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SCARS Is Changing The Way Ghana West Africa Thinks About Scams Fraud & Cybercrime – April 2024

SCARS is Changing the way Ghana West Africa thinks about Scams Fraud & Cybercrime

SCARS Director Dr. Tim McGuinness was presenting to the Ghana Police Service Academy on April 15th, 2024

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation

About This Article

The ePolice Academy 2024 International Edition, a collaborative initiative by the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Internet Safety Foundation, recently concluded with resounding success in Sunyani, Ghana.

The event, held at Sheila’s Executive Hotel, gathered cybersecurity experts and law enforcement officers to explore the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in cyber forensic investigations and enhance online safety. Key speakers like Dr. Edward Danso Ansong, Dr. Isaac Tweneboah-Koduah, and Dr. Tim McGuinness of SCARS provided invaluable insights into AI’s role in cybersecurity and the impact of cybercrime on victims.

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Southeast Asia Scam Gangs – SCARS Editorial – 2024

Southeast Asia Scam Gangs

A SCARS Editorial

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The rise of Southeast Asian Scam Gangs presents a global threat, defrauding countless victims and perpetuating criminal activities. While governments like the U.K. and China are taking action, U.S. attention remains diverted.

However, Washington’s involvement is crucial. These transnational criminal organizations wield substantial economic power, necessitating enhanced law enforcement support.

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Synthetic Pornography – A Growing Danger To The World – A SCARS Editorial 2023

Synthetic Pornography – A Growing Danger To The World

A SCARS Editorial

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
Photo Credit: Mark Pohlmann

Synthetic Pornography Is Revolutionizing What People Of Particular Tastes Can Have Now, All Through Generative AI

Synthetic porn, also known as deepfake porn, is a type of manipulated media that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create non-consensual pornography. It typically involves superimposing the face of a non-consenting person onto the body of someone else in a pornographic video, but it can be completely synthetic and generated by AI from nothing but a text description of what is desired.

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2023-11-25T19:23:10-05:00Uncategorized|

A Proposal from SCARS to Reduce Bank Wire/Money Transfer Fraud

A Proposal from SCARS to Reduce Bank Wire/Money Transfer Fraud

By SCARS Editorial Team –  Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

A Proposal To Reduce App Fraud In The Banking Industry

SCARS introduces a new proposal for the banking industry to help stop Wire Transfer Fraud/Scams (Authorized Push Payment Fraud) at the point of contact.

Almost all deterrents and education programs have failed to stop victims from sending money to criminals. Something more is needed. In the UK the bank employees call the local police to talk with victims and this has proven very effective, but that will not work in the United States. This proposal, we believe, addresses all the issues in a process already compliant with U.S. law.

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2023-06-27T05:26:50-04:00Uncategorized|

INTERPOL Operation Jackal III Arrests More Than 300 Scammers – 2024

INTERPOL Operation Jackal III Arrests More Than 300 Scammers

Major Interpol Led Operation Targets ‘Black Axe’ and Other Organized Crime Groups

Primary Category: Criminal Justice

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  INTERPOL

About This Article

A global law enforcement operation, Operation Jackal III, targeted West African organized crime groups, including Black Axe, resulting in 300 arrests and the seizure of USD 3 million in assets.

Running from April 10 to July 3, 2024, across 21 countries, the operation focused on combating online financial fraud and dismantling criminal networks. Over 400 suspects were identified, and over 720 bank accounts were blocked.

The operation highlighted the critical need for international collaboration in addressing the alarming rise in financial fraud stemming from West Africa.

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Protecting Yourself After the AT&T Data Breach – 2024

Protecting Yourself After the AT&T Data Breach

Affecting Nearly Every AT&T Customer!

Primary Category: Cybersecurity News

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In 2024, AT&T experienced a significant data breach that affected approximately 73 million customers, exposing sensitive information like names, addresses, and Social Security Numbers.

Initially revealed in 2021 and confirmed in March 2024, the breach led to widespread concern. Customers should immediately update passwords, enable two-factor authentication, monitor financial accounts, check credit reports, use identity theft protection, be wary of phishing attempts, freeze credit, update device security, educate themselves on cyber threats, and stay informed on legal recourse.

Taking these steps can help mitigate risks and protect personal information.

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INTERPOL Operation First Light With 3,950 Arrests – 2024

INTERPOL Operation First Light With 3,950 Arrests

USD 257 million in assets seized in Operation First Light, with 3,950 arrests and the identification of 14,643 suspects spanning 61 countries.

Primary Category: Crimes and Criminals

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  INTERPOL

About This Article

Operation First Light 2024, a global police initiative spanning 61 countries, has struck a significant blow to online scam networks by freezing 6,745 bank accounts and seizing assets worth USD $257 million.

The operation, which targeted various scams including phishing, investment fraud, and romance scams, resulted in 3,950 arrests and the identification of 14,643 additional suspects. Authorities intercepted USD $135 million in regular currency and USD $2 million in cryptocurrency, alongside other high-value assets.

The operation, coordinated by INTERPOL and funded by China’s Ministry of Public Security, underscores the importance of international cooperation in combating transnational organized crime and protecting victims worldwide.

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Evolved Apes NFT Scam – 2024

Evolved Apes NFT Scam

The Truth Behind Yet Another Internet Fake Bubble

Primary Category: Crimes & Criminals

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Evolved Apes NFT: The Former Jewel of NFTs – Scammers Face Up to 40 Years in Prison for $2.7M Fraud. In a significant crackdown on NFT-related fraud, three British nationals involved in the “Evolved Apes” NFT scam have been charged in the United States with wire fraud and money laundering. The suspects, Mohamed-Amin Atcha, Mohamed Rilaz Waleedh, and Daood Hassan, are accused of orchestrating a scheme that defrauded investors out of $2.7 million.

If convicted, they face up to 40 years in prison. This case underscores the vulnerabilities within the burgeoning NFT market and highlights the need for regulatory oversight to protect investors from similar fraudulent schemes. NFTs, or Non-Fungible Tokens, represent ownership of unique digital assets, and their initial hype promised a revolutionary change in digital ownership and the creator economy.

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Amazon & Global Cyber Alliance Launches CyberFlex to Help Young Adults Avoid Scams and Cybercrime – 2024

Amazon & Global Cyber Alliance Launches CyberFlex to Help Young Adults Avoid Scams and Cybercrime

Creating Better Tools to Help Teens & Young Adults to Stay Safe Online

Primary Category: Scam Victim Advocacy

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) and Amazon announced the launch of CyberFlex.org, an innovative website designed to help 18- to 25-year-olds avoid scams and cybercrimes.

CyberFlex.org offers targeted information, free tools, interactive guides, and text alerts to prevent, mitigate, report, and recover from scams and other cyber risks.

By raising awareness and shifting attitudes about online threats, CyberFlex.org provides young adults with practical steps to protect themselves and share their experiences.

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Thought Patterns That Sustain Depression – An Overview for Scam Victims – 2024

Thought Patterns That Sustain Depression – An Overview for Scam Victims

Helping Scam Victims Understand Depression and the Need For Help!

Primary Category: Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Victims of relationship scams often experience profound emotional and psychological impacts, including depression, due to feelings of betrayal and diminished self-worth. Addressing the cognitive patterns that sustain depression is crucial for their recovery.

Almost all scam victims suffer from trauma, and while resilience varies, every victim should be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional to prevent worsening symptoms. There is no shame in seeking help; it is a courageous step towards healing. Mental health professionals provide a safe, non-judgmental space for victims to process their experiences, rebuild self-esteem, and develop coping strategies. Early intervention can mitigate long-term effects, helping victims regain control over their lives and well-being.

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5 Bulgarian Fraudsters Convicted In The UK – 2024

5 Bulgarian Fraudsters Convicted In The UK

Fraud on a Massive Factory Scale

Primary Category: Criminal Justice

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions by Daily Mail

About This Article

Five Bulgarian fraudsters who defrauded the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of £54 million have been jailed for over 25 years. The gang hijacked 6,000 identities to claim Universal Credit, using children’s names from Bulgaria.

They operated three ‘benefit factories’ in London, producing fake tenancy agreements, payslips, and letters to trick the DWP. The group flaunted their wealth on social media, with photos showing them at Antonia’s Foods supermarket in Wood Green. Ringleader Galina Nikolova, 38, was sentenced to eight years for her key role in the scam, which Judge David Aaronberg described as being conducted on an ‘industrial scale’. Stoyan Stoyanov, 27, received four years, while Gyunesh Ali, 33, was jailed for seven years and three months. Tsvetka Todorova, 52, and Patritsia Paneva, 26, received three years each.

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Sadako Toyoda: Another Innocent Scam Victim Money Mule Has Been Arrested In Japan – 2024

Sadako Toyoda 豊田禎: Another Innocent Scam Victim Money Mule Has Been Arrested In Japan

Another Innocent Money Mule Will Go to Prison

Primary Category: Scam Victim’s Story

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  日テレNEWS NNN

About This Article

Sadako Toyoda, a 54-year-old Japanese woman, was manipulated into becoming a money mule by a scammer she met online, leading to her arrest. The scammer, posing as a doctor in a war zone, convinced Toyoda to impersonate a diplomat and collect money from another victim.

On May 29, Toyoda attempted to defraud a woman in Sagamihara City of 1 million yen. Despite being a victim of psychological manipulation, Toyoda faces prison. This case underscores the extreme lengths to which scam victims can be coerced, highlighting the severe impact of such manipulative tactics.

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Major European Money Laundering/Money Mule Services Operation Shut Down By Europol – 2024

Major European Money Laundering/Money Mule Services Operation Shut Down By Europol

Primary Category: Criminal Justice

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Europol

About This Article

Europol, alongside Italian and Portuguese authorities, spearheaded a major crackdown on money mule service providers laundering over EUR 10 million for a criminal organization behind cryptocurrency scams.

Supported by law enforcement from Austria, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, and Switzerland, the operation involved raids in France, Italy, and Romania, resulting in 11 detentions, including the scheme’s mastermind, and the seizure of electronic devices, jewelry, and cryptocurrencies.

The scam targeted millionaires through sophisticated rip-deal scams, utilizing cryptocurrencies. Europol and Eurojust provided critical support, facilitating information exchange and forensic assistance, while Europol’s #DontBeaMule campaign aims to prevent money mule activities across the EU.

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U.S. Government Bans Woman Money Mule From Helping Scammers Anymore – 2024

U.S. Government Bans Woman Money Mule From Helping Scammers Anymore

In a First of Its Kind Decision, the U.S. Court Orders Money Mule to Stop Helping Scammers! This was Required Because She Would Not Stop!

Primary Category: Scam Victim’s Story

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  United States Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice

About This Article

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Federal Government has barred Holly Freidamarie Locke, a 70-year-old Michigan woman, from participating in any further online romance scams. Locke, initially a victim herself, was deceived into acting as a “money mule,” transmitting funds for scammers. Despite police warnings and a signed cease and desist order, she continued facilitating scams.

U.S. District Judge Paul D. Borman approved a consent decree preventing Locke from aiding scammers. This decision, the first of its kind in Michigan, is part of a broader DOJ effort to combat international fraud rings exploiting U.S. citizens.

Locke’s case highlights the manipulation tactics used by scammers and the crucial role of money mules in these schemes. By cutting off this flow of money, the decree aims to protect potential victims and disrupt the operations of fraud networks. Locke did not admit liability in the decree.

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Pokémon Card Scammers Arrested By FBI – 2024

Pokémon Card Scammers Arrested By FBI

The FBI has arrested Anthony Curcio and Iosif Bondarchuk for operating a nationwide scam involving sports and Pokémon trading cards.

Primary Category: Criminal Justice

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Federal Bureau of Investigation

About This Article

The FBI has arrested Anthony Curcio and Iosif Bondarchuk for operating a nationwide scam involving sports and Pokémon trading cards. Charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, the duo allegedly manipulated the market by misrepresenting low-to-mid grade cards as high-grade, authenticated by a reputable grading company, causing victims to overpay and resulting in over $2 million in fraudulent sales.

The scheme, which spanned from 2022 to May 2024, involved selling cards with falsified grades through online marketplaces and in-person venues. Curcio and Bondarchuk used fake identities to conceal their involvement, even after victims confronted them.

The case highlights the FBI’s commitment to combating fraud and protecting consumers in the collectibles market.

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MasterCard opens European Cyber Resilience Centre in Belgium – 2024

Mastercard opens European Cyber Resilience Centre in Belgium

This new Centre will better prepare Europe to Face the Challenges of Cybercrimes and Cyberwarfare

Primary Category: Cybersecurity

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions by MasterCard

About This Article

Mastercard has opened its European Cyber Resilience Centre (ECRC) at its European Headquarters in Belgium, highlighting its commitment to combating cyber threats and enhancing resilience in the region. The state-of-the-art centre will improve defenses against cyber threats, expedite response times, and foster collaboration between the public and private sectors.

The ECRC brings together partners from across Europe, including national cyber intelligence centres, law enforcement, and industry bodies. The facility features a Fusion Centre and a Digital Forensics Lab, essential for effective incident response. This initiative reinforces Mastercard’s role in securing the digital ecosystem and protecting consumer and business transactions.

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Mariko Takeuchi – Romance Scam Victim Became An Unwitting Drug Mule – 2024

Mariko Takeuchi – Romance Scam Victim Became An Unwitting Drug Mule

An Example of how Online Relationships can get someone arrested!

Primary Category: Victim’s Story

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
• Yahoo Japan and other sources

About This Article

Mariko Takeuchi, the first Japanese national sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia, had her death sentence commuted to 30 years in prison on May 29, 2024, following judicial reforms that abolished mandatory capital punishment for certain offenses.

Arrested in 2009 for carrying 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine from Dubai, she claimed she was unknowingly used as a drug mule by an acquaintance. Despite her defense, Malaysian courts consistently found her testimony not credible, leading to her death sentence in 2011.

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Europol’s Operation ENDGAME Strikes At Heart Of Cybercrime’s Botnet Universe – 2024

Europol’s Operation ENDGAME Strikes At Heart Of Cybercrime’s Botnet Universe

Europol and Partners Take Down Another Major Botnet Cybercrime Organization

Primary Category: Cybercrime

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Europol

About This Article

Europol’s largest-ever operation against botnets, dubbed Operation Endgame, targeted malware droppers like IcedID, SystemBC, Pikabot, Smokeloader, and Bumblebee. Coordinated from Europol’s headquarters between May 27 and 29, 2024, the operation aimed to disrupt criminal services by arresting high-value targets, taking down criminal infrastructures, and freezing illegal proceeds.

The multinational effort, involving countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States, led to four arrests, 16 location searches, and the takedown of over 100 servers. This operation, supported by Eurojust and various private partners, addressed the complex challenge of international cybercrime, highlighting the critical role of botnets in deploying ransomware.

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911 S5 Botnet Dismantled – Another Major Botnet Taken Down By Law Enforcement – 2024

911 S5 Botnet Dismantled – Another Major Botnet Taken Down

Law Enforcement Takes Down Another Major Cybercrime Operation

Primary Category: Law Enforcement

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

About This Article

In a significant international law enforcement operation led by the U.S. Justice Department, the notorious 911 S5 botnet, responsible for infecting over 19 million IP addresses and facilitating large-scale fraud and other crimes, has been dismantled.

The operation resulted in the arrest of YunHe Wang, a Chinese national, who allegedly created and operated the botnet from 2014 to 2022. Wang’s malware compromised millions of residential computers, allowing cybercriminals to commit various offenses, including financial fraud and child exploitation.

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U.S. FBI’s IC3.gov Turns 24 Years Old! – 2024

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI’s IC3.gov Turns 24 Years Old!

Since the very early days of the Internet (World Wide Web) the FBI has been collecting data and complaints on criminal behavior and helping victims get help!

Law Enforcement – FBI IC3 Internet Crime Complaint Center

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions by ‘Inside the FBI Podcast’

About This Article

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov), established by the FBI in May 2000, is a crucial platform for reporting internet-related crimes such as identity theft, online fraud, phishing, and ransomware. It collects, analyzes, and disseminates cybercrime data, helping identify patterns and emerging threats.

Beyond processing complaints, IC3 enhances public awareness and provides educational resources to prevent cybercrimes. It collaborates with various law enforcement agencies and partners globally to combat cybercrime effectively, making the digital environment safer.

Over its 24 years, IC3 has adapted to evolving threats, continuously working to protect individuals and businesses from sophisticated online scams.

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Global Law Enforcement Collaboration Takes Down ‘LabHost’ Phishing-As-A-Service Platform – 2024

Global Law Enforcement Collaboration Takes Down ‘LabHost’ Phishing-As-A-Service Platform

The Takedown of the LabHost Platform is a Major Step in Reducing Phishing Scams

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions from Europol and UK Metropolitan Police

About This Article

Law enforcement agencies from 19 countries collaborated in a year-long operation to disrupt ‘LabHost,’ one of the world’s largest phishing-as-a-service platforms. Coordinated by Europol, the operation resulted in the compromise of LabHost’s infrastructure and the initial arrest of 37 suspects, with the potential for as many as 1,000 more arrests.

LabHost facilitated phishing attacks on users of hundreds of financial institutions worldwide for a monthly subscription fee. The platform, previously available on the open web, has been shut down following the investigation.

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UK Government: Social and Psychological Implications of Fraud – 2024

UK Government: Social and Psychological Implications of Fraud

Psychology of Scams

Authors:
•  UK Parliament – Government of the United Kingdom
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Fraud poses a significant threat to the UK, with 4 in 10 offences targeting individuals. The government’s 2023 Fraud Strategy aims to combat this, emphasizing victim support and prevention.

While stereotypes of elderly victims persist, fraud risks vary due to psychological and social factors. Beyond financial loss, fraud inflicts emotional and psychological harm.

Victims often report fraud to banks rather than authorities. Effective prevention strategies involve education and enhanced victim care. This POSTnote underscores the multifaceted nature of fraud and the need for comprehensive, collaborative approaches to mitigate its impact on individuals in England and Wales.

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A Desperate Scam Victim – Ann Mayers – Becomes A Bank Robber – 2024 [VIDEOS]

A Desperate Scam Victim – Ann Mayers – Becomes A Bank Robber

Ann Mayers, a Scam Victim lost her life savings and borrowed over $80,000 which she still owed. Out of Desperation, she decided to become a Bank Robber

However, the story is not as simple as it seems due to the trauma and cognitive impairment victims suffer from

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions WLWT5 News and other sources

About This Article

Ann Mayers, a 74-year-old Ohio woman, turned to bank robbery in desperation after falling victim to an online scam.

Police responded to a robbery at AurGroup Credit Union, where Mayers demanded cash at gunpoint. She was later found at her home and confessed to the crime, admitting recent financial losses to an unidentified online scammer. Mayers faces charges of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence, highlighting the tragic consequences of online scams.

Such scams often leave victims traumatized, affecting their cognitive function and decision-making abilities. Victims may experience cognitive dissonance, struggling to reconcile reality with their desire to believe in the legitimacy of the scam.

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The Tragic Story Of Laura Kowal – A Romance Scam Victim Who Died Possibly At The Hands Of The Ghana/Nigerian Scammers – 2024 – [Videos]

The Tragic Story Of Laura Kowal

A Romance Scam Victim Who Died Possibly At The Hands Of The Ghana Scammers Who Controlled Here!

A Not Uncommon Case of a Romance Scam Victim Who loses Everything and then becomes a Money Mule for Ghana Scammers

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions CBS News and other sources

About This Article

Laura Kowal’s tragic story sheds light on the devastating impact of romance scams, where victims like her become enslaved by expert criminals, leading to dire consequences. Laura, a widow seeking companionship, fell victim to a scam orchestrated by individuals masquerading as her online lover, ‘Frank Borg.’

Despite initial feelings of romance and excitement, Laura eventually became a money mule for Ghana scammers, after ultimately losing $1.5 million.

Mysteriously, she was found drowned in a river, raising suspicions of foul play. Her daughter, Kelly Gowe, tirelessly seeks answers, highlighting the manipulative tactics and devastating consequences of romance scams.

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Unbelievable Story Of A U.S. Military Soldier Sanda G. Frimpong Involved In A Romance Scam Gang – 2024

Unbelievable Story Of A U.S. Military Soldier Sanda G. Frimpong Involved In A Romance Scam Gang

A U.S. Soldier from Ghana becomes a real romance scam gang member

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Former U.S. Army soldier Sanda G. Frimpong, formerly stationed at Fort Bragg, has been sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for his involvement in a money laundering romance scam targeting vulnerable individuals, including seniors and military veterans, from 2019 to 2022. Frimpong, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of money laundering in exchange for the dismissal of multiple charges, including wire fraud and identity theft.

His fraudulent activities, which included impersonating romantic partners and military personnel, resulted in the laundering of hundreds of thousands of dollars through various bank accounts and contacts in Ghana.

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Crypto Investment Scams (Pig Butchering Scams) What They Are And How To Avoid Them – 2024

Crypto Investment Scams (Pig Butchering Scams) What They Are And How To Avoid Them

An Introduction to the Explosion of Crypto-Based Investment Scams

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Cezary Podkul, ProPublica

About This Article

The “Pig Butchering Scam” crypto-based investment scam is an online investment fraud scheme where individuals are tricked into investing money by criminals posing as trustworthy contacts. These scammers use various tactics, such as creating fake identities and initiating conversations on social media or messaging apps, to gain victims’ trust.

Once trust is established, victims are manipulated into depositing funds into fake brokerage accounts. The scammers then disappear with the money, leaving victims with substantial financial losses. This deceptive practice preys on unsuspecting individuals’ desire for financial gain and highlights the importance of staying vigilant and reporting suspicious activities to authorities promptly.

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Understanding Psychological Trauma: Insights For Scam Victims From Carl Jung – 2024

Understanding Psychological Trauma: Insights from Carl Jung

Insights into Scam Victims’ Trauma

Scam Victim Recovery Psychology

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Vianey Gonzalez B.Sc(Psych) – Psychologist, Certified Deception Professional, Psychology Advisory Panel & Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Some information extracted from multiple sources

About This Article

Carl Jung’s analytical psychology offers profound insights into the nature of emotional and psychological trauma. According to Jung, trauma disrupts the delicate balance of the psyche, activating the unconscious and bringing forth repressed emotions and unresolved conflicts.

Jungian analysis emphasizes the importance of facing and integrating the shadow aspects of the personality to achieve wholeness and healing. In the context of scams and scam victims, Jung’s perspective highlights the psychological impact of deceptive schemes, exploring the deeper layers of the psyche to uncover underlying wounds. Understanding archetypal dynamics empowers individuals to become more discerning and resilient in navigating fraudulent schemes.

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Gift Card Gangs From China Operating Inside The United States – 2024

Gift Card Gangs From China Operating Inside The United States

How Organized Crime Gangs from China are Operating inside the U.S.

Authors:
•  Craig Silverman and Peter Elkind, ProPublica
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

Federal authorities are investigating the involvement of Chinese organized crime rings in gift card fraud schemes targeting American consumers, launching a task force named “Project Red Hook” to combat this growing threat. The initiative focuses on preventing “card draining,” where thieves exploit stolen or altered card numbers to siphon money before legitimate owners can use them.

Over the past 18 months, law enforcement has arrested about 100 individuals for card draining, with the majority being Chinese nationals or Chinese Americans. The schemes, estimated to have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars, highlight the need for industry collaboration and heightened security measures.

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New Privacy Bill In Congress Offers Real Privacy Rights To Everyone – 2024

New Privacy Bill In Congress Offers Real Privacy Rights To Everyone

Congress appears ready for Comprehensive Privacy Legislation covering all American Businesses (except Small Businesses)

Policy & Regulations

Author:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

The New Bipartisan Privacy Legislation in the U.S., the American Privacy Rights Act, backed by key lawmakers, including Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, introduces substantial cybersecurity mandates affecting various sectors of the economy.

Cantwell’s support marks a departure from previous failed attempts at comprehensive privacy laws, emphasizing the need to make privacy a consumer right.

Amid growing concerns over surveillance capitalism and state-level privacy regulations, the bill mandates corporations to uphold reasonable data security practices, encompassing confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility. It outlines cybersecurity measures like vulnerability assessments and bug reporting while granting consumers rights to access, correction, and opt-out of targeted advertising.

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INTERPOL Financial Fraud Report: The Global Threat Expands Boosted By Technology – 2024

INTERPOL Financial Fraud Report: The Global Threat Expands Boosted By Technology

Organized Crime Groups using more Human Trafficking Victims to carry out Crypto-Investment (‘pig-butchering’) and other Scams

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  INTERPOL

About This Article

The recent INTERPOL assessment on global financial fraud underscores the growing threat posed by technology-enabled organized crime groups targeting victims worldwide.

Utilizing tools like Artificial Intelligence (AI), large language models, and cryptocurrencies, these groups orchestrate sophisticated fraud campaigns with minimal technical skills and at low costs. Secretary General Jürgen Stock warns of the epidemic scale of financial fraud, emphasizing the need for urgent action and enhanced information sharing.

The report reveals prevalent fraud trends such as investment fraud and romance fraud, necessitating multi-stakeholder partnerships to develop effective counter strategies. With financial fraud increasingly perpetrated by transnational networks, law enforcement faces the challenge of strengthening data collection and analysis to combat this escalating crime.

Regional trends highlight the pervasive nature of financial fraud, from Africa to the Americas, Asia, and Europe, necessitating a coordinated global response to safeguard individuals, businesses, and governments against this evolving threat.

A new INTERPOL assessment on global financial fraud highlights how the increased use of technology is enabling organized crime groups to better target victims around the world

The Interpol report and assessment show that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), large language models, and cryptocurrencies combined with phishing- and ransomware-as-a-service business models have resulted in more sophisticated and Read More …

Meta Platforms (Facebook & Instagram) Caught Lying About The Number of Real Users To Advertisers 2024

Meta Platforms (Facebook & Instagram) Caught Lying About The Number of Real Users To Advertisers

Courts Rule They Can Be Sued for Misrepresentation (a.k.a. Fraud)

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  By Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

About This Article

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that Meta Platforms, owner of Facebook and Instagram, must face a class-action lawsuit filed by advertisers. The lawsuit alleges Meta overcharged advertisers by fraudulently inflating the potential reach of their ads, using metrics based on social media accounts rather than actual people, leading to potential viewer overestimations of up to 400%.

While the court allowed advertisers to sue for damages as a group, it decertified a separate class seeking injunctive relief. Advertisers estimate Meta may owe over $7 billion in damages. Meta, with ads generating most of its revenue, has yet to comment.

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WARNING: Scam Victims Exploited By The News Media – 2024

WARNING: Scam Victims Exploited By The News Media

Scam Victims Must be Very Careful when asked by News Organizations to Tell Their Story

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

About This Article

In today’s media landscape, the exploitation of scam victims remains a distressing reality, perpetuating harm rather than offering support or understanding. Sensationalized reporting often takes precedence over sensitivity and empathy, leaving victims feeling marginalized and invalidated.

From local news to exposure daytime talk shows, to the evening news, and streaming crime series, the pursuit of sensationalism prevails, with journalists prioritizing dramatic anecdotes over the devastating impact of these crimes. Victim blaming and shaming further compound the issue, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and biases.

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FTC New Impersonation Scams Rule Effective Today – 2024

FTC New Impersonation Scams Rule Effective Today

Government taking action Against Scams!

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Federal Trade Commission

About This Article

The FTC’s new rule targeting government and business impersonation scams takes effect today, April 1st, 2024, aiming to combat the soaring losses reported by consumers, which surpassed $1.1 billion last year alone.

The rule addresses the most common tactics employed by scammers, such as fake account security alerts and phony subscription renewals, and highlights the rise in text and email-based scams alongside declining phone calls. Notably, bank transfers and cryptocurrency payments have become the predominant methods used by victims, prompting the FTC to propose stronger measures, including prohibiting the impersonation of individuals and facilitating scams.

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The Laws Of War Must Apply In Cyberspace – A Cyberwarfare Insight – 2024

The Laws Of War Must Apply In Cyberspace

A Cyberwarfare Insight

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Article by: Johanna Weaver, Director, ANU Tech Policy Design Centre, Australian National University
•  Portions by the International Committee of the Red Cross
Article Originally Published: October 25, 2023 – Used With Permission

About This Article

Governments and hackers alike are increasingly acknowledging the necessity of applying the laws of war to cyberspace. Traditionally, international humanitarian law has regulated conduct in armed conflict to safeguard civilians and minimize suffering.

However, with the emergence of cyberattacks and online information operations, a new battleground has evolved, exemplified by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the Israel–Hamas conflict. Contrary to the misconception of cyberspace being lawless, there is a global consensus that existing laws of war are applicable online.

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China Encourages Armed Offensive Against Myanmar Over Slave Scam Centres – 2024

China Encourages Armed Offensive Against Myanmar Over Slave Scam Centres

At least one country recognizes that the fight against scamming requires military intervention.

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

About This Article

In response to Myanmar’s failure to address the proliferation of online scams, China lends support to an armed offensive against the military junta in Myanmar.

Named Operation 1027, the offensive was executed by the Three Brotherhood Alliance, severely challenging the Tatmadaw’s control.

China’s dissatisfaction stemmed from the exploitation of Chinese citizens by scam centers in Myanmar. Despite calling for a ceasefire post-operation, China prioritized the handover of scam suspects over pressuring armed groups to cease operations.

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7 Chinese Hackers Indicted In U.S. Court For Cybercrime – 2024

7 Chinese Hackers Indicted In U.S. Court

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  United States Department of Justice

About This Article

In a significant development, seven Chinese hackers, associated with the Chinese government and operating under the APT31 cybercrime and hacking group, have been indicted for their involvement in a sophisticated cybercrime scheme targeting perceived critics of China, U.S. businesses, and politicians.

The indictment, unsealed recently, charges the individuals with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions and wire fraud, highlighting their role in cyber espionage, economic espionage, and foreign intelligence activities.

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UK Engaged In Massive Crackdown on Fraud – Over 400 Arrests – 2024 [VIDEO]

UK Engaged In Massive Crackdown on Fraud – Over 400 Arrests

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  UK National Crime Agency

About This Article

Operation Henhouse, a UK law enforcement/police campaign targeting fraud and scams, resulted in over 400 arrests and £19 million seized across February and March 2024. Coordinated by the National Economic Crime Centre and City of London Police, it involved all UK police forces and agencies like the Financial Conduct Authority and National Crime Agency.

The crackdown aimed to combat the pervasive threat of fraud, which accounts for 40% of UK crime reports and costs £6.8 billion annually. With substantial arrests and disruptions nationwide,

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Investment Scam Losses Continue To Rise In Japan – More Than 50% Year Over Year – 2024

Investment Scam Losses Continue To Rise In Japan – More Than 50% Year Over Year

The Rate of Fake Investment Scam Victimization is Growing at a rate of over 50% per year!

An Investment Scam Victim’s Story

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  Portions YOL

About This Article

The surge in investment scams worldwide, but particularly in Japan, including fake crypto and regular investment schemes, reflects a global trend of scammers adapting their tactics to target unsuspecting victims.

With losses totaling in the tens of millions of yen, victims like Mitsuyoshi Yamamoto are left devastated by the allure of promised profits and sophisticated scam techniques. These scams often involve impersonating famous investors on social media platforms, enticing victims with promises of high returns and minimal risk.

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NACHA Changes Credit-Push ACH Payments Rules To Fight Scams & Fraud – 2024

NACHA Changes ACH Credit-Push Payments Rules To Fight Scams & Fraud

Placing More Responsibility on the Financial Services Sector to Police Scams & Fraud

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  NACHA

About This Article

Nacha members have endorsed rules to combat fraud, including business email compromise (BEC), leveraging credit-push payments. These rules mandate ACH payment monitoring for all network participants (excluding consumers), marking a pivotal shift.

Despite not altering liability, recipient financial institutions (RDFIs) gain a monitoring role for the first time. With BEC scams, vendor impersonation, and payroll fraud causing significant losses, the need for action is urgent.

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Cambodia’s Struggle Against Scam Slavery Scams: A Year After Crackdown, Scams Persist – 2024

Cambodia’s Struggle Against Scam Slavery Scams: A Year After Crackdown, Scams Persist

Scam Slavery Call Centers in Cambodia Still Thriving!

Authors:
•  SCARS Editorial Team – Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
•  VOA

About This Article

Despite Cambodia’s government crackdown on cyber-slavery scams over a year ago, recent reports from anti-human-trafficking groups suggest that such scams are still thriving, challenging the official narrative of significant progress in addressing human trafficking in Cambodia.

Despite the government’s efforts to curb human trafficking by raiding scam compounds and making arrests and deportations, NGOs and international observers expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of these measures. Many scams reportedly relocated temporarily during the crackdown and have since resumed operations in Cambodia, making it difficult for authorities to identify and rescue victims.

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