Big Cable asks FCC to ban states' investigations into lies about broadband speed

The cable industry lobby has petitioned the FCC, asking it to ban states from investigating and taking action on deceptive advertising claims about broadband speed -- seeking an end to actions like last year's New York State Attorney General's investigation into Time-Warner's lies about its broadband offerings. Read the rest

Not just savers! Wells Fargo also defrauded bankrupt mortgage borrowers

A class action suit against Wells Fargo alleges that the bank -- which is still embroiled in a scandal over creating literally millions of fraudulent accounts and firing and blacklisting low-level employees who blew the whistle or simply refused to break the law -- silently altered the mortgages of borrowers who were in bankruptcy to extend their repayment schedules by decades, so that they would pay tens -- or hundreds -- of thousands of extra dollars in interest. Read the rest

Donald Trump and Eric Trump defrauded donors to kids' cancer charities

When Eric Trump raises money for kids' cancer charities at his annual Eric Trump Foundation golf invitational, he boasts that his events are super-efficient because he holds them at his dad's Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, New York, where "We get to use our assets 100% free of charge." He lied. Read the rest

Watch person ridiculously fake injury for worker's comp claim

Sheyla Veronica White was working at her desk at Cinque Terre Energy Partners in Fort Lauderdale, Florida when a piece of a sprinkler fell from the ceiling and unfortunately just missed her. Why unfortunately? Because if it hit her, she could file a worker's compensation claim. So she promptly picked up the metal piece and bashed herself in the head with it. From Fox 13:

Her employer's insurance company got suspicious and referred the incident to Florida's Division of Investigative and Forensic Services. Detectives requested security cam footage and were able to prove she staged the whole thing.

The employee... was convicted for workers' compensation insurance fraud -- a third-degree felony -- and sentenced to 18 months of probation.

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Pueblo, CO bust falls apart because cop staged his bodycam footage to frame his suspect

Colorado prosecutors have dismissed felony drug and weapons charges against a suspect because they learned that Pueblo Police Department offier Seth Jensen defrauded the court by faking his bodycam footage, "recreating" his bust after the suspect's car was in the impound lot. Read the rest

How not to defraud Workers' Comp

The glitched shimmer of a Fort Lauderdale office CCTV feed. A woman long of bone at the machine. A sprinkler head fell on her desk and she gaped up at the pebbledash expanse of the droptile ceiling. The metal thing just sat there on the melamine under the cold flourescent light. Then she took it up and bashed her head with it. I can't tell you what she was thinking but I can tell you what come to pass.

"Her employer's insurance company got suspicious and brought in Florida's Division of Investigative and Forensic Services." At least that's how Fox 13 out of Tampa put it. God might not see nor care but they had a camera upon her the whole while. They fired her and charged her with insurance fraud. The judge put her on 18 months' probation.

They never gave her money so she don't have to repay none. Read the rest

India's controversial national ID scheme leaks fraud-friendly data for 130,000,000 people

Aadhaar kicked off in 2009, linking each Indian resident's biometric data and sensitive personally identifying information to a unique 12-digit number. Read the rest

Wells Fargo woulda gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that darn trade union

For decades, Wells Fargo pressured its employees to commit millions of acts of fraud against its customers, using threats and blackballing to terrorize low-level employees. Read the rest

Wells Fargo board to force fraud-implicated former execs to repay $75m in bonuses

Former CEO John Stumpf (a major villain in the subprime scandal) previously lost $41m out of the $200m he made overseeing a multi-year fraud that stole from 2,000,000 of the bank's customers -- now he will have to repay another $28m. Read the rest

Hackers hijacked a bank's DNS and spent 5 hours raiding its customers' accounts

Kaspersky Labs reports that an unnamed large Brazilian financial institution with $27B in assets was compromised by hackers who took over its DNS -- by hijacking its NIC.br account -- and for 5 hours were able to impersonate the bank to all its online customers (and possibly to control its ATMs) in order to plunder their accounts and steal their credit card details. Read the rest

A rare class-action victory over Wells Fargo's fake accounts proves binding arbitration sucks

Wells Fargo got caught ripping off millions of customers by setting up fake accounts in their names, then billing them for "services" related to those accounts, sometimes tanking their credit-ratings, costing them jobs, even their houses -- but the company says you're not allowed to sue them because their employees fraudulently signed your name to a "binding arbitration" agreement that forces you to take your case to a fake judge whose salary they pay. Read the rest

Restoration revealed 1920s roulette table was rigged

Enjoy this simple and surprising tale from The Games Room Company, who were tasked with restoring a roulette table operated in Chicago throughout the 1930s: "we found that it had been completely rigged to defraud people and increase the odds of the house during play."

A button disguised as decorative screw, accessible to the croupier, would cause tiny pins to emerge from the ball track's surface, deflecting balls toward house-friendly ball pockets. Powered by batteries hidden in the legs (and dated by the newspaper used as dampers) the mechanism and its results would be undetectable at speed. Read the rest

Donald Trump, Jr is a patent-troll and his biggest client now does business with the US government

Oklahoma's Anyware Mobile Solutions was founded in 1997 to make PDA software, but after its sales collapsed, it changed its name to Macrosolve and devoted itself to suing people for violating a farcical patent that they said covered filling in questionnaires using an app. Read the rest

How the "tech support" scam works

Security researchers at Stony Brook deliberately visited websites that try to trick visitors into thinking that their computers are broken, urging them to call a toll-free "tech support" number run by con artists that infect the victim's computer with malware, lie to them about their computer's security, and con them out of an average of $291 for "cleanup services." Read the rest

Wells Fargo: preventing the customers we ripped off from suing us is doing them a favor

Wells Fargo admits that its employees opened more than 2,000,000 fake accounts in order to run up fraudulent charges against its customers (employees who balked at committing fraud were fired and blacklisted for life from the banking industry); it also says that the customers it stole from can't sue the company because fake account paperwork bearing their forged signatures includes a promise to enter into binding arbitration rather than suing. Read the rest

Tales from the ransomware "support line"

An article at News From the Lab (pdf) has 30 pages of copy from the support chat of a ransomware app: desperate pleas from victims for their files back, or, failing that, discounts on the unlock fee. [via]

Read the rest

Bank fraud and Dieselgate: how do we design regulations that are harder to cheat?

Tim Harford points out that Dieselgate -- when VW designed cars that tried to guess when they were undergoing emissions test and dial back their pollution -- wasn't the first time an industry designed its products to cheat when regulators were looking; the big banks did the same thing to beat the "stress tests" that finance regulators used to check whether they would collapse during economic downturns (the banks "made very specific, narrow bets designed to pay off gloriously in specific stress-test scenarios" so that they looked like they'd do better than they actually would). Read the rest

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