37 people charged in U. S. for their alleged role in an international con

37 people are being charged in the United States for their alleged role in an international fraud ring based in East Europe that stole more than $3 million from bank accounts belonging primarily to small businesses and municipalities, according to indictments released Thursday.

The sophisticated ring included a multitude of East Europeans who entered the United States on student visas and fake passports to operate as so-called “money mules,” laundering funds stolen from U.S. accounts and sending the money overseas.

Hackers believed to be in East Europe ran a botnet that used variants of the Zeus malware delivered to victims via e-mail. Zeus infected the victims’ computers to steal bank login credentials. The scammers then took over the accounts to initiate illegal bank transfers to other accounts controlled by the mules.

Last January, for example, about $130,000 was siphoned from the California bank account of a hospital.

The charges, filed in the Southern District of New York, are the culmination of a year-long investigation, dubbed Operation ACHing mules. “ACH” refers to Automated Clearing House, the system under which funds can be electronically transferred from one financial account to another.

The thieves recruited mules who entered the United States on J1 student visas, then provided them with the fake foreign passports. The mules used the passports to open fraudulent bank accounts in the United States under aliases to receive stolen funds transferred out of victim accounts. The mules then forwarded the funds to other bank accounts overseas or withdrew the cash at ATMs and smuggled the money out of the country.

The charges target 37 people in 21 separate cases. Nearly all of the suspects are in their 20s. Ten people were arrested in the United States in a coordinated takedown that coincided with the indictment release; 10 people were previously arrested. Another 17 (pictured above) are still at large. Those who have been arrested are mostly mules, but they also include managers and recruiters of the mules, as well as an individual, Sofia Dikova, who allegedly obtained the fake passports.

A shipment of fake passports was intercepted by authorities at Newark Liberty International Airport last January, which included a false Yugoslavian passport under the name Vesna Jelkovic, which bore Dikova’s photo.

The defendants are Lilian Adam, 21; Kasum Adigyuzelov, 25; Konstantin Akobirov, 25; Lorenzo Babbo, 20; Jamal Beyrouti, 53; Dorin Codreanu, 21; Catalina Cortac, 21; Natalia Demina, 23; Sofia Dikova, 20; Alexander Fedorov, 24; Adel Gataullin, 22; Nikolai Garifulin, 21; Kristina Izvekova, 22; Ilya Karasev, 22; Alexander Kireev, 22; Yulia Klepikova, 22; Ruslan Kovtanyuk, 24; Maxim Miroshnichenko, 22; Marina Misyura, 22; Victoria Opinca, 21; Marina Oprea, 20; Margarita Pakhomova, 21; Maxim Panferov, 23; Sabina Rafikova, 23; Almira Rakmatulina, 20; Stanislav Rastorguev, 22; Dmitry Saprunov, 22; Artem Semenov, 23; Julia Shpirko, 20; Julia Sidorenko, 22; Alexandr Sorokin, 23; Krintina Svechinskaya, 21; Alina Turuta, 21; Artem Tsygankov, 22; Vincenzo Vitello, 29; Ion Volosciuc, 19; Anton Yuferitsyn, 26.

Garifulin allegedly helped smuggle $150,000 from the United States to Russia to pay three hackers.

Adigyuzelov allegedly placed ads on Russian-language websites to recruit students who had J1 visas then obtained fake passports for the recruits.

Federov allegedly coordinated the activities of mules through Russian social networking sites.

Beyrouti, Babbo and Vitello worked with scammers who breached brokerage accounts at E-Trade and TD Ameritrade. The hackers then executed fraudulent sales of securities and transferred the proceeds from the sale to the mules’ accounts. The receiving accounts were set up in the names of shell companies and linked to the hacked accounts.

Meanwhile, the victims’ phones received a barrage of calls to prevent the brokerage firms from contacting them to confirm the legitimacy of the transactions. When the victims answered their phone, they would hear silence or a recorded message. About $1.2 million was transferred to shell accounts opened by the suspects, who then transferred the money to other accounts in Asia or withdraw the money from ATMs in the New York area.

Last May, authorities in Florida revealed a number of cases they were investigating involving similar telephony denial-of-service attacks. In one case, a Florida dentist had $400,000 taken from his Ameritrade retirement account while the thieves flooded his home, work and mobile numbers with repeated calls.

According to documents in the New York case, Semenov, Rakmatulina and Shpirko – all Russian nationals – entered the United States on J1 visas in 2009 and 2010. Semenov recruited the other two and was arrested last December in New York while attempting to open a fraudulent bank account at a Manhattan Bank of America branch.

He was released on bail and four days later opened another fraudulent bank account. Some $70,000 was wired to fake accounts he controlled from the accounts of five different victims.

Marina Oprea, Catalina Cortac, Ion Volosciuc, Lilian Adam, all citizens of Moldova entered the United States this past summer. Oprea allegedly opened six accounts that received more than $250,000 in stolen funds.

The ring is connected to another case in the United Kingdom disclosed this week. On Tuesday 20 people were seized in London for allegedly stealing more than $9 million from British banks HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB.

According to the indictment, New York investigators became involved in the international case after receiving reports of a suspicious $44,000 withdrawal from a Bronx bank in February.

The charges vary among the defendants and include bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, production of false identification documents and fraudulent use of
passports, conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Greedy men’s are still getting con, In spite of all scam awareness

Despite constant reports of 419 scam swindles in the media, people continue to be fooled. It should be noted that con artists have been perfecting their scams skills for decades. It may be hard to believe but this type of scam has been around since the 1920s when it was called the Spanish Prisoner Con.

Back then the letter requesting funds were mailed the old fashioned way rather than arriving via email. The schemes were somewhat different in that they involved breaking the heir of a wealthy family out of a Spanish prison. Large sums of money were usually promised to anyone willing to help finance an operation designed to smuggle the heir out of the jail. The plan was in place but money was needed to bribe the guards, provide a means of transportation or whatever else the scammers might dream up. Each attempt in this escape plan ordeal would end in failure but the next one was certain to succeed! , as usually promised by the artist.

The specific details of the fraud may differ but it's essentially the same thing as every other 419 scam we see in recent days. Every year there is a new angle to play and it's a sure bet that
someone will take the bait. 

Scam -Get rich quick proposals
In this classic scam someone from another country needs your help. They claim to have an extraordinary amount of money that needs to be transferred to the country of origin.

For your trouble, you can keep a hefty percentage of the loot. To get the money into your account someone needs to be bribed. That's where you come in. Once you send this advance fee the money will be deposited into your account. At least that's how it's supposed to work. In reality, you'll never see a dime. Nigerian scams take many forms. The bottom line is that you need to send a little money to get a lot in return. One variation involves an internet lottery you never knew you entered. Another is a bid on your online auction for far more than your item is worth. They'll pay with a money order that will be for more than the agreed on price. They will quickly realize their mistake and ask you to return the extra funds to them. If you decline the request will turn into demands or threats. They'll want you to pay quickly because their initial payment will turn out to be a counterfeit money order. These scams are often easy to spot. Some are more elaborate. Just remember, no one in their right mind sends a stranger a large amount of money over the internet. Don’t be greedy. Don’t fall for such con. Visit us at Codewit.com for more advice on how to prevent yourself to be conned from internet scam perpetrators.

Online bank fraud for £20m, nineteen arrested

A multi-million pound internet banking fraud which drained thousands of pounds from the UK accounts of innocent victims was cracked by police yesterday.

A gang of Eastern Europeans made £2 million a month from online accounts by stealing victims log-in details using sophisticated software which can be bought for just £300 over the internet.

They made £6m in just three months and detectives believe they could have reaped as much as £20m in the highly organised scam

Arrested: One of the alleged suspects is led away from his home following an early morning raid by police from the Police Central e-crime unit.

Handcuffed: Another suspect is taken away for questioning over the alleged £20m scam

The mastermind, who detectives believe is an adept IT expert, was among 19 arrested yesterday in a series of dawn raids across London.

He and his team targeted hundreds of victims who had weak security on their computers and accessed their user names and passwords despite tight security systems put in place by the banks on their internet sites.

Police were alerted by high street banks who were alarmed a sudden surge in fraud.
Investigators from Scotland Yard’s e-Crime Unit [pls keep unit name] discovered that the gang were hitting vulnerable computers using software which is described in the industry as a ‘Trojan horse’ because it infiltrates the computer without the user realising.

The system called ‘Zeus’ or ‘Zbot’ infects victims’ personal computers, waits for them to log onto a list of specifically targeted banks and financial institutions and then steals their personal credentials, forwarding the data to a server controlled by criminals.

Scammer's den: Paraphernalia from the flat where the arrests were made. Those involved are alleged to have use 'trojan horse' software to commit their crimes

After the gang had taken over victims’ online bank accounts, they would take out several thousands pounds and place it in a ‘drop’ account before withdrawing the cash.

They recruited dozens of ‘mules’ who would allow them to use their accounts to pay the money into in return for payment.

By using scores of different bank accounts to deposit the money, they hoped to evade being caught.

Detectives have so far pinpointed over 600 British bank accounts which were defrauded but believe hundreds have been targeted.

Unremarkable: Despite the money made from the fraud, the ringleaders lived in a three-bedroom house in Chingford, Essex

The ringleader, in his 20s, and his wife, an accomplice in the scam, were arrested in an unremarkable third-floor flat in Chingford, Essex, yesterday morning.

Another couple, also part of the gang, were also arrested at the property.

The ‘nerve centre’ where the ringleader ran his empire from was simply a laptop on a desk in his front room. In front of it lay a notebook where figures of money had been carefully written in pencil.

In all, officers arrested 15 men and four women aged between 23 and 47 on suspicion of the Computer Misuse Act, Proceeds of Crime Act and Fraud Act offences . Inquiries are ongoing to ascertain whether they are in the country illegally.

Among them, two were also arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm found at one of the properties. They are all in custody for questioning.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson, who led the investigation, [pls keep name and as much of quote as possible] said: ‘We’ve worked closely with UK banks through our Virtual Taskforce approach to gather information and evidence which has resulted in today’s arrests.

Wake up call: Detectives ram their way in to arrest the fraudsters. In total 15 men and four women were taken into custody

'We believe we have disrupted a highly organised criminal network, which has used sophisticated methods to siphon large amounts of cash from many innocent peoples’ accounts, causing immense personal anxiety and significant financial harm - which of course banks have had to repay at considerable cost to the economy.

'Online banking customers must make sure their security systems are up to date and be alert to any unusual or additional security features requested which is at variance with their normal log-on experience. Greater public awareness and education will make it harder for personal details to be compromised and for this type of fraud to be carried out.'

Martin Muirhead, chairman of the Virtual Task Force, said: 'This is an excellent example of how to bring to bear the resources and expertise of multiple agencies and public / private organisations in the UK. This is pioneering work led by the Metropolitan Police Service.”


Scammers Targeting Cell Phone Users

Advance-fee scammers are targeting UK mobile users in a scam that involves impersonating employees from Samsung, NatWest Bank and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

An outfit called Scam Detectives reports that this particular scam starts with an SMS message, informing potential victims that they won a prize and asking for their email address.

After responding with the email address, the SMS recipients are contacted by someone claiming to be a prize administrator for Samsung Electronics UK.
This alleged Samsung employee tells victims that they won £550,000 as part of a promotion and sends them an award certificate, which appears to be signed by the company's own chief executive officer.

Users are also informed that the money are being held in a temporary account at NatWest and are instructed to contact the bank at a certain phone number.

When calling the number, victims are told that they need to obtain a "Fund Release Order" from the FSA, which requires them to provide a copy of their passport and pay the sum of £950.

They are then contacted via email by the alleged head of the FSA, which provides them with an application form to fill in and an account number to deposit the fee.

If they pay up, users receive a fake fund release order and then find the alleged NatWest phone number disconnected.

"NatWest would NEVER contact a customer by email or SMS asking them to contact us in this manner, regardless of the nature of their business with the bank.

"If you are asked to contact NatWest by any party, you should visit our website at Natwest.com and call us on the most appropriate telephone number for your enquiry," a bank spokesperson said.

A Samsung representative has also confirmed that the "Samsung Mobile International Promo," that touts large cash prizes, is a scam.


Scottish council fraud case throws scams into focus

Scottish council fraud case throws scams into focus
A Scottish council has been conned out of more than £100,000 by a fraud gang which posed as one of its suppliers.
The scam, involving South Lanarkshire Council, has thrown into sharp focus the threat posed by fraud activity across Scotland and the rest of the UK. 
According to the government-funded Consumer Direct, some three million people in the UK fall victim every year, losing an average of £850 each.
Lottery Scam
Fake lotteries and prize draws, bogus psychic predictions, get-rich-quick investments and "miracle" health cures are among tricks that scammers try. 
In one case in January of this year, an elderly woman from Aberdeen was cheated out of £24,000 in a Euromillions scam.
But businesses, whether public or private, are no more immune to being conned than individuals, according to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

Expert’s view

SOCA fraud expert Colin Woodcock said he could not discuss specific cases.
But he did warn businesses and public bodies to keep a watchful eye out for scams.

Exercise caution

He said: "Businesses are as vulnerable as anyone else.
"Common scams are a false bill, or hijacking an account. Smaller companies, for example, might pass a bill on to their accountant and tell them to pay it without checking it too much.
"They should exercise caution and ask themselves if they remember this company or person, and give them a ring and check."
Dr Ian Ferguson, a digital forensics expert at the University of Abertay, said crime had well and truly moved into the computer age.
He commented: "Traditional crime has migrated and now uses the internet as its vehicle. 

"People are still in awe of modern technology and they fail to look at the details around the edges - the technology gets in the way of their common sense."

A clearer picture is beginning to emerge of the scale and nature of scams in the UK, following the creation earlier this year of Action Fraud, a national fraud reporting centre run by the National Fraud Authority.

Mr Woodcock said inheritance fraud (a scam which cons people into believing they have been left a lot of money in a will) and romance scams, were of particular concern at the moment.

"People should remember that if something is too good to be true, then take it from me - it is," he added.

Here is a look at some of the most common scams as outlined by Consumer Direct:

Top 7 Most Common Online Scams of the Decade

With 2010 drawing to a close, PandaLabs has released a ranking of the decade’s most widespread scams on the Internet, including 419 scam, ploys involving beautiful foreign women, and money-mule schemes based on too-good-to-be-true job offers.
“As with all the classic scams that predate the Internet, many of the numerous users that fall for these tricks and lose their money are reticent to report the crime,” said PandaLabs Technical Director Luis Corrons. “If recovering the stolen money was difficult in the old days, it is even harder now because criminals’ tracks are often lost across the web. The best defense is to learn how to identify these scams and avoid taking the bait.”
Typically, online scams follow a similar pattern: Cyber criminals contact their victim through email or on a social network. The intended victim is then asked to respond by email, phone, fax or some other medium. Once the user takes the bait, the criminals will try to gain their victim’s trust, finding any excuse to ask for money.
The most frequent scams identified by PandaLabs over the last 10 years, based on their distribution and the frequency, are as follows:
Nigerian Scam: The 419 scam–named after its origin’s zip code–was the first Internet scheme to appear. It usually begins with victims receiving an email, claiming to be from someone who needs to move a lot of money out of a country, often Nigeria. Targeted victims are promised a hefty reward if they help. However, if they take the bait, they will be asked to forward an initial sum to help pay bank fees, often up to $1,000. Once they have sent the money, their contact disappears–along with their heard-earned money.
Lotteries: Similarly to the Nigerian scam, victims receive an email claiming they have won the lottery. The email asks for individuals’ details in order to transfer the winnings. As seen with 419 scam, victims are asked up front for $1,000, or a similar sum to cover bank fees and other expenses.
The Girlfriend Ploy:
A beautiful girl, often from Russia, contact male victims, wanting to get to know them better. She will always be young and desperate to visit the victim in his home country. She wants to come immediately, but at the last moment, a problem arises and she needs money for her flight ticket or other travel expenses. Not surprisingly, after she receives the money, she disappears.
Job Offers:
Victims receive a message from a foreign company looking for financial agents in their country. The work is easy; they can do it from home and earn up to $3,000 for just three or four hours of work. Once victims accept the offer, they will be asked for their bank-account details. In this case, they will be used to help steal money from people whose bank-account information has been stolen by cyber criminals. The money will be transferred directly to the victim’s account, and they will then be asked to forward the money via Western Union. Victims unknowingly become money mules, and when police investigate the theft, victims will be considered accomplices.
Criminals obtain logins to access an account on Facebook, Hotmail or a similar site. They then change the passwords so that the real user can no longer access the account, and send a message to all contacts saying the account holder is on vacation and has been robbed just before coming home. They still have flight tickets, but need between $500 and $1,000 for the hotel.
This more recent ruse originates from the Nigerian scam. The -mail claims a fund has been set up to compensate victims of the Nigerian scam, and their address is listed as among those possibly affected. Victims are offered money, often up to $1 million. Naturally, as in the original scam, they will need to pay an advance sum of roughly $1,000.
The Mistake:
Fueled by the financial crisis and the difficulty some have selling their homes and other high-value items, this scam has become very popular in recent months. The criminal contacts someone who has published a classified ad on a site such as Craigslist who is selling a house or other high-cost item. With great enthusiasm, the scammers agree to buy whatever it is and quickly send a check, but for an incorrect amount that is always more than the agreed sum. The seller will be asked to return the difference. The check will bounce and the victim will lose any money they transferred to the criminal.


UK National Lottery - Spam Email

This is Lottery scam. So don't replay this email . This letter may Embrace you. Don't replay or don't provide any proof or documents. Scammers will miss use it.

Ghanaian national in 419 scam

A Ghanaian national, Nanah Kofi aka Asante, who claimed being the son of a Paramount Chief in one of the Asante Kingdoms in Ghana, has sneakily duped some 60 thousand farmers across Sierra Leone. Investigation carried out by this medium revealed how Nanah Kofi told farmers he was working for a Micro Finance Organization abroad.

The name of the undisclosed organization was never told to the farmers by the Ghanaian at all.

Wanting to galvanize trust, Nanah Kofi, entered into partnership with the New Harvest Development Office (NEHADO) in Bo.

It disclosed that the scammer told farmers he will support embarking on paper cultivation, confidently informed them containers of equipments and fertilizers his overseas company has shipped.

Upon this, he was able to receive the sum of Le 4,000 and four passport pictures from all 60 thousand farmers. Investigation has further revealed that the scammers opened an account with the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank in Njala and Bo. That he also opened an account in with First International (FiBank) in Magboraka.

It is reported that Nana Kofi has abandoned his residence at Mano Desse in Moyamba and cannot be found anywhere.

Sources Kofi duped are not just farmers but members of the New Harvest Ministry who acted as his hosts.

This press was told that police have mounted an investigation into the matter.

Scammers calling about virus

Scammers are demanding and devious and are trying to fool Southern Downs residents into giving them access to their personal information.

However, a Rose City woman wasn’t coned last week after she received a phone call on her home phone during the day from a woman with a foreign accent claiming to be from the Windows Service Centre.
It is yet another scam where criminals try to trick residents by telling them the victim’s computer has been infected with a virus and it has been brought to their company’s attention.

Police from the scam and Corporate Crime Group have issued a warning after a dramatic increase in reports of these scammers in Queensland.

The Warwick resident who was targeted last week said the caller told her to go to her computer immediately and gave her a list of instructions to allegedly fix the problem.

If the resident had followed the instructions, she would have inadvertently given the scammer remote access to her computer – allowing them to access her personal details.

“We have people at work who are older and not as aware about computers who might get caught out,” the concerned Rose City resident said.

“I knew it was dodgy – I wrote it all down so I could warn people.”

Detective Superintendent Brian Hay of the State Crime Operations Command’s Fraud Corporate Crime Group said giving someone you don’t know remote access to your computer is basically the same as handing your credit card details over to them.

“With this access, an offender can easily search your computer for banking or personal details or quite easily load software onto your computer,” Det Supt Hay warned. “You may as well give them the key to your front door.”

Microsoft has confirmed they are not cold-calling members of the community regarding viruses, computer problems or other issues.Visit www.police.qld.gov.au.

Scam 419 Work Plan

The scammers first recognize a real company and obtain positive corporate information, possibly through mail theft. They then adopt the company's identity and build counterfeit websites for the business, complete with help-wanted notices and online job applications.

Next, they send fake help-wanted e-mails to job seekers whose names they obtain from online employment sites. The unsuspecting job hunters are directed to the fake business websites — such as those discovered by Design 2 Keys — where they are asked to enter personal data into online job applications. This gives the thieves their first opportunity to profit financially from their victims through identity theft.

The applicants are then offered jobs that involve processing checks sent to them, often from abroad, by unexplained "customers" of their new employer. The new "employees" are instructed to deposit the checks in their personal bank accounts, keep a 5 percent commission, write a check on their account for the remainder, and send it on to a bogus address for the company.


More than 12 years jail for $1.3 Million scam

A Nigerian man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in U.S. prison for masterminding a 419 scam that siphoned more than $1.3 million from victims.
Okpako Mike Diamreyan was sentenced to serve 151 months in federal prison and pay a little more than $1 million in restitution to the 67 victims he scammed from 2004 and 2009. The conviction was the result of his relocation to the United States in 2008, when he married a U.S. citizen who according to court documents supported him by working two jobs and going to school at night.
“i want to forget america and come back home . . . once i take like 1m or half m i don forget this place,” Diamreyan told an accomplice, according to court records. Oftentimes, he referred to his victims as “mugu,” which means “fool” in Nigerian pidgin.
According to prosecutors, Diamreyan’s scheme involved sending email messages to potential victims about large sums of money or other assets. In one of his emails, he claimed to be in a refugee camp in Ghana, trying to move a consignment worth $23.4 million out of the country and offering 20 percent of the money in return.
In the sentencing document, prosecutors wrote how the defendant had abused an opportunity sought by millions — the opportunity to become a legal, productive member of U.S. society.
“The defendant hoped to become rich through fraud; what he deserves, instead, is a lengthy term of incarceration,” they added.

A lesson from victim of email scam

This case is a prime example of the scams that are taking place on the Internet every day.
An 82 year old entrepreneur from Tredyffrin Township is attracted over the incident, but wanted to warn the world.
Victim said,
"They sent me an e-mail and said, 'Do you want to be a mystery shopper?" It's the latest scam emails in the inbox these days, but our victim didn't know it.
Scammers purporting to represent marketing companies looking for people who want to make easy money being mystery shoppers.
"'We'll pay you $200 for every transaction and all you have to do is go in to certain places and do it,'" the victim said.
This victim decided to do it. Eventually, they sent him what he thought was and positively looked like a cashier's check for $3,300. He was to deduct the $500 he was owed and wire the difference $2,800 to a certain name and person, but this victim thought he'd be smart.
"I waited until I thought the check had cleared and I even called the bank, Chase bank over in New Jersey, to see if it had been paid and they said it had been paid," the victim said.
So he sent $2,800 from his account as he was instructed to do. But a few days later, as the cashier's check worked its way through the banking system, it was discovered to be a scam.
"It totally destroyed everything in my account and $3,000 worth of checks," the victim said.
It took 5 months of legwork by Tredyffrin Police Detective Todd Bereda to track down one of a number of scammers believed involved in the scam, Sheila Oletta Myers of La Plata, Maryland.
Myers was arrested on August 31st. approximately $110,000 worth of counterfeit checks was secured along with computers and check making materials.
The victim learned a painful lesson and has this advice for anyone who gets e-mail promising easy money.
"Throw it away, doesn’t respond to it," the victim said.
Myers scammers are being held on $25,000 bail.
Police say Myers scammers is part of an international network with connections to China, Vietnam, Canada, Ecuador, England and others that has targeted real estate agents, the elderly and others through the use of the internet and attempting to lure victims in to becoming "mystery shoppers".
Residents are asked to report scam to their local police and/or the US Postal Inspection Service.

scammers use gmail email account to trick domain owners out of cash.

Domain name owners around the World are being tricked out of thousands of Dollars by con men.

The fraudsters send out unsolicited emails to domain name owners seeking fees for non existent "Domain name search engine registration"

Domain name owners are asked to fax their details to a number in the USA where the scammers will make contact and ask them for their credit card details.

Beware of their fraud. There is no such thing as  "Domain name search engine registration".

There is no company identity on the emails and a disclaimer at the bottom is intended to prevent victims from passing on the email to authorities or complaining if they have parted with up to $999.00 USD after falling victim to the scam.

The Fax number where victims are asked to send their details is 1-646-385-7542 and they use a cloaked free email service to disguise their address which is globedomainservices at gmail.com which is disguised as globedomagbd77782 at gmail.com

if victims seek more information from the scammers before sending their money the email bounces back from the server.

Do not send money to these people without seeking advice from police in your area.

This is the subject line for the scam phishing emails”

Domain Notification: xxxxxx This is your Final 

Notice of Domain Listing


The emails look like this. The email pretends to be an official form making it more likely that people will send money without asking questions.

Attention:  Important Notice
Complete and return by fax to:
47-47 36th Street #16452
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States of America

Attn: xxxxxxxx
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration.  This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your registration and save.

Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.

Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering.  Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission.  You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.

This Notice for: WWW.xxxxxx.com will expire on September 6,2010 Act today!
This is Scam email


Scammers Targeting Soldiers in Online Scams

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - If you are in the military or have a loved one serving, being the victim of a scammer may be the last thing you are concerned about.

It seems unimaginable, but consumer experts say con artists are preying on soldiers and their families. But you don't have to be in the military to be a victim. 

The same scammers are using the military's good reputation to con everyday folks as well.

While our military men and women are battling on the war front, online con artists are using their names here on the home front to scam unsuspecting victims.

"Why would somebody pay to send money overseas to somebody you've never seen a picture of,"said Brandy Pinkston with the South Carolina Consumer Affairs Department.

Pinkston says some folks are falling for the online dating scams. Officials say the con artists use real military photos, even those of dead soldiers, to create fake dating profiles.

"Even if they flash the photo, how do you know it's them,"said Pinkston. 

Recently in Indiana, 43 year-old James Schuder was charged with deception and panhandling after police say he took nearly $500 from 7 people while masquerading as a down-on-his-luck soldier.

And in Illinois, scammers are using Craigslist, pretending to be soldiers selling cars and even laptops.

Several people actually sent money to the con artists.

"It's a very low life thing to do," said 1st Lieutenant Dutch Grove. "This person is dragging the Illinois National Guard's name through the mud in an attempt to rip people off."

In some cases, soldiers and their families have become the actual targets of military loan scams and even housing scams.

"The one thing that the scammers know is that there's a predictable paycheck,"said Pinkston.

Nigerian scam 419

Panda Security's anti-malware laboratory, PandaLabs, has just released its list of the most common online scams of the past 10 years and the Nigerian scam (419) is that the top of the list based on based on distribution and frequency. The Nigerian scam or Advance Fee Fraud is popularly called "419" after the section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria that references it.

PandaLabs called the Nigerian scam the first type of scam to appear on the Internet and it continues to be broadly used by cybercriminals today. It also said that the scam normally begins with a person receiving an e-mail claiming to be from someone who needs to get a very large sum of money out of a country, often Nigeria.

Targeted victims are then promised a considerable reward if they offer help. However, if they take the bait they will be asked to forward an initial sum to help pay bank fees, often to the tune of $1,000. Once they've sent the sum, their contact disappears and their money is long gone.

Another variation of the Nigerian scam, the compensation scam, also made the top list. With the compensation scam victims are told that there has been a fund set up to compensate victims of 419 and are asked to send fees to start the process.

Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs, "As with all the typical scams that predate the Internet, many of the numerous users that fall for these tricks and lose their money are reserved to report the crime. If recovering the stolen money was difficult in the old days, it is even harder now because criminals' tracks are often lost across the Web. The best defense is to learn how to identify these scams and avoid taking the bait."

Other scams that topped the list most frequent online scams with the Nigerian scam are

  • Lottery Scam: Similar to the Nigerian scam. Victims typically receives an e-mail that states that the individual won a lottery, and asks for their personal and account details in order to transfer the substantial winnings. Just like the Nigeria scam, victims are asked for an upfront fee to cover bank fees and related expenses.
  • The Girlfriend Scam: Here the scammers typically claim to be a beautiful girl, often from Russia, who wants to get to know her victim. She will always be young and desperate to visit the victim in his home country. She wants to come immediately, but at the last moment there is a problem and she needs money for her flight ticket or other travel expenses. Unsurprisingly, after she receives the money, she vanishes.
  • Job Offers: Victims typically receive a message from a foreign company looking for employees or financial agents in their country. The work is somtimes potrayed as easy work that can be done from home and they are promised earnings of up to $3,000 for working just three or four hours a day. If the victim accepts the offer, they'll be asked for their bank account details. In this case they will be used to help steal money from people whose bank account information has been stolen by cybercriminals. The money will be transferred directly to the victim's account, and they will then be asked to forward the money via Western Union. Victims then become "money mules," and when the police investigate the theft, they will be seen as an accomplice.
  • Facebook / Hotmail/Yahoo: Criminals obtain details to access an account on Facebook, Hotmail or a similar site. They then change the login info for the site so that the real user can no longer access the account, and send a message to all the people in the victim's contact list saying that the account holder is on holiday and has been robbed or attacked just before coming home and needs a substantial amount of money to pay for hotel or hospital bills.
  • Compensation: This is a variation of the Nigerian 419 scam. The e-mail claims that a fund has been set up to compensate victims of the Nigerian 419 scam, and that their name or address has been listed amongst those possibly affected. Victims are offered compensation, often to the tune of $1 million but will need to pay an advance sum of around $1,000.
  • The Mistake: Here the criminal contacts someone who has published a classified ad on a site such as Craigslist to sell a house or other high-cost item. With great enthusiasm, the scammers agree to buy whatever it is and quickly send a check, but for an incorrect amount that is always more than the agreed sum. The seller will be asked to return the difference. The check will bounce and the victim will lose any money they transferred to the criminal.