Fraud and Scams

Fraud and Scam Tactics

Tactics Criminals Use to Commit Fraud and Perfom Scams

Year 2038 Bug

Embedded systems that use dates for either computation or diagnostic logging are most likely to be affected by the 2038 bug. The latest time that can be represented in Unix's signed 32-bit integer time format is 03:14:07 on Tuesday, 19 January 2038 (231-1 = 2,147,483,647 seconds after 1 January 1970). Times beyond that, on most architectures, will wrap around and be stored internally as a negative number, which these systems will interpret as having occurred on 13 December 1901 at 20:45:52 rather than 19 January 2038. This is caused by integer overflow. The counter runs out of usable digit bits, flips the sign bit instead, and reports a maximally negative number (then continues to count up, to zero, and then up through the positive integers again). Resulting erroneous calculations on such systems are likely to cause problems for users and other reliant parties. Source

As problems start to occur malicious actors will search for ways to exploit this bug.

In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. The company has agreed to a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories.

Lottery and Sweepstakes
The initial contact in a sweepstakes scam is often a call, a postcard, an email or a social media notification offering congratulations for winning some big contest. Scammers ensnare a victim they keep asking for more money and provide nothing in return but more promises.

A pyramid scheme is a business model that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products.

Common products that will be offered include binary options, virtual currency, carbon credits, wine, rare metals, gemstones, land and alternative energy. Often, initial investments will yield small returns as an incentive to invest further funds. However, larger investments or cashing out will be met with excuses or a penalty charge. Eventually contact with the fraudster will be impossible and all funds and bogus returns lost.

Scammers contact you by phone, email, regular mail or home visit, or direct you to phony websites, seeking personal and financial information. Like other government impostors, they adopt the mantle of officialdom in hopes of winning your trust — and they have the added advantage of pretending to represent an agency specifically tasked with asking questions.

A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds.

Government grant scammers try to get your money by guaranteeing a free grant to help you pay for college, home repairs, or other expenses. They ask for your checking account information so they can “deposit the grant money into your account” or withdraw a “one-time processing fee.”

Bank fraud is the use of potentially illegal means to obtain money, assets, or other property owned or held by a financial institution, or to obtain money from depositors by fraudulently posing as a bank or other financial institution.

Phone fraud, or more generally communications fraud, is the use of telecommunications products or services with the intention of illegally acquiring money from, or failing to pay, a telecommunication company or its customers. Many operators have increased measures to minimize fraud and reduce their losses.

Charity fraud is the act of using deception to get money from people who believe they are making donations to charities. Often a person or a group of people will make material representations that they are a charity or part of a charity and ask prospective donors for contributions to the non-existent charity.

Online ticket scams revolve around scammers trying to sell people fake tickets to various events. Scammers usually only target popular events or destinations, as they can take advantage of the increased demand for those tickets, and – consequently – of unaware buyers who are in a rush to get their tickets.

In 2018 more than 43 percent of renters have found listings that seem fraudulent, and more than 5 million have been scammed. The most common scams include false advertisement, posing as a landlord and listing a leased apartment as “for rent.” Before renting, call the management company or building, tour the property and watch the fundamentals of the market.

Work From Home
Working from home sounds like a dream to many people, so it is not surprising that a number of Americans fall for this type of fraud each year. Criminals promise income to people who sign up for their fictitious work-from-home job, often requiring that money be paid up front with the promise of a big payoff in a short amount of time.

Debt Elimination
People find themselves deeply in debt, making it easy for criminals to offer them an opportunity to climb out from under a mountain of bills. Fake companies produce ads and other solicitations promising to help eliminate every type of debt, from credit card bills to taxes, for a partial payment up front. The victim fronts the payment as well as their credit card information, getting nothing in return, and often having their information sold to other fraudsters.

Wire Fraud
Refers to fraud that is committed through the use of wires, or electronic means. Wire fraud may be committed using interstate wires, television or radio communications, or the Internet. Wire fraud is an intentional act to defraud another individual or entity of his money or property, and is a federal crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Health Care Fraud
Includes health insurance fraud, drug fraud, and medical fraud. Health insurance fraud occurs when a company or an individual defrauds an insurer or government health care program, such as Medicare (United States) or equivalent State programs. The manner in which this is done varies, and persons engaging in fraud are always seeking new ways to circumvent the law.

Misappropriation of funds by a person trusted with its charge; also, the act of misappropriation, or an instance thereof. The term is more specifically used by the United States Bankruptcy Code to describe a category of acts that taint a particular debt such that it cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

A secret cooperation or deceitful agreement in order to deceive others, although not necessarily illegal, as a conspiracy. A secret agreement between two or more parties to limit open competition by deceiving, misleading, or defrauding others of their legal rights, or to obtain an objective forbidden by law typically by defrauding or gaining an unfair market advantage is an example of collusion.

Imitate something authentic, with the intent to steal, destroy, or replace the original, for use in illegal transactions, or otherwise to deceive individuals into believing that the fake is of equal or greater value than the real thing.

Money Laundering
The illegal process of concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by passing it through a complex sequence of banking transfers or commercial transactions. The overall scheme of this process returns the money to the launderer in an obscure and indirect way.

White Collar Crime
Financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by businesses and government professionals. It was first defined by the sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of their occupation".

Tax Evasion
The illegal evasion of taxes by individuals, corporations, and trusts. Tax evasion often entails taxpayers deliberately misrepresenting the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits or gains than the amounts actually earned, or overstating deductions.

Mail Fraud
Federal crimes that involve mailing or electronically transmitting something associated with fraud. Jurisdiction is claimed by the federal government if the illegal activity crosses interstate or international borders.

Forgery is a white-collar crime that generally refers to the false making or material alteration of a legal instrument with the specific intent to defraud anyone.

The act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion of such assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes. Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud.

Cause Of Action
A cause of action is a set of facts or legal theory that gives an individual or entity the right to seek a legal remedy against another. This applies to the filing of a civil lawsuit for such wrongs as property damages, personal injury, or monetary loss, as well as to criminal wrongs such as battery, theft, or kidnapping. A cause of action may come from an act or failure to act, breach of duty, or a violation of rights, and the facts or circumstances of each specific case often have a significant effect on the case. To explore this concept, consider the following cause of action definition.

A tort is a wrongful act in which harm or injury is caused to another person. The term “tort” covers a vast range of actions in tort law, and is divided into subcategories, which include “intentional tort.” Intentional tort occurs when a person intends to perform an action that causes harm to another. For intentional tort to be proven, it is not required for the person causing the harm to intentionally cause an actual injury, they must only intend to perform the act.

While deployed, active duty members of the armed services are particularly vulnerable to identity theft because they may not notice mistakes on their credit reports or receive calls from debt collectors regarding a fraudulent charge. According to 2018—2019 FTC reports, military consumers are most affected by credit card and bank fraud.

· 10,590 total military consumer credit card fraud reports
· 5,723 total military consumer bank fraud reports
· 1,168 Business/personal loan
· 832 Auto loan/lease
· 385 Real estate loan
· 380 Apartment or house rented
· 257 Non-federal student loan
· 192 Federal student loan

ref: Wikipedia, FTC, AARP, GFSC, Legal Dictionary