life. However the other error is the code is actually #4720#, as the *3373# code actually puts that phone back to full codec. Regardless this is basically a non option and not worth considering even if you have the few phones in the world that allows this to happen as the loss of quality removes the value.
 

Claim 4: Disable a stolen mobile phone by reporting the serial number to the provider. By entering code *#06# a 15 digit code will appear on the screen. If you write this down and you call your provider they can disable the phone even if the sim card is switched.
 

bulletPartially True: This code may or may not appear on your phone, it is easier to write down the IMEI number on any of your mobile phones, usually on the sticker on the box when you get your phone or for sure under the battery. Only certain providers can remotely disable a phone.


Claim 5: Instead of paying for 411 from your cell carrier (charges between $0.75 and $1.50) use a toll free 800 number for 411 info like 800.FREE.411 aka 800.373.3411 without incurring cost.
 

bulletPartially True: As the service is free, you are still paying for the call, so if you are paying by the minute you are still paying by the minute. Remember cellular phones don't count 800, 877, or 888 numbers as toll free, you are paying for airtime and maybe distance depending on your plan.

 

Scam Busters March 6th 2007
 
Do Not Call Registry (888) 382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov (5 Years) if they refuse to remove you and call back, report them to 1-800-876-7060.

Rasomware
No different than a ransom for a kidnapped person, someone gets a hold of your computer via Malware or Virus and holds your data and your documents ransom.  Different rates for different people, different costs, from $10 to $10,000.00. 

Almost 100% of the time the funds need to be transferred through a shady or untraceable online services.  When the scammer receives your money they may or may not let your information go, it is a gamble.

Another ransomware program, Trojan.Archiveus, is a Trojan horse that password protects files and then asks the user to pay the ransom to get a password that unlocks the files. In this case, the virus writer made the critical error of placing the password in the code.

According to Symantec, the password is: mf2lro8sw03ufvnsq034jfowr18f3cszc20vmw

http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/trojan.archiveus.html 

Rasomware is rare and far between, but can be an issues, so to protect yourself make sure you use a pop-up blocker, keep your anti-virus up to date, avoid malware by running spyware program protection and avoid any phishing emails.

Purse and PIN Theft
We can't determine if this is real, it may just be an internet urban legend, but just in case.  The story goes a woman has her purse stolen, in her purse is her wallet with credit cards, mobile phone, etc.  When she gets to a pay phone or home or police etc.. she calls her husband to let him know about the theft.  Seems while she was getting home or help form the police the thief sent a SMS message to the husband asking him for the PIN number for the ATM card as she needed to get cash and spaced out the pin number.  The husband responded and the thief emptied the account before anything could be done.

Bank of America & Illegal Immigrant Credit Cards
We have been asked if this is true, and yes it is a true statement that Bank of America has announced that they will be offering high interest credit cards to illegal US immigrants without any social security number or past credit history. This is currently a test program in Los Angeles only and the interest rate is 21.24%.  Currently there is no threat for fraud or ID theft from this, but we have been asked so we thought would confirm the information.

809 Area Code Scam
For some reason this scam is coming back or at least the threat of it or "urban legend" of it is coming back, even thought I can't find anything factual on it recently.  The scam is simple, you receive a voice mail or message saying to call someone back with an 809 area code.  This is a Caribbean area code, and you will get put through to a company that will keep you active on the line for as long as possible.  The rumor emails say you will be charged something like $25 a minute, but it is really about $3 to $5 a minute. Not every phone of course from the 809 area code is a fake, but unless you are vacationing in the Caribbean or have family there odds are you don't need to call anyone back at this area code.

Home Scams - Lock Bumping
Recently, the media has given a great deal of attention to "lock bumping", a procedure that allows criminals to open many common door locks by simply inserting a specially modified key and tapping its end with a mallet or other tool. Along with the media reports, a number of warnings about lock bumping have been circulating via email and online.

The reports and warnings about lock bumping are genuine. Lock bumping, also known as "bump keying" and "key bumping" describes a technique in which an ordinary key can be filed so that, when it is inserted into a door lock and tapped, the internal pins can be jarred in such a way that the lock will open. The majority of pin-tumbler locks currently in use are vulnerable to lock bumping, including those normally found on people's front doors. The technique is simple enough that, with the right knowledge, and a little practice, just about anybody could use it.


Unfortunately, the necessary knowledge is quite freely available on the Internet. There are a large number of easily accessible videos and tutorials that explain in exacting detail how to perform the technique. In fact, there are even sets of bump keys and lock bumping kits available for purchase.

Pump & Dump Revisited
We wanted to post again about Pump & Dump fake stock tips.  The emails are very good, they make it seems like you are receiving the emails from a friend or by accident, like someone screwed up the email address and you stumbled upon a good tip. They recommend you buy this stock as it will soon soar. The hook is that the stock is so cheap, 10cents, 20cents, etc.. so people want to fall for it in hopes that a 10cent stock shoots up to a $10 stock and you can retire happy.   These are micro-cap stocks and trade in limited quantities, the companies are not required to file the trades with the SEC so an easy to scam to pull off.  The scammers hope that people buy and run the price up, the primary stock holder will wait until the price rises and dumps 100% of their stock leaving the investors without a penny. 

Identity Theft Protection Tips

 

bulletCarry only the cards you actually need. Minimize the identification information and the number of cards you carry in your wallet or purse. Do not carry your Social Security card unless you need it.
Never put your account information on the outside of an envelope or on a postcard.
bulletCut up old or expired credit cards. Close all inactive credit card and bank accounts. Even though you do not use them, these accounts appear on your credit report and may be used by thieves.
bulletFor your ATM card, choose a Personal Identification Number (PIN) different from your address, telephone number, middle name, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your birth date or any other information that could be easily discovered by thieves.
bulletMemorize your PIN; do not write it on your ATM card or keep it written on a piece of paper somewhere in your wallet. Statistics show that in many instances of ATM card fraud, cardholders wrote their PINs on their ATM cards or on slips of paper kept with their wallets or purses.
bulletKeep personal information in a safe place. If you employ outside help or are having service work done in your home, keep your personal information out of sight.
bulletGive your Social Security number only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use another type of identifying number whenever possible.
bulletDo not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated contact or know the business with which you are dealing.
bulletCompare your ATM receipts and cashed checks with your periodic bank statements to check for unauthorized transfers or charges.
bulletShred credit card statements, bank statements and pre-approved credit offers when you do not need them. Consider investing in a paper shredder.
bulletDecrease the number of unsolicited credit card applications that you receive. The fewer credit card applications you receive, the less likely it is that one will be stolen. Call (888) 5OPT-OUT to have your name removed from the marketing lists sold by the major credit bureaus for two years, or removed permanently.
bulletAsk your bank about its privacy policies and information practices. Find out the circumstances under which your bank would provide your account information to a third party.
bulletOrder a copy of your credit report from the three credit reporting agencies at least once every year to review your file for possible fraud.

Scam Busters 2/6/2007 and 2/20/2007
 
Auction Scams
We have been getting a rash of people coming in falling for common eBay scams. Here is a chance to review some useful tips to avoid getting scammed on eBay.
 
If a seller or buyers exhibits any of these symptoms, avoid.
 
Seller
bulletThe seller posts the auction as if he resides in the United States, then responds to victims with a congratulatory email stating he is outside the United States for business reasons, family emergency, etc. Similarly, beware of sellers who post the auction under one name, and ask for the funds to be transferred to another individual.
bulletThe subject requests funds to be wired directly to him/her via Western Union, MoneyGram, or bank-to-bank wire transfer. By using these services, the money is virtually unrecoverable with no recourse for the victim.
bulletSellers acting as authorized dealers or factory representatives in countries where there would be no such dealers should be avoided.
bulletSeller wants you use an escrow company that is not well known. We recommend checking out all escrow companies before using any of them. We have some recommendations; please contact us directly for info. In an effort to persuade a wary Internet auction participant, the perpetrator will propose the use of a third-party escrow service to facilitate the exchange of money and merchandise.
bulletThe victim is unaware the perpetrator has actually compromised a true escrow site and, in actuality, created one that closely resembles a legitimate escrow service. The victim sends payment to the phony escrow and receives nothing in return. Or, the victim sends merchandise to the subject and waits for his/her payment through the escrow site which is never received because it is not a legitimate service.


Buyers

bulletBuyers who ask for the purchase to be shipped using a certain method to avoid customs or taxes inside another country should be avoided.
bulletBe suspect of any credit card purchases where the address of the card holder does not match the shipping address. Always receive the card holder's authorization before shipping any products.
bulletBuyers pay with a counterfeit cashiers check or MO, please hold all MO & Checks until cleared, we recommend 10-days from deposit date.
bulletAny international payments using PayPal as buyers are playing the eBay / PayPal game and getting free merchandise knowing that PayPal will refund all complaints 100% of the time regardless of delivery confirmation, as PayPal only supports signature confirmation from international confirmed and there is really no way of doing that.

 
 
New, Parcel Courier Email Scheme

The Parcel Courier Email Scheme involves the supposed use of various National and International level parcel providers such as DHL, UPS, FedEx and the USPS. Often, the victim is directly emailed by the subject(s) following online bidding on auction sites. Most of the scams follow a general pattern which includes the following elements:
 
The subject instructs the buyer to provide shipping information such as name and address. (Standard Practice)
 
The subject informs the buyer that the item will be available at the selected parcel provider in the buyer's name and address, thereby, identifying the intended receiver. (Shipping Providers do not offer such services)
 
The selected parcel provider checks the item and purchase documents to guarantee everything is in order. (Fake Provider / email)
 
The selected parcel provider sends the buyer delivery notification verifying their receipt of the item. (Fake Provider / email)
 
The buyer is instructed by the subject to go to an electronic funds transfer medium, such as Western Union, and make a funds transfer in the subject's name and in the amount of the purchase price.
 
 
Reshipping Scheme
 
The "reshipping" scheme requires individuals in the United States, who sometimes are coconspirators and other times are unwitting accomplices, to receive packages at their residence and subsequently repackage the merchandise for shipment, usually abroad.
 
"Reshippers" are being recruited in various ways but the most prevalent are through employment offers and conversing, and later befriending, unsuspecting victims through Internet Chat Rooms.
Unknown subjects post help-wanted advertisements at popular Internet job search sites and respondents quickly reply to the online advertisement. As part of the application process, the prospective employee is required to complete an employment application, wherein he/she divulges sensitive personal information, such as their date of birth and social security number which, unbeknownst to the victim employee, will be used to obtain credit in his/her name.
 
The applicant is informed he/she has been hired and will be responsible for forwarding, or "reshipping", merchandise purchased in the United States to the company's overseas home office. The packages quickly begin to arrive and, as instructed, the employee dutifully forwards the packages to their overseas destination. Unbeknownst to the "reshipper," the recently received merchandise was purchased with fraudulent credit cards.
 
After the United States citizen agrees, the packages start to arrive at great speed. This fraudulent scheme lasts several weeks until the "reshipper" is contacted. The victimized merchants explain to the "reshipper" the recent shipments were purchased with fraudulent credit cards. Shortly thereafter, the strings of attachment are untangled
 
 
Nigerian Scam
 
Aso Rock Villa Abuja - Nigeria 30th January 2007
Our Ref: .................................... Your Ref: ............................ Date: ..................................
 
From the Desk of: His Excellency
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
President/Head of State.
Dear Sir,
 
NEW MODALITIES FOR CONTRACT PAYMENT
Following the extensive investigations carried out over the last 6 months, it became clear to all concerned that the most singular reason why contractor's payments are not released to their beneficiaries as and when due, is the illegal demands and extortions of upfront charges from contractors by overzealous officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
 
We are therefore going to release cash payments to contractors during this first quarter of 2007 fiscal year commencing within this week. This is because it was found out by investigation that the incident of extortion of upfront charges occurs mainly in wire transfer exercise. Since cash payment is now to be adopted in place of wire transfer, it implies that the Central Bank of Nigeria will not be involved in this arrangement, which further implies that its corrupt officials who engage in extortions will not have a chance this time around.
 
For the payment disbursement, I, PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO, in conjunction with the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have constituted a 5-man Action Committee headed by Hon. Finance Minister Mrs. Nenad Usman to coordinate this exercise. As one of the beneficiaries enlisted to receive cash payment, you are hereby directed to contact Finance Minister Mrs. Nenad Usman and reconfirm your personal/corporate contract information and banking particulars to her, to enable his committee update your file and make the cash disbursement to you. Your compliance is required with immediate effect as only 14 working days henceforth has been assigned for the completion of this cash payment exercise. Further details will be given to you by Hon. Finance Minister upon his receipt of your particulars.
 
Please contact her on the email address: financeminister_fgnigeria_govzon@yahoo.com Direct Telephone No: 234-802-3206653, and Fax: 234-1-7594937.
 
Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay and losses you must have encountered so far in your bid to received your contract payment.
 
Note: OLUSEGUN OBASANJO, is really the President of Nigeria and there is a Central Bank of Nigeria
 
http://www.cenbank.org/default.asp  
 
The actual Finance Minister of Nigeria is Esther NENANDI-USMAN, not Nenad Usman, one would think they would at least spell it right. And of course a real finance minister would not have a Yahoo email address.
Esther NENANDI-USMAN
 
Nigerian Scam 2
 
Our reference 20/7726/HSBC
***HSBC 00006938**
** Ordering Customer':
CENTRAL BANK - NG**
004 SWIFT TRN 92BK
BANK PRIOTY (300 CRF)
CUSTOMER SERVICE TEL: 447031846478
E-MAIL: hsbcbanklondon44@yahoo.co.uk
 
Attn: Beneficiary,
 
REF: HSBC NOTIFICATION ADVICE
We have received your payment approval from our ordering Customer, Central Bank of Nigeria, to remit the due payment of USD 26Million into your bank account. With all due respect, our bank has obliged to credit your account with quoting reference to HSBC transfer regulation and in line with British Financial and Allied Conduct, your account will be credited as soon as you reconcile our 1% Cost of Transfer or you may advise us to deduct the total value and transfer the balance to your account.
 
Should you be willing to accept deduction, we will urge you to contact the INTERNATIOANAL MONETARY FUND, which is the only authorized organization, presently vested with the sole responsibility for regulating all international fund transfer from West Africa countries. You are advised to contact and attention your application for the issuance of the Original Authority to Deduct Bill of Exchange Form to MR. ANDREW SMITH via email: andrewsmith_info@yahoo.co.uk, which will enable us deduct the 1% cost of transfer from your principle amount. Be advised also that we only acknowledge the receipt of the ORIGINAL HARD COPY OF THE BILL OF EXCHANGE FORM, which must be duly filed and signed before we can effect any deduction. Please be warned, as our bank does not trust any Nigerian Official, hence we encourage you to be mindful of who you deal with to avoid being scammed and stop further contact with who so ever and deal directly with my office so that the above fund will be transfer to you.
 
In line with our banking regulation, final crediting shall be made directly to your account upon your compliance to this directive.
 
Congratulations!!
Yours faithfully,
HSBC PLC HSBC PLC BRANCH CODE 00 76488
43, QUEENS WAY, MANCHESTER W2UK DEPT. ITPD
BAYS WATER BRANCH APPROVED BY GCW
Mr. L. Steven DATE 23/1/07
SIGNATURE
Members HSBC Group
Documentary Credits, 35 Coat Well Square, South end on Sea, Essex SS99 2UU
Telex 389401. Telegrams CINNAFOREX SWIFT MIDLDB22
Registered in England & Wales Number (142-659). Registered Office Poetry London EC2F 2B5
 
Nigerian Scam 3
 
Our old Nigerian Scam where we get the diamonds and gems is actually working through someone in New Jersey
 
Beneficiary,
 
Sorry for late reply. As requested here is the diplomat number 9734449393. So go ahead and contact him but do not forget to update me as you progress.
 
Regards, Chief Ken Nnamani
Identity Theft
Return of the IRS Audit Scam
 
You receive a very official looking email stating it is from the IRS. The email will let you know that you are currently being audited by the IRS and you must complete and return the attached questionnaire within 48 hours or you will be hit with penalties and interest.
 
The questionnaire asks for personal information including your SS# and bank account numbers and such. There is an alternate version of this scam that links you to a fake IRS website where you will be prompted to fill out the same information the fake site. There are other variants of this now and more expected that will include Trojan horse viruses and malware websites.
 
Terms used in the subject may say "IRS e-Audit or something like that, and the email address is usually something like admin@irs.gov.
 
Hit Man Email Scam
 
Spam message purportedly sent by a hit man hired to 'terminate' the recipient demands a large sum of money in return for not carrying out the mission
 
Good Afternoon,
 
I Want you to read this message very carefully, and keep the secret with you till further notice, You have no need of knowing who i am, where am from, till i make out a space for us to see, i have being paid $50,000.00 in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer, its one i believe you call a friend, i have followed you closely for one week and three days now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation, Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them, because if you do i will know, and might be pushed to do what i have being paid to do, beside this is the first time i turned out to be a betrayer in my job.
 
Now listen, i will arrange for us to see face to face but before that i need the amount of $80,000.00, you have nothing to be afraid of. I will be coming to see you in your office or home determine where you wish we meet, do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, my employer is in my control now, You will need to pay $20, 000.00 to the account i will provide for you, before we will set our first meeting, after you have make the first advance payment to the account, i will give you the tape that contains his request for me to terminate you, which will be enough evidence for you to take him to court (if you wish to), then the balance will be paid later.
 
You don't need my phone contact for now till am assured you are ready to comply good.
 
Lucky You.
 
Twist
 
New twist regarding e-mails claiming that the sender has been paid to kill the recipient and will cancel the contract on the recipient's life if that person pays a large sum of money. Now e-mails are surfacing that claim to be from the FBI in London. These e-mails note the following information:
 
An individual was recently arrested for the murders of several United States and United Kingdom citizens in relation to this matter.
 
The recipient's information was found on the subject identifying the recipient as the next victim.
 
The recipient is requested to contact the FBI in London to assist with the investigation.
 
It is not uncommon for an Internet fraud scheme to have the same overall intent but be transmitted containing variations in the e-mail content, e.g., different names, e-mail addresses, and/or agencies reportedly involved.
 
Please note, providing any personal information in response to an unsolicited e-mail can compromise your identity and open you to identity theft.
 
 
Too little to late "Superbowl Scam"
 
Reports of fraudulent ticket sales for Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on February 4, 2007. The fraudulent selling of tickets for major events is a continuing epidemic.
 
Previous scams have involved tickets being advertised at well-known online auction and classified advertisement web sites. Interested buyers are instructed to use a wire transfer payment service to send the money quickly in order to secure the tickets. Current scams are using fraudulent escrow services to register and then directing the victim to wire the payment. Some solicitations are sent from individuals who claim to be traveling outside the U.S., stating they are now unable to use their tickets due to this travel. This explanation could be an attempt to ensure that the requested funds are sent outside the U.S.
 
 
Debt Elimination Scam
 
Debt elimination schemes generally involve websites advertising a legal way to dispose of mortgage loans and credit card debts.
 
Most often, all that is required of the participant is to send $1,500 to $2,000 to the subject, along with all the particulars of the participant's loan information and a special power of attorney authorizing the subject to enter into transactions regarding the title of the participant's homes on their behalf.
 
The subject then issues bonds and promissory notes to the lenders that purport to legally satisfy the debts of the participant. In exchange, the participant is then required to pay a certain percentage of the value of the satisfied debts to the subject. The potential risk of identity theft related crimes associated with the debt elimination scheme is extremely high because the participants provide all of their personal information to the subject.

Scambusters 01/09/2007


Guest Co-Host Radio Ray!
 
Interesting situation, we got a call to the scambusters hotline, it seems they are trying to use us as a scam, someone opened up an account at Blockbuster in Wash State using the hotline. I received a voice mail that if I don't return all the game equipment by x-date I will be charged full value for the equipment. We called blockbuster and they removed my number, but it shows how fast people try to take advantage of someone.  The issue is that Blockbuster took the information without verifying the users identity.  Keep an ear out in case this happens to you.
 
Local Albany Oregon Residents Scammed: 

 

Seems a local listener had issues with a family member and the Grandparents Scam we talked about during our Top 10 countdown of scams for 2006.    Here is a copy of the email we received.. any personal data has been removed for confidentiality.
 
My mother who is 85 was just scammed by the grandparents phone scam. She wired $8,600 over three days to Vancouver thinking she was helping my son get home for Christmas and out of a jam. We are going to report it to the police, but is there anything else we should do?
 
We recommended they contact the Attorney General in the two states involved, we gave them that contact info.  You can find a complete list of each states AG's online here.


Other sites that may be of some help is Fraud.org http://www.fraud.org/ and Alliance against Telemarketing Fraud: http://www.fraud.org/aaft/aaftinfo.htm
 
Guests
Bill Hubel, COO, Citizens Bank, bhub@citizensEbank.com 
Dave Perry, Branch Manager, Citizens Bank, dper@citizensEbank.com
Jennifer Stanaway, Vice President, Branch Manager, Citizens Bank, jsta@citizensEbank.com
 
Citizens Bank, West Albany Office
2230 Pacific Blvd, SW
Albany Oregon 97321
541.812.6178
 
Topics Discussed
 
Phishing:  We have talked about many phishing scams each and every week.  Please always remember to never click on unsolicited links in emails.  Even if the link seems clear cut and direct to the site, the link most likely is a script or hidden URL to take you to a fake site, a duplicate of the real site.  Every Bank and every quality company would never ask for your personal information online through an email, nor would they send you to a link or site for that information.  Always go direct to the site on your own by typing the URL in the browser or contact your bank in person.
 
Nigerian Scam w/ Twist:  The common Nigerian Scam with a twist, as this one came through the US Mail service.  A bank client was taking out small money orders $25 / $50 / $100 and sending them overseas in prep to collect a fortune coming out of African nation usually from a Deposed Dictator or Prince / King.   Very well known scam, please watch out for this one, it is common and expensive.
 
Overpayment Scams:  Also a very common scam, mostly because it works so very often.  Scam is simple, someone will ask you to cash a check and keep some money and send the balance back to them, usually by wire transfer or money order or even cash via FedEx.  It can also come in the form of a payment for an item or also see our top 10 showing the Rental scam.  You will get a company check usually from a well known famous company.  They will claim it is their expense check or payroll check or something, want you to take your money out of the check and of course send the balance back to them, using the same methods as above.  The results are the same, you will lose whatever money you send them, as well as the merchandise you may have sent as the check or MO is a total fake.  Always hold checks, cashiers checks and money orders until they clear the bank and are approved by the bank.
 
 
Radio Show Content from 12/26/2006


Joining Hosts Jim Willhight and Craig Solomon was Sonny Dawson from Identity Theft Shield. We spend a part of the hour talking about identity theft, how it can happen, how it can be prevented, and if and how you can recover.
 
Bio: Sonny has been in the security industry since 1973. His experience in the asset protection industry has lead to owning and/or operating a half dozen security companies. He has done in excess of 4,000 hours of seminars in the industry in three countries, often been a featured speaker at the International Security Conferences (ISC). Sonny is currently one of three Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialists in Oregon. Sonny is currently the General Manager of The Security Company, founded in 1977.

Scambusters 12/12/2006
 
 
Top New Scam: SMISHING
 
 
Smishing, comes from the term SMS, the protocol used by everyone to send messages back and forth from phone to phone.
 
 
Smishing: New form of Phishing, but goes to you Cell Phone, many are from fake online dating services requesting users sign up or something fake regarding your membership, which of course you would not have.  The fake smish may download a Trojan or virus onto your cell phone can cause damage or disrupt your phone or network.  
 
Some of the Smishing viruses can even open up your phone to eavesdropping and recording of your phone call.  The Smishers can of course get your phone book and send the Smish to everyone on your list and steal their information.  Certain phones, Symbian 60's, Smartphones, etc, have data stored and other programs that may contain password information.  The Smisher can steal that data.
 
Other forms include a link saying that your phone account is about to be cancelled and if you don't go to a specific link from your computer within 24-48 hours your account will be cancelled.  Of course this link is a spoof link and the website will attempt to download a Trojan or virus to you computer which could do a host of damage.
 
 
Top 10 Scams 2006
 
Number 10
Craigslist Scam:  Same scam, different twist, seems it occurs in the area where people are looking for roommates or have a room for rent.  The listing party gets an email or is contacted by someone saying they want the place and that her employer will be sending her expense check direct to the person / landlord.  They ask you take the money out for the rent and deposit and then send a MO back via FedEx to the renter.  Of course the check turns out to be bad and it is too late to get back your good MO you sent.. it has been cashed and the scammer is long gone.
 
Number 09
Oprah's Ticket Scam: Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently warned consumers about this scam, alerting them to emails or letters that told them they had won tickets to a taping of the talk diva's show in Chicago, or had been offered a tour package that included a taping of the show. The communication asked for sensitive personal information, which, if provided, could allow their identities to be stolen. 
In this case, e-mail recipients are asked to submit personal information and told they will receive tickets to The Oprah Winfrey Show after verification of certain financial information and/or the wiring of money to an unknown third party. However, according to Harpo Productions, Inc., The Oprah Winfrey Show does not sell tickets or ticket travel packages to fans.
 
Number 08
Grandparents Scam:  Aimed at the elderly, people gather data on seniors and those in both assisted living, and nursing homes.  Someone with a young voice calls and ys something like, "It's me, grandpa." The elderly person will respond, thinking it's one of their grandchildren.


The scammer then tells a tale of woe, saying they are in trouble and need some money, "and please don't tell mom." The grandparent obligingly sends a few hundred dollars, thinking they're helping a grandchild. Investigators say it works more than you might think.
 
Number 07
Bogus Fuel Saving Devices
:  People are eager to save money this year due to the high cost of fuel, so people are ripe for the picking when this scam hits home.  Some scammers tried to sell pellets, that when dropped into a fuel tank improves fuel efficiency.  Another was for a magnetic device that attaches to the engine.  Neither improves efficiency, however it does improve padding in the scammers wallet.
 
Number 06
Pump & Dump: 
A scam we have mentioned several times already.  The scam is simple, millions of emails go out pretending to be from a friend offering you insight into an amazing deal on a new stock.  Sadly millions of people fall for it, and buy the stock, shoot the price of the stock up, when the scammer dump their stock at the new high, make millions and the stock plummets, causing the tricked investors to lose everything.
 
Number 05
Nigerian Scams (419):
We are still amazed that thousands of victims still fall for the scam, it is so widely publicized, we would just hope that there is no one left on this planet that would fall for this scam, but yet it happens.  The scam is simple and they are all pretty much the same.  Someone receives an email from a dignitary a wealthy dying person who needs to desperately get their money out of the country.  They promise the victim of this scam a sizeable percentage of the money just for helping them get it out of the country.
The victim either has to send money to cover fees or provide their bank account information, or both. The scams are mostly run from Nigeria and get their name because they are covered in section 419 in the Nigerian penal code. 
New twist is that that the victims do what is called Scambaiting, contacting the originator of the fraud and stringing them along and making them jump through hoops and waste time.
 
Number 04
Negative Option Scam
: The sad part of negative option scams is that these scams are perpetrated by real businesses and not total.  When doing online purchases, once you complete a purchase a pop up window may appear giving you an offer for a free item, or a free service.  The problem is that by accepting the free item or service you are enrolling yourself into a program or service that will charge your credit card each and every month until you stop it. 


The consumer may think there is no harm in accepting the "free offer," because they don't realize there strings are attached. While laws generally require consumers to make an "informed consent" to purchase, negative option turns the transaction around. It assumes the consumer has made the purchase, unless the consumer "opts out" or takes the "negative option."
 
Number 03
Phony Job Scam: Courier jobs are being offered to applicants that post via online websites like Monster and Career Builder.  The scam is a simple one. Once an applicant accept a job they are instructed to receive large checks and deposit them in their personal accounts. They are then instructed to wire the money to an account out of the country. The checks, of course, are counterfeit, but they aren't exposed until after they have been deposited and after the victim has wired the money -- their own money, it turns out -- to the scammer.
 
Number 02
Phishing and Vishing Scams
: Identity thieves "phish" for a consumer's personal information, are getting more prevalent, due in large part to technological advances. The use of email now makes to increasingly easy for criminals to trick people into revealing account numbers, passwords and social security numbers.


Cleverly designed emails appear to be from a bank, credit union, or online payment service like PayPal, requesting account verification. If the consumer clicks on a link in the email, they are taken to a site designed to look like the bank's actual site, where they are instructed to enter the sensitive information, which is captured and used for identity theft purposes.


In 2006, Vishing arrived on the scene. Instead of asking the spam recipient to click on a link, they are instructed to call a toll-free customer service number, which seems more the way a financial institution might do business. When they call, an automated system instructs the caller to enter account numbers or passwords, which are then recorded by the scammer.
 
Number 01
Fake Lottery Scam:
  Our number one scam for 2006 is the Fake Lottery Scam, costing one man in Kansas over $300,000.00. This scam is simple, someone receives an email promising victims they have won thousands of dollars in a Canadian or European lottery, they target the elderly, who seem to be particular susceptible to these schemes.  In New York alone they have confirmed over 400 documented cases of people falling for this scam, losing anything from a few hundred dollars up to $35,000.  In each case, the victims sent money, usually to Canada, thinking they had to pay insurance or taxes before they could collect these bogus prizes.
 

Although this targets the elderly, many younger people fall for this scam as well.  The scammers and victims exchange phone calls and often form a bond, making the victim feel safer and more secure about the transaction.  No legitimate contest will ever ask you to pay a fee for a prize won, nor can you win a contest you never entered. 
 
 
Food For Thought:
 

bulletTop Banks Javelin Strategy and Research firm evaluated 24 major banks, comprising 60 percent of the American financial market and found that JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Washington Mutual Bank get the top grades for preventing Identity Theft.
 
bulletKaiser Permanente Laptop Stolen: More than 38,000 Colorado patients of Kaiser Permanente may be at risk for identity theft, after a laptop containing their personal data was stolen from a Kaiser employee in Oakland, California
 
 

 

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