This researcher learned how "triangulation fraud" works when she bought a used Nespresso machine

Nina Kollars is a professor at the Naval War College inside the Strategic and Operational Research Department. Here she is at DEF CON 27 explaining how she learned about triangulation fraud when she started buying Nespresso pods on eBay at a discount. Not only did she get the pods, she also received a new Nespresso machine worth $280. It sounds like a good deal, right? As you'll learn as Kollars tells her fascinating story, it wasn't a great deal -- it was a scam.

[via Dooby Brain] Read the rest

$1 million stolen in UK coronavirus scams

Criminals are tricking people who want to buy protective masks

In the United Kingdom, vulnerable people who are afraid of coronavirus have lost more than 800,000 british pounds ($1 million in US dollars) to coronavirus scams in the last month. Read the rest

Technology company co-founder reports car stolen to avoid mechanic's bill

Rather than pay a large repair bill, a gentleman the Marin Independent Journal identified as "the co-founder of a San Francisco technology security firm" apparently reported the car stolen and received a nice insurance payout.

...and then the police found the car.

Marin IJ:

“Dhoopar told the CHP and his insurance company that the car was stolen off his street,” Petersen said, “when in fact it had been reported stolen shortly after Dhoopar learned of a large repair bill that he would be receiving from the mechanic.”

The insurer paid Dhoopar about $8,200, the full value of the car.

Investigators arranged a meeting with Dhoopar on Tuesday in Corte Madera, presented him with the evidence and made the arrest.

Dhoopar, the cofounder of a San Francisco technology security firm, could not be reached for comment.

Read the rest

"A piece of shit": Government report on Wells Fargo corruption shows top executives' direct complicity in millions of acts of fraud

Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency handed down stiff penalties for John Stumpf (previously) who was CEO of Wells Fargo during its scandal-haunted decade, during which time it stole from rich people, poor people, veterans, active-service military personnel, homeowners, small businesses, etc, as well as 2,000,000 ordinary customers who had fraudulent accounts opened in their names in order to bleed them of transaction fees, sometimes at the expense of their good credit and even their financial solvency. Under the deal, Stumpf will have to pay $17.5m in fines and cannot ever work in finance again (don't worry, he's still a multi-multi-multi millionaire). Read the rest

Wells Fargo's ex-CEO will pay $17.5m in fines and never work in banking again (but he is still very, very rich)

When John Stumpf (previously) was CEO of Wells Fargo, he oversaw a string of scandals including literally millions of acts of bank fraud, and still managed to walk out of the business with millions in bonuses and no criminal prosecutions. Read the rest

Youtube's Content ID has become the tool of choice for grifty copyfraudsters who steal from artists

Last year's EU Copyright Directive will require online services to install upload filters similar to Youtube's Content ID system, a $100m, voluntary tool that allows rightsholders to claim video and audio and either censor or earn money from any user videos that matches their claims. Read the rest

Carriers ignore studies that show they suck at preventing SIM-swap attacks

Now that many online services rely on sending SMSes to your phone to authenticate your identify, thieves and stalkers have created a whole "SIM swap" industry where they defraud your phone company or bribe employees to help them steal your phone account so they can break into all your other accounts. Read the rest

Court case lays bare KPMG's crimes: poaching employees from its own regulators and making them steal government secrets

Capitalism has a foundational dependence on auditors -- outside entities who evaluate companies' claims about their financial state so that investors, suppliers and customers can understand whether to trust the companies with their money and business -- but those auditors are paid by the companies they're supposed to be keeping honest, and to make matters worse, 40 years of lax antitrust enforcement has allowed the auditing industry to contract to a four gigantic firms that openly practice fraud and abet corruption, with no real consequences. Read the rest

Newton's Principia Mathematica, George Washington's journal: archivist stole $8m worth of rare books from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library

Gregory Priore -- former archivist for Pittsburgh's Carnegie Library -- has pleaded guilty of stealing $8m worth of rare texts from the collection over a 25 year period, fencing them through John Schulman's Caliban Book Shop (Schulman has also pleaded guilty, and admitted to forgery as well). Read the rest

More than 800 Russian academic articles retracted after "bombshell" report reveals plagiarism and other misconduct

After Antiplagiat, a private plagiarism detection company, accused Russia's scientific and scholarly journals of being rife with plagiarism, self-plagiarism, duplication and other misconduct, the Russian Academy of Sciences chartered a committee to investigate the problem: their report confirmed the accusations, finding more instances of plagiarism/self-plagiarism, as well as instances in which the same paper was published in different journals under different authors' names. Read the rest

That text informing you that you've been drafted into the US Army? It's fake. For now.

Apparently there's been a rash of fraudulent text messages informing recipients that they have been drafted in the United States Army and they should call the recruiting office immediately. I'd bet that the phone number is actually an international toll call and most of the fees go to the scammer, like the common "one-ring call" scams. From the US Army Recruiting Command:

The decision to enact a draft is not made at or by U.S. Army Recruiting Command. The Selective Service System, a separate agency outside of the Department of Defense, is the organization that manages registration for the Selective Service.

"The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual,” according to the Selective Service System’s official Facebook page. “In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft."

And of course that's highly unlikely, right? RIGHT?!?

image: Maj. Jessica Rovero Read the rest

Two men arrested for pasting winning numbers onto a losing lottery ticket

A couple of men in Columbus, Mississippi allegedly thought they could collect a $100,000 lottery prize using a ticket with glued-on winning numbers. Instead they were arrested. Didn't they know you have to be a rich white  president or financial services executive to commit fraud with impunity?

Image by Hermann Traub from Pixabay Read the rest

In any other industry, emergency medical billing would be considered fraudulent

Last summer, MD/journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal's husband had a bike accident and was seriously injured and taken by ambulance to an emergency room. Read the rest

After decades of corporate theft, Spinal Tap is finally getting paid by Universal

For years, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner have been suing Universal to get paid, citing Universal's blatantly crooked bookkeeping (Shearer received $98 in music royalties and $81 in merchandising income from the film). Read the rest

Trial begins for the "cum/ex" bankers accused of stealing €447m and trying for €60b

You know that late-stage capitalism is upon us when a financial scandal targeting €60 billion in fraud against public treasuries is lost in the noise of other scandals. Read the rest

Your phone is a crimewave in your pocket, and it's all the fault of greedy carriers and complicit regulators

Insider attacks, cell-site simulators, SIM-swap attacks, thriving markets in super-cheap, fine-grained location data, robocalls, fictitious coverage maps, and more: does the fact that all this terrible shit keeps happening, and only gets worse, mean that mobile companies and the FCC just don't give a fuck if your mobile phone is a crime wave you carry around with you on your pocket? Read the rest

As New York State's shareholder suit against Big Oil for climate denial proceeds, Exxonmobil caught intimidating witnesses

In 2015, a deep investigative report from Inside Climate News revealed that as early as 1977, Exxonmobil knew that it was destroying the planet with CO2 emissions, and its response to that fact was to gin up a decades-long disinformation campaign aimed at sowing expensive doubt about the subject, even as it grew more certain of its facts. Read the rest

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