TWIPF2 This week in phone fraud, phone scam affects 217 Macy’s stores and a £1M attack in the UK.

This week, a Georgia man has been arrested following a string of phone scams targeting Macy’s stores across the US. According the the FBI, the man called stores posing as the company’s Director of Customer Service in New York, asking store managers to perform refunds for products never purchased.

On Monday, UK police issued a warning after one Suffolk business lost £1m in one of Britian’s biggest-ever telephone banking scams. The criminal impersonated the firm’s bank, persuading a staff member that there as a virus on its internet banking account and the cash needed to be transferred to a separate holding account.


Full Breakdown of This Week’s Phone Fraud News

CBS News: Phone scam artists claim to kidnap loved ones, FBI says – The FBI has been sounding the alarm about the rise of virtual kidnappings. Here’s how it works: criminals randomly call people, claiming they’ve abducted a loved one, and the only way to get them back is to pay up.

GPB News: 12 Charged For Committing Crimes From Inside Ga. State Prisons – On Thursday, twelve people were indicted in Atlanta for their involvement in drug trafficking and consumer fraud schemes run by inmates from inside two Georgia prisons. The prisoners were able to commit the crimes because of their access to cell phones.

WMAZ: How can you call yourself? It’s a spoofing scam – Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. 2WTK has told you that over and over. But one of the latest scams, includes phone numbers you know. Sometimes it’s your own home number, other times it’s the phone number of someone in your family.

Georgia Research Alliance: Technology to foil phone fraud – As you read this sentence, odds are that somebody is on the phone trying to steal money from a bank or financial institution. The most recent estimates place the amount stolen through telephone scams at more than $10 billion annually.

Tech Republic: Phone identity fraud is the new low-hanging fruit for crooks – Fighting phone identity fraud is an expense we do not need, especially considering who ultimately pays for it. Learn about one way we win and the fraudsters lose. Identity fraud is where it’s at if you’re a digital criminal looking to make money.

Krebs on Security: Bidding for Breaches, Redefining Targeted Attacks – “What strikes me the most about these forums is the obvious use of spear-phishing attacks, the raw demand for people who know how to map targets for phishing, and the fact that so many people are apparently willing to pay for it,” Jolles said.

Realty Today: Perpetrators of a $10-Million Telemarketing Scam that Used Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s Names as Baits Charged with Federal Fraud for Allegedly Swindling American Senior Citizens – The two found their targets through online research of American retirement homes. Then, the identified victim was contacted by a representative from a call center that was managed directly by Papa in Manila, Philippines.

Express: Warning as business conned out of £1m in biggest ever phone banking scam – Pretending to call from the firm’s bank, the conman persuaded the business there was a virus on its internet banking. The firm was then told to download remote access software that gave the criminal the ability to transfer money in and out of accounts.

South China Morning Post: Phone scam fallout: Chinese courier apologises after staff were impersonated to swindle Hong Kong customers – The scammers pose as staff from couriers and tell victims they have an undelivered parcel containing illegal documents. The call is then transferred to another scammer impersonating an official who asks the victim to transfer money as a show of good faith.

The Washington Post: More tales from the front lines of robo-calls – Is there a bright side to robo-calls? Victor Tupitza of Burke, Va., thinks there is, though I suspect he’s pulling our collective leg. Victor points out that we have become a nation of obese couch-dwellers in need of any exercise we can get.

Consumerist: Using Only His Phone, Man Scams 217 Macy’s Stores Into Issuing Fraudulent Refunds – In all, the man was able to trick customer service managers and associates in 31 states into processing a total of 304 refunds for products that were never actually purchased, according to the complaint.

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