August 08, 2012, Oakland, CA - According to a recent alert from Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) scammers are continuing to be creative in how they conduct their cyber crimes.
This report, which is based upon information from law enforcement and complaints submitted to the IC3, details recent cyber crime trends, new twists to previously-existing cyber scams.
FAKE POLITICAL SURVEY
The IC3 has been notified of a scam involving telephone calls conducting a multiple-choice “political survey.” Following the survey, the recipients are told they won a free cruise to the Bahamas. After providing a website address for legitimacy, the caller requests the “winner’s” email address for notification purposes and credit card information to cover port fees. The website has very limited information, but does contain a few photos, testimonials, and “Caribbean Line” banner, in an attempt to convince visitors it is legitimate.
The IC3 has received several complaints regarding a phonebook website. Complainants reported that anyone could post other individuals’ information. Some reported being verbally bullied, had uncensored comments, or false accusations posted about them. Personal information that could be listed on the website included: full name, unlisted cell phone numbers, email addresses, direct links to a person’s private Facebook account, and any other information or photos someone wants to add. The website also allows users to anonymously call anyone listed on the site directly from the web, as well as track them with GPS.
FREE CREDIT SERVICE WEBSITE
The IC3 has received over 2,000 complaints regarding a particular website that is claiming to offer “free” credit services such as credit scores and credit monitoring. Customers reported being charged a monthly service fee. However, the terms of the agreement advised that the “free” report only lasts for a limited time. At the end of the free term, the website used the customer’s supplied financial information to charge a monthly membership service ranging from $19.95 to $29.95.
The terms and agreement from the website states the following:
“For Subscription Services which include a free-trial period, if you do not cancel your free trial within the free trial period, you will be charged at the monthly rate in effect at that time for the Subscription Services for which you enrolled. Your debit or credit card (including, if applicable, as automatically updated by your card provider following expiration or change in account number) will continue to be charged each month at the applicable monthly rate unless and until you cancel the Subscription Services.”
The website, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has been given an F rating by the BBB for the following reasons:
•1037 complaints filed against the business.
•8 complaints filed against the business that were not resolved.
•17 serious complaints filed against business.
•Advertising issue(s) found by the BBB.
CITADEL MALWARE DELIVERS REVETON RANSOMWARE IN ATTEMPTS TO EXTORT MONEY
On May 30, 2012, the IC3 released the following PSA warning consumers about a new Citadel malware platform used to deliver ransomware, named Reveton:
The IC3 has been made aware of a new Citadel malware platform used to deliver ransomware, named Reveton. The ransomware lures the victim to a drive-by download website, at which time the ransomware is installed on the user’s computer. Once installed, the computer freezes and a screen is displayed warning the user they have violated United States Federal Law. The message further declares the user’s IP address was identified by the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section as visiting child pornography and other illegal content.
To unlock their computer the user is instructed to pay a $100 fine to the US Department of Justice, using prepaid money card services. The geographic location of the user’s IP address determines what payment services are offered. In addition to the ransomware, the Citadel malware continues to operate on the compromised computer and can be used to commit online banking and credit card fraud. Below is a screenshot of the warning screen.
This is an attempt to extort money with the additional possibility of the victim’s computer being used to participate in online bank fraud. If you have received this or something similar do not follow payment instructions.
It is suggested that you:
•File a complaint at www.IC3.gov.
The IC3 continues to see variations of the scheme and a rapidly growing number of complaints. The PSA is available at http://www.ic3.gov/media/2012/120530.aspx .
About the BBB
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