Good Deals on Black Friday, But Cyber Monday Brings a Risk of Financial Fraud

Shopping in person in stores on the day after Thanksgiving, a/k/a “Black Friday,” can yield good deals on a host of holiday gifts. Good deals also are possible on Cyber Monday, the year’s busiest online shopping day, which occurs each year following the Thanksgiving weekend. But Cyber...

‘Man-in-the-E-Mail’ Financial Fraud: How It Works

There’s a new version of the “man-in-the-middle” scam known as the “man-in-the-e-mail” fraud. Here’s how the FBI just said it worked in the Seattle area: In 2013, at least three Seattle-area companies were led to believe they were sending money to an established...

New York Expands Investigation into Online Payday Lending

New York regulators are expanding their investigation into online payday lending. As part of an extensive and ongoing investigation, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) now has sent subpoenas to 16 online “lead generation” firms that the DFS said it suspects of deceptive...

ZeroAccess Botnet is ‘Disrupted,” Microsoft Says

The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit said that it has successfully disrupted a rampant botnet in collaboration with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other technology companies, including A10 Networks Inc. According to Microsoft, the Sirefef...

How Tech Support Refund Scams Work – and How to Avoid This Financial Fraud

So-called “tech support refund scams” are a new twist on an old fraud, and they often manage to defraud honest consumers. But, there are ways to avoid being the subject of this form of financial fraud. Tech support scams try to gain consumers’ trust and access to their computers...

Is that Email from a Court for Real? Possibly Not, and It May Contain a Virus

It seems that a lot of people – possibly including attorneys – are receiving emails that say they come from a federal or state court, but that actually are fraudulent and have a computer virus. According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts...

$28 Million of Silk Road’s Bitcoins Are Forfeited, US Attorney Says

Approximately 29,655 Bitcoins, worth approximately $28 million, that had been seized from the Silk Road server have been forfeited to the U.S. government in what federal prosecutors called the largest ever forfeiture of Bitcoins. Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York...

Scammers Increasingly Relying on Internet-Enabled Phone Technology to Reach Victims, Consumer Group Says

In more than 36 percent of all consumer complaints in 2013, victims were contacted by phone, the National Consumers League is reporting. This figure is up from approximately 25 percent in 2012. Using Internet calling software, scammers can peddle their schemes from practically anywhere on the globe...

Website Operator Tricked Consumers with Phony Information about Obamacare, FTC Alleges

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against a website operator that allegedly tricked consumers – in advance of the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – with spam emails that falsely claimed that consumers would be violating the ACA if they did not immediately click a link...

‘SpyEye’ Creator Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire and Bank Fraud

Aleksandr Andreevich Panin, a Russian national also known as “Gribodemon” and “Harderman,” has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud for his role as the primary developer and distributor of the malicious software known as “SpyEye,” which, according...

A Byte Out of Financial Fraud History: $10 Million Hack, 1994-Style

Two decades ago, a group of enterprising criminals on multiple continents – led by a young computer programmer in St. Petersburg, Russia – hacked into the electronic systems of a major U.S. bank and secretly started stealing money. No mask, no note, no gun – this was bank robbery for...

Marketer Settles FTC Charges He Sent Millions of Deceptive, Unwanted Text Messages

An affiliate marketer has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that he was responsible for sending millions of unwanted text messages to consumers that deceptively promised “free” gift cards and electronics. In its complaint against the marketer, Jason Q. Cruz of West Bend...

Love, Online Dating and Financial Fraud: A Cautionary Tale for Valentine's Day

Millions of Americans visit online dating websites every year hoping to find a companion or even a soulmate. But as Valentine’s Day gets closer, we here at the Financial Fraud Law Blog and the Financial Fraud Law Report want to warn you that criminals use these sites, too, looking to turn the lonely...

Cryptolocker: A New Breed of Computer Malware, Feds Warn

How much is everything on your computer worth to you? About $300? The financial fraudsters behind a new malware program are betting on it. The Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, and other federal agencies are warning consumers and businesses about “Cryptolocker,” a malware program that...

Microsoft Technical Support Scam Reaches US from Overseas

A growing number of U.S. consumers are being contacted by scam artists posing as representatives of Microsoft or an organization allegedly affiliated with Microsoft, such as P.C. Solutions. In some cases, the callers even spoof the telephone’s Caller ID to identify the source as “Windows...

What This Country Needs Is a Good National Standard for Reporting Cyberattacks. At Least that’s What Attorney General Holder Says

In a video message, Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress to create a strong, national standard for quickly alerting consumers whose information may be compromised by cyberattacks. Holder said that this legislation would strengthen the Justice Department’s ability to combat crime, ensure...

Facebook and Twitter Fraud Thwarted, SEC Says

The Securities and Exchange Commission has brought an emergency enforcement action to stop what it characterized as a fraudulent pyramid scheme by phony companies masquerading as a legitimate international investment firm. Toward that end, the SEC obtained a federal court order to freeze accounts...