online fraud

20 Stories

Harvard Prof Flips Over $4 Chinese Food Overcharge

Ben Edelman says the issue is larger, threatens legal action

(Newser) - A Boston-area Chinese restaurant charging $1 more per plate than it advertises on its online menu may have served the wrong guy—a Harvard Business School professor specializing in online advertising fraud who wasted no time in pulling out the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Statute and threatening legal action. According to... More »

Teens Behind 'Crimebook' Web Forum Sentenced

British teens created 'Facebook for crooks'

(Newser) - A career in cybercrime that began with hacking into boarding school records to erase friends' detention records ended yesterday with a 19-year-old ringleader sentenced to up to 5 years in jail. Nick Webber and two teenage accomplices were convicted of setting up a "Facebook for crooks" on which criminals... More »

Cybercriminals Create 57K Fake Websites a Week

Most mimic eBay, banks, etc.

(Newser) - Here's a happy stat: Hackers create at least 57,000 fake websites a week, reports SecurityWeek . Most are set up to be clones of banks or other commerce sites, with eBay and Western Union by far the most common. Others in the top 10 include Visa, HSBC, Bank of America,... More »

Identify Theft Cases Spike, but Hackers Aren't to Blame

Private data lying around in plain view on Internet

(Newser) - Last year the number of identity theft victims in the US jumped 12%, while the number of Internet-related fraud cases went up 23%. But the problem isn't just hackers, say experts: In many cases, we're exposing our private data to anyone and everyone who knows where to look. Atlanta officials... More »

Scammers Target 'Google Doodles'

Special-occasion logos lead to results poisoned with malware

(Newser) - The graphics Google adds to its logo on special occasions have become the latest target for search engine scam artists adept at manipulating results. Yesterday's Esperanto Day sketch took users to a list of search results for creator L.L. Zamenhof and 27 of the first 50 contained malware, including... More »

Swindlers Are Trying to Tweet You

Scamsters use site to get rich from phony cash-for-tweets schemes

(Newser) - The world's lowlifes are taking full advantage of Twitter's high profile, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Better Business Bureau warns that there has been a surge in scamsters luring people into phony work-from-home schemes. They urge users to be extremely wary of any "cash-for-tweets" scheme offering easy... More »

Scammers Target Panicky Job Hunters

Experts warn work-from-home frauds are mushrooming as unemployment rises

(Newser) - Scammers are taking advantage of the recession to con people desperately seeking work out of what little cash they have left, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Watchdog groups warn that phony work-from-home offers promising quick cash in return for an initial outlay of money are proliferating, and that some fraudsters are... More »

Top Traits That Mean You're a Sucker

Researchers find a fifth of people are most likely to be fooled by fraudsters

(Newser) - British researchers have identified several traits that make a person more likely to be sucked in by a scam, the Daily Telegraph reports. The country's fraud watchdog warns that while nobody is immune to being conned, the following traits make around a fifth of the population most vulnerable:
  • An inability
... More »

Hackers Cook Time's Most- Influential Poll; Mag Shrugs

(Newser) - The results of Time’s online “world’s most influential person” poll have fallen victim to shenanigans, TechCrunch reports. Moot, leader of the devious web forum 4Chan, sits atop Time’s leaderboard, above Barack Obama and other usual suspects. And the first letters of the top 20 spell out... More »

Oprah's Not Giving You $1M, FBI Warns Marks

Bogus email asks for cash payment to attend Oprah 'giveaway'

(Newser) - The FBI has warned that Oprah Winfrey isn't really giving anybody $1 million, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Scamsters have been sending people emails about a supposed "Oprah Winfrey Millionaire Contest Show." Recipients are told they have been nominated to attend a special show where the host will hand... More »

Facebook 'Friend' Emergency Latest Online Scam

Cybercriminals hijack Facebook accounts to pose as friends in crisis

(Newser) - Fraudsters posing as friends who need emergency cash are scamming Facebook users out of thousands of dollars, CNN reports. Criminals filch Facebook identities, then bombard their friends with desperate-sounding messages pleading for money. The scammers often claim to have been robbed in a foreign country and beg the friend to... More »

Credit Card Processor Bares Massive Hacker Breach

Sophisticated hackers nab vast amounts credit card data

(Newser) - A credit card payment processor has disclosed a data breach that experts believe could be the biggest ever and may be putting millions of consumers at risk of ripoffs, the Washington Post reports. Heartland Payment Systems, which handles 100 million transactions from 250,000 businesses every month, believes malicious software... More »

Nigerian Scamsters Want to Be Your Friend

Con artists try to fool Facebook users by posing as friends in need

(Newser) - Nigeria's notorious cybercriminals are looking for some buddies, Ars Technica reports. The conmen have infiltrated social networking sites like Facebook by filching passwords and contacting users in the guise of a friend who suddenly, urgently needs funds. Internet security experts fear the new tactic could prove a lot more effective... More »

Flash Attack Could Turn Routers Into Zombies

Experts say online criminals could exploit UPnP to hijack routers

(Newser) - Security experts have demonstrated how attackers could use Flash software and the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) protocol to hijack their home routers, reports PC World. Users exposed to a malicious Flash file could have the servers they're trying to reach changed remotely and secretly, meaning a fraudster could redirect... More »

Online Scammer Impersonates US Colonel

Details taken from website for military families

(Newser) - British woman Wendy McKay had been enjoying her romantic online chats with a handsome US colonel deployed to Iraq, but alarm bells started ringing when the "colonel" suddenly needed thousands of dollars sent to Ghana, the Military Times reports. A con man had stolen the real colonel's identity and... More »

Phishers Adopt New Tactics to Reel In Victims

Online fraudsters turn to shorter URLs to make sites look legit

(Newser) - Internet phishers are using shorter Web addresses to make their sites seem more legitimate, says IBM's online-security division. The group observed fraudulent URLs dropping from 30-37 characters to an average of 17, reports CNET. "The fact that they felt the need to make this move suggests that they were... More »

Hacker Blitz Infects Web Search Results

Malicious websites may have fooled Google, Yahoo and MSN

(Newser) - Software security firms believe they uncovered a massive hacker effort earlier this week to "booby-trap" web searches, one which could have rendered Windows and Internet Explorer users vulnerable to fraud. Seemingly innocuous and random search terms, like "Christmas gifts" and "infinity," brought results that included links... More »

Now PayPal Is Everywhere MasterCard Is

New service aims to protect financial info, simplify shopping

(Newser) - PayPal is offering a new way for customers to pay on sites that don't normally accept the service. PayPal Secure Card creates a new MasterCard number for every transaction and retrieves members' payment information from their PayPal accounts. "From a merchant's perspective this looks like any other MasterCard transaction,... More »

Data Thieves Smarten Up, Branch Out

More sophisticated hackers chip away at your online security

(Newser) - Hackers are getting smarter, more international, and increasingly well funded, a new report on Internet security reveals. One scam involves gangs acting as middlemen for other would-be criminals; some rip-off artists use social networking sites to research a mark, then send a personalized email to trick the target into giving... More »

Newmark Brains Scammers

Craig's List founder tracks online swindlers the old-fashioned way— brainpower

(Newser) - “We are not really that high-tech of a company,” the man who brought classifieds into the Internet age, Craig’s List founder Newmark, tells the New York Observer, explaining why he uses a combo of customer feedback and his own memory—instead of techie solutions like IP-address blockers... More »

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