Feds ask court to force Facebook to break Messenger's end-to-end voice encryption for MS-13 gang probe

In secret court proceedings, the U.S. government is trying to force Facebook to help wiretap Messenger. Facebook has declined, so the Justice Department is asking a judge for an order of contempt. Read the rest

Leaked FBI memo warns banks of looming "unlimited ATM cashout"

When scammers get inside of the networks of financial institutions, they sometimes stage "cashouts" where they recruit confederates around the world to all hit ATMs at the same time with cards tied to hacked accounts and withdraw the maximum the ATMs will allow; but the wilier criminals first disable the anti-fraud and withdrawal maximum features in the banks' systems, enabling confederates to drain ATMs of all the cash they contain. This is called an "unlimited cashout." Read the rest

Lyft charges man $150 for vomit clean-up, his wife proves it's a fraud

Vomit fraud is when a Lyft or Uber driver fraudulently charges a passenger $100 or more to clean up puke (or other body fluids). Lyft and Uber have a low burden of proof a driver -- they only require a photo of the vomit, which is easily faked with some kind of gloppy food.

WDAY AM radio in North Dakota has a story about a man who was scammed by a vomit fraud Lyft driver and how his wife did some amateur sleuthing to prove the driver was crooked.

Ricky Marquart took a 13-minute Lyft ride home early one morning. The bill was for $9.01, plus $150 for "Lyft Damage." There was no other explanation. Marquart assured his wife, Tiffany, that he didn't cause any damage to the car. She contacted Lyft, which sent her three photos of what the driver claimed was vomit.

She told WDAY: "I looked at the pictures closely and said, 'That looks like nacho cheese sauce on the outside and puff popcorn and something else on the inside,'"Tiffany said. "I asked Ricky again, 'Are you sure you didn't eat anything on the ride home?' He said he didn't."

Tiffany studied the photos and recognized the part of town where the photos were taken. It was a Holiday Stationstore. She called the manager and asked if he could view the security video at 2:50 a.m. Sunday morning, and tell her what he saw. The manager told WDAY what he saw on the video:

"It was easy since she had the time narrowed down.

Read the rest

22-year-old Bitcoin millionaire scammed out of $35 million

A famous 27-year-old Thai actor was arrested after a 22-year-old Finnish millionaire complained that the actor had bilked him out of 5,564 bitcoin (worth $35 million) in an investment scam. Jiratpisit "Boom" Jaravijit, 27, was filming a movie when police took him to jail.

The Finnish millionaire, Aarni Otava Saarimaa, said Boom approached him with an opportunity to invest in a stake in a Macau casino that accepted a cryptocurrency called Dragoncoin. Saarimaa handed over his Bitcoin and waited for that sweet, sweet Dragoncoin to start pouring in. But Boom suddenly went silent, and the promise of casino-derived lucre never materialized.

Saarimaa went to the Thai police, who turned the case over to its Crime Suppression Division (CSD), which investigated and found that Boom, his brother (who has an existing warrant on an unrelated embezzlement charge), his sister, and two other people who are members of a Thai gang had simply converted the bitcoin into local currency and deposited it into their personal bank accounts. Boom is out on bail, but police are hunting for his siblings. Boom's elder brother, whom the CSD suspects is the ringleader of the scam, is thought to be hiding out in the United States.

Image: phanurak rubpol/Shutterstock Read the rest

Interview with a cryptocurrency scammer

Adam Guerbuez is a cryptocurrency evangelist whose Youtube channel is full of videos promoting cryptocurrency trading; when he got a Twitter message from a scammer promising to send him free Ethereum coins, he asked the scammer if they could talk about the scam. Read the rest

Criminal corralled by crime-fighting cows

Last week, a Florida woman (because of course she’s from Florida) was caught rolling around in a stolen SUV. There was a chase! There was a crash! In an effort to escape her police entourage, 46-year old Jennifer Anne Kaufman left the other occupants of her pilfered ride behind and took off on foot. As she fled across a farmer's field, Kaufman could likely hear the sirens of the prowl cars that had been chasing her. The helicopter that the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office called in to help hunt her down? No way she’d have missed that.

Kaufman did not, however, account for the cows.

Rural crime is a serious issue: everyone’s gotta do their part, even livestock.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, after the cows and Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies took Kaufman and her pals, who were good enough to stick around, into custody, they had a chance to search the stolen SUV and discovered "…more than a gram of cocaine, a crack pipe, syringes and a metal spoon."

That’ll do cows. That’ll do.

Yeah, I know that it's more likely that the cattle were either curious or expecting to be fed by a human tromping through their field. But honestly, in a world so full of hate, violence and unspeakable dangers, I need to believe that, when faced with a situation like this one, a cow can be relied upon to rise up and mete out justice, that we all might sleep just a little bit easier. Read the rest

Police chief's son charged in brutal attack on Sikh man

One of two teen boys who kicked and beat a Sikh man in Manteca, California, turned out to be a local police chief's own son.

Tyrone McAllister, 18, the son of Union City, California, police Chief Darryl McAllister, was one of the two arrested, police in the city of Manteca, California, said.

The other suspect was identified as a 16-year-old boy whose name was withheld because he's underage. The two were taken into custody Wednesday for investigation of attempted robbery, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon, Manteca police said.

Read the rest

Great movies to watch: 'The Naked Kiss' (1964, Samuel Fuller)

In the course of my work as a documentary filmmaker, I sometimes find hidden gems. Samuel Fuller’s “The Naked Kiss” is one of them. Read the rest

Fraudsters offers thousands to low-waged telco employees for help with SIM Swap scams

SIM Swapping is a powerful form of fraud in which criminals convince the phone company to switch your phone number to a SIM they control; once they have your phone number, they can bypass the SMS-based two-factor authentication protecting your cryptocurrency wallets, social media accounts, and other valuable systems. Read the rest

Cocaine gang set a bounty on drug-sniffing German shepherd

Sombra is a drug-detection dog with the Colombian National Police who is apparently responsible for hundreds of arrests and the seizure of nine tons of drugs. As a result, drug traffickers the Urabeños have put a bounty out on Sombra. From the Washington Post:

Reports vary on the price tag for killing the dog, between 20 and 200 million Colombian pesos — or about $7,000 and $70,000 in U.S. currency. But the threat is serious enough for the National Police to take extra precautions for Sombra’s security...

Sombra came to Colombian law enforcement from a kennel in Antioquia, the region of the country that’s home to the city of Medellin, the springboard for Colombia’s fearsome cartels of the 1980s and 1990s. Outfitted in a neon-yellow vest, the dog is tasked with thrusting her trained snout into luggage and packages in Colombia’s ports and airports along the country’s Gulf Coast....

In response to the bounty on Sombra’s life, General Jorge Nieto, head of the national police, has ordered the dog transferred to Bogota’s El Dorado International Airport, outside the Urabeños’ territory on the coast.

Read the rest

Convicted rapist Brock Turner tries more legal weaseling

Convicted rapist Brock Turner is seeking to have his rape conviction overturned, claiming he only wanted "outercourse" and didn't intend to rape his victim.

It is amazing what rich parents will pay for.

Via HuffPo:

A lawyer for convicted rapist Brock Turner attempted to overturn the former Stanford University swimmer’s assault conviction during an appellate court hearing in San Jose, California, on Tuesday.

Attorney Eric Multhaup argued to three appellate court justices that his client only wanted “outercourse” ― sexual contact while fully clothed, he explained ― not intercourse, The Mercury News of San Jose reported. Multhaup told the justices that Turner never intended to rape the woman, who was identified only as “Jane Doe” throughout the trial.

Read the rest

Gentleman shoplifts a drink right before inquiring about a job there

The hilarious running commentary really adds to this idiot's attempt to rip off a store right before asking about working there. Read the rest

Disgraced charter school exec pleads guilty to criminal money laundering, resigns from LA school board

Ref Rodriguez ran a big-money campaign to be the first representative of a charter school to be elected to LA's public school board; the money came from the deep-pocketed investors in charter schools, and was criminally laundered with Rodriguez's help and led to him being made president of LA's board of ed. Read the rest

Burglar breaks into escape room but can't break out

A criminal mastermind in Vancouver, Washington thought that he'd help himself to the bounty of – I dunno, locks? doors? finger puzzles? – goods that an escape room business had on hand. He ended up, you guessed it, trapped in an escape room and unable to break free. In a fit of panic and defeat, he called 911 for help. Read the rest

Florida man with a literal monkey on his back arrested for car theft

Sometimes people steal cars to pay for that sweet lady H, but this fella allegedly stole a car, possibly to keep the monkey on his back in diapers. Read the rest

See bold thieves snatch $27,000 in products from a bustling Apple Store in 30 seconds

Four men snatched $27,000 in laptops and iPhones from a busy Apple Store in Fresno, California.

They were going through people and just grabbing stuff," Beckwith said Sunday.

Police initially got a report that the incident was an armed robbery, but later determined that the alleged heist was quick and no weapons were used.

(Fresno Bee)

Read the rest

Manafort mugshot

Following complaints about his ability to prepare for trial, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was moved today to a different detention center to wait for his day in court. The new digs aren't as swanky as the last place, apparently; here's his new mugshot.

Ellis' order to move Manafort followed complaints from his attorneys that the circumstances of his detention were interfering with his ability to prepare for the Alexandria trial set to begin July 25 and another trial set to open Sept. 17 in Washington.

Following Ellis' order, Manafort's attorneys sought to head off the transfer, saying the longtime lobbyist and former Trump campaign official preferred to remain at Northern Neck. The defense cited both concerns about Manafort's safety and about adjusting to a new jail.

However, the judge rejected that plea, calling it "surprising and confusing" in light of the complaints from Manafort's defense attorneys about the difficulties involved with his detention so far from Washington.

Bluff called. Read the rest

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