Telephone Collection Scam Related to Delinquent Payday Loans
In these scams, a caller claims that the victim is delinquent in a payday loan and must repay the loan to avoid legal consequences.
The callers pretends to be representatives of the FBI, Federal Legislative Department, various law firms, or other legitimate-sounding agencies. They claim to be collecting debts for companies such as United Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Advance, U.S. Cash Net, and other internet check cashing services.
One of the worst aspects of this scam is that the callers have accurate information about the victims, including social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, employer information, bank account numbers, names and telephone numbers of relatives and friends.
The method by which the fraudsters obtained the personal information is unclear, but victims often relay that they had completed online applications for other loans or credit cards before the calls began.
The fraudsters relentlessly call the victim's home, cell phone, and place of employment. They refuse to provide to the victims any details of the alleged payday loans and become abusive when questioned. The callers threaten victims with legal actions, arrests, and in some cases physical violence if they refuse to pay.
In many cases, the callers even resort to harassment of the victim's relatives, friends, and employers.
Some fraudsters instruct victims to fax a statement agreeing to pay a certain dollar amount, on a specific date, via prepaid visa card. The statement further declares that the victim would never dispute the debt.
These telephone calls are an attempt to obtain payment by instilling fear in the victims. Do not follow the instuctions of the caller.
If you receive telephone calls such as these, you should:
• Contact your banking institutions;
• Contact the three major credit bureaus and request an alert be put on your file;
• Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger;
• File a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
Malicious Code in .gov EmailA recent malware campaign, disguised as a holiday greeting from the White House, targeted government employees. The recipients received the below e-mail with links to what masqueraded as a greeting card, but when they clicked on the link, it attempted to download a file named "card.exe."
The executable program proved to be an information-stealing Trojan, which would disable the recipient’s computer security notifications, software updates, and firewall settings. The malware also installed itself into the computer’s registry, enabling the code to be executed every time the computer was rebooted.
At the time of review, this particular malicious code sample had a low antivirus detection rate of 20%, with only 9 out of 43 antivirus companies reporting detection.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto: email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:33 PM
To: recipient's name
Subject: Merry Christmas, recipient's name
Recipient’s name here,
As you and your families gather to celebrate the holidays, we wanted to take a moment to send you our greetings. Be sure that we're profoundly grateful for your dedication to duty and wish you inspiration and success in fulfillment of our core mission.
Executive Office of the President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Hit Man ScamsThe IC3 has received several complaints about a new twist on the extortion/hit man scam, which is now targeting nannies and day care providers.
The fraudster contacts the potential victims via email claiming their team was hired by a friend of the victim to "terminate" them. The fraudster demands amounts ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 to call off the hit and claims he will hand over a tape containing evidence as to who hired him once the amount is paid.
The recipient is threatened with murder and the kidnapping of the children in their care if they fail to comply.
The majority of the victims had some affiliation with a nanny position and speculated that the fraudster must have obtained their contact information through an online classified ad offering their services as nannies.
Others stated they had advertised online that they were seeking a nanny, while one victim was reportedly a day care worker.
Fraudsters Preying on Individuals Who are Wanting to Adopt
This scam is an attempt to collect personal information and funds from individuals seeking to adopt a child.
Victims reported responding to on-line advertisements for adoptions, such as "Baby Needs A Home." The operators of the site are fraudsters who claimed to have an overseas orphaned child in need of adoption.
Preying on victims' emotions, the fraudsters explained how they promised to care for the child after the mother's death.
The fraudsters said they were not affiliated with an adoption agency because no such agencies exist in their area. Nevertheless, they asked the victims to send pictures of their family and to complete forms that required personal information such as Social Security Number and their mother's maiden name.
Fraudsters sent the victims a birth certificate and pictures of a child. One victim reported that the birth certificate appeared altered. Fraudsters told victims to send hundreds of dollars via money order, credit card, or wire transfer to a bank account for legal fees.
The fraudsters claimed they would "ship" the child upon receipt of the funds. Instead, the fraudsters pocketed the money gained from the scam and provided no children for adoption.