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Twist in Payday Loan Phone Scams Affects Emergency Services

This month’s IC3 report includes payday loan phone scam techniques that affect emergency services; a new twist to an online tech support scam; the continuing problem of the Blackhole exploit kit; a list of the most popular passwords of 2012; the sale of an exploit for a security hole in Java software by cyber criminals; fake order confirmation e-mails from American Airlines that contain malware; and a 419 scam that invokes the IC3 for “legitimacy.”

Jan 07, 2013 05:00 PM

Twist in Payday Loan Phone Scams Affects Emergency Services

IC3 Logo (Large)For at least the past three years, there have been reports of victims being contacted relentlessly by phone because they are supposedly delinquent on a payday loan. Perpetrators of this scam have used various coercion techniques—including abusive language and threats of bodily harm or arrest—to get victims to send money. And according to the latest report from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), scammers have begun to launch Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks against victims’ employers—some of which have been emergency service agencies. These TDoS attacks have tied up the emergency services’ phone lines, preventing them from receiving and responding to legitimate calls for help.

Another tactic being used in this scam involves spoofing, or placing a call that appears to be coming from a different number than the one that is calling. The IC3 has learned that offenders have begun spoofing police departments’ phone numbers when calling to convince victims of their impending arrest. And to get law enforcement to actually show up, scammers will place repeated, harassing phone calls to local police departments while spoofing victims’ phone numbers.

Other items in this month’s IC3 report include a new twist to an online tech support scam; the continuing problem of the widely used and criminally successful Blackhole exploit kit; a list of the most popular passwords of 2012 (be sure to change yours); the sale of an exploit for a previously undocumented security hole in Java software by cyber criminals; fake order confirmation e-mails from American Airlines that contain malware; and a 419 scam that invokes the IC3 for “legitimacy.”

Read the full report for more details | More on payday loan scams