BBC: Old Scams Made New

This is a column for a BBC World Service piece. It’s not Reuters content.  Of all the scams you’d have thought the old ‘I’m a general’s widow and am sitting on a whole pile of cash I want to share with you” one would have gone away by now. But it hasn’t. The scammers are […]

Beware the SMS Premium Number Scam

An Indian phone company is warning users against a variation on the premium rate phone scam, whereby users are contacted by email or mail and asked to call a number to confirm winning a prize. The number is a premium number—either local or international—and the user has to sit through several expensive minutes of canned […]

Social Engineering, Part XIV

Further to my earlier piece about the scamming potential of Web 2.0, here are a couple more examples of why social engineering is a bigger problem than it might appear. First off, governments and organisations are not as careful with your information as you might expect them to. There are plenty of examples of CD-ROMs […]

The Puppy Love Scam

A few weeks back I wrote about love scams (“You Give Love a Bad Name,” WSJ.com) — how scammers are trawling online dating sites looking for suckers. What interested me about the scam is that in some cases the scammers play a very patient game — luring the mark in over a period of months […]

How Long Did The ‘Biggest Data Theft In History’ Go Unreported?

I continue to be intrigued, but somewhat perplexed, by the CardSystems security breach that happened nearly two months ago now. Who knew it first, and who told who, and when? And why did it take so long to tell the rest of us? A U.S. company claimed it was its software that first spotted the […]

The Big Credit Card Theft

Trying to make sense of the massive theft of credit card numbers at CardSystems, ‘a leading provider of end-to-end payment processing solutions focused exclusively on meeting the needs of small to mid-sized merchants’, in which information on more than 40 million credit cards may have been stolen. CardSystems itself has issued only a brief statement […]

Phishing And The U.S.-Europe Link

A 23–year old man called Daniel A. Defelippi in the U.S. has pleaded guilty to three years of phishing and identity fraud, according to the the Democrat & Chronicle: A Rochester man admitted Tuesday that he engaged in widespread identity theft, pilfering credit card numbers through fake Web sites and even collaborating with computer hackers in Eastern European […]

First Nigerian email scammer jailed

Hong Kong has done its bit to crack down on Nigerian e-mail fraud, jailing its first Nigerian scammer : Hong Kong has successfully prosecuted its first Nigerian email scammer. A 30-year-old Nigerian man was jailed four years today for a US$26 million scam, in which he was convicted at the District Court of attempting to […]

A Glimpse Of A Tentacle From The Phishing Monster

Gradually the tentacles of the Russian gangs behind phishing are appearing. But we still have no idea how it really works, and how big the beast is. The Boston Herald reports today on the arraignment of a “suspected Russian mobster” on multiple counts of identity fraud, having allegedly obtained personal information from more than 100 victims […]

Credit Card Fraud And Keeping The Customer In The Dark

Banks have failed customers over credit card fraud; why should they do any better over phishing? Further to my piece on how banks had failed customers over phishing by continuing to communicate with them by email and failing to warn customers about possible breaches of security, here’s an example from the world of credit card […]