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

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

Wells Fargo: we stole houses and we're being investigated for dirty low-income housing credits

In its latest round of shareholder disclosures, Wells Fargo admitted that it "unnecessarily foreclosed" on 400-odd householders (that is, stole their houses) and failed to grant loan modifications to 625 qualified borrowers (this is just the latest revelation about Wells Fargo stealing houses); it's also being investigated for its practice of purchasing low-income housing credits. (via Naked Capitalism) 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

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

Thieves use free-to-play games to turn stolen credit-card numbers into cash

Markets for video-game assets, sanctioned and unsanctioned, are a major target for credit-card scammers, who use bots to open fake Apple accounts using stolen cards, which are then used to buy up in-game assets that are flipped for clean, untraceable cash to players. Read the rest

Farming while Black: farmers allegedly sold fake certified seed in an effort to bankrupt them

Farming is a tough gig, made even tougher when racism and greed are plied against you.

According to WMC News, a number of African American farmers have claimed that, in March of 2017, they were sold fake seed by the Stine Seed Company. The most likely motivation for their receiving counterfeit seed, according to the farmers: money. If their fields fail to yield an adequate crop, the farmers would become insolvent, making it easy for anyone interested in their property to buy it out from under them. It’s a serious allegation but, thanks to Mississippi State University, the farmers have some serious science to back up the belief that they’d been swindled.

After testing certified Stein brand seed against the stuff that the black farmers had been sold in 2017, the University concluded that they had not been given the “certified” seed that they’d paid for. This is a huge deal. Branded seed stock from companies like Stine, does not come cheap. Farmers are willing to pay more for it because they know that the crop yields they’ll see will make it worth while at the end of the growing season. Due to the fact that the farmers spread fake seed on their fields, they suffered millions of dollars worth of losses.

From Raw Story:

Thomas Burrell, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, explained how black farmers were receiving one-tenth of the yield as their white neighbors.

“Mother nature doesn’t discriminate,” Burrell said. “It doesn’t rain on white farms but not black farms.

Read the rest

Danish anti-piracy lawyers stole millions from their clients, sentenced to years in prison

Johan Schlüter is (was!) a Danish lawyer whose firm contracted with the Antipiratgruppen (an entertainment industry group now called RettighedsAlliancen, whose members include the MPAA) to run legal campaigns against file-sharing services and their users. Read the rest

It's really easy to steal your cellphone number, and that's a gateway to stealing everything else

Consumer Reports covers cellphone identity theft, which includes taking out cellphone accounts in your name and using them to establish credit that can be leveraged to get credit-cards and loans in your name; and to steal your cellphone numbers and hijack your other accounts by intercepting two-factor authentication texts from your bank and other services. Read the rest

Sweden's notorious copyright troll said they'd sue, but if you ignore them, they just go away

When the Danish copyright troll Njord Law started operating in Sweden, it went to court saying that it was planning on enforcing copyright, not engaging in "speculative invoicing" -- a kind of legal blackmail that involves sending out thousands of legal threats on the off chance that some people will pay you to go away. Read the rest

Spectacular read: a profile of Anna Sorokin, a con-artist who convinced New York that she was a high-rolling socialite trust-funder

Jessica Pressler's long, gripping profile of con artist Anna Sorokin (AKA Anna Delvey) has all the making of a first-rate grifter novel, where the likable, unflappable rogue is revealed by inches to be a sociopath, a broken person who can't herself tell truth from fiction. Read the rest

Jargon watch: smishing and vishing

Smishing: phishing with SMSes. Vishing: phishing with voice-response systems. A pair of Romanian hackers have been extradited to the U.S. after allegedly bilking unwitting victims out of more than $18 million in an elaborate voice- and SMS-phishing (i.e., vishing/smishing) scheme. [Tara Seals/Threatpost] (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest

The company that made Grenfell Tower's flammable, poisonous insulation used dangerous lies to make hundreds of sales

Celotex convinced the owners of Grenfell Tower and hundreds of other buildings in the UK to insulate with their RS5000 insulation product -- a product that had never passed safety tests. The company claimed it was safe for use because a different version of RS5000 (one that used much more flame-retardant) had been through the tests. Read the rest

Amazon has a real fake review problem

A "vast web" of fraudulent reviewers have come to dominate Amazon, with shills being paid cash to order a product, photograph it on arrival, and write a glowing, 5-star review. Read the rest

The US gave its client states hundreds of millions for anti-terrorism, then crooked UK military contractors ripped it all off

Defense Secretary James Mattis has announced a criminal investigation into the misuse of $458,000,000 that the US government gave to Iraq and Afghanistan to build out mass-scale domestic surveillance apparatus and other "anti-terrorism" capabilities. Read the rest

Want to review Comey's book on Amazon? You gotta buy it

Amazon has long had a problem with shill reviews and quiet removal of negative reviews, but the flood of questionable anti-Comey book reviews by non-purchasers finally prompted them to require a verified purchase in order to rate the book. Read the rest

Wells Fargo fined $1B for stealing cars and jacking houses

Wells Fargo defrauded 800,000 car loan borrowers, forcing 274,000 of them into bankruptcy and stealing ("wrongfully repossessing") 25,000 cars; they also ripped off mortgage borrowers by failing to send them their paperwork until after the deadline for filing it and then fining them for not filing it on time. Read the rest

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