Israeli agent drowned in Italian boat accident was part of mission targeting Iranian weapons: Media report Anadolu Agency. “Senseless, accidental if you believe in accidents…” –Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow. Read all the way to the end.
Lessons from Washington State's New Capital Gains Tax (which brought in $600 million *more* than projected over a single year). "Our state's richest residents are much, much richer than we understood..."
60 Minutes US looks at grandparent scams and other online scams, especially those aimed at older victims
Los Angeles: Chinese woman arrested for shipping thousands of packages that were internet orders from Chinese companies with counterfeit postage from postal meters; cost USPS $60 million
49 State AG’s sue Avid Telecom, allege it is responsible for billions of illegal robocalls
Consumer Federation of America list of top ten fraud in 2022; complaints to State and local consumer agencies; auto repair tops the list
Myth #7: One of the best ways to prevent fraud crimes is to teach financial literacy. By Anthony Pratkanis
Financial literacy refers to fundamental concepts of finance and is typically measured with quizzes about compound interest, asset diversification, bond pricing, etc. An oft-heard claim is that financial literacy is a protective factor in fraud victimization and thus an important intervention tactic. There is no scientifically-valid evidence for this claim.
Knowing that bond prices fall as interest rates go up is of little relevance in recognizing and responding to romance fraud, lottery scams, government impostors, grandparent schemes, and the like.
However, what about investment fraud? In a 2006 study, my colleagues and I found that verified investment fraud victims had significantly higher financial literacy than non-victim investors. This finding was replicated in 2014 by Graham of UK’s FCA and again in 2017 by Kieffer and Mottola of FINRA. Some of the most sophisticated investors have been fraud victims: Jay Gould, CalPERS, JPMorgan Chase, Sequoia Capital, Rupert Murdoch, Blackrock, Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and Wells Fargo former CEO Richard Kovacevich, to name a few.
Why this finding? Knowing the value of a diversified portfolio is of little use in recognizing pump and dumps, Ponzi schemes, and entrepreneurial fraud. It is like knowing the rank of poker hands without knowledge of coolers, seconds, mucks, and other forms of cheating. Active investors will gain financial literacy through their activities and will also be more likely to encounter con grifters who infiltrate the financial system. And, as always, a con criminal will use the target’s knowledge (and lack of knowledge) to tailor the pitch for best effect.
The good news: While financial literacy is of little value in fraud prevention, teaching about fraud schemes, as my colleagues and I first showed, effectively reduces victimization.
All myths collected here
Fraud Studies: Here are links to the studies I’ve written for the Better Business Bureau: puppy fraud, romance fraud; BEC fraud, sweepstakes/lottery fraud, tech support fraud, romance fraud money mules, crooked movers, government imposters, online vehicle sale scams, rental fraud, gift cards, free trial offer frauds, job scams, online shopping fraud, fake check fraudand crypto scams
Fraud News Around the world
- Toronto Police arrest man who ran rental fraud on Facebook marketplace
- New York: Venezuelan man gets two years prison for identity theft used to get foodstamp/SNAP benefits
- Nigeria: EFCC arrests 44 for internet fraud
- Los Angeles: Felon pleads guilty to fake check scam he promoted on social media; losses $400,000
- Bangladesh: Four, including two Nigerian men, arrested in package delivery fraud
- Dramatic increase in scams impersonating utility company Pacific Gas & Electric
- Australia sues Meg’s Florist alleging company claimed to have local operation
- Nigeria arrests famous TikTok musician, 30 others, for internet fraud
- Singapore: Police arrest man for rental fraud; advertised homes on Telegram
- Toothpaste thief found with $2100 of tubes
- Man breaks into store, steals cupcakes, mops floor and takes selfie
- Court finds man and company in contempt for continuing to run pyramid schemes; ordered to pay $7.3 million
- Court limits damages the FTC can obtain under Section 19, which the agency is now using in place of Section 13(b)
- FTC and DOJ sue Amazon over claims it kept data on kids from Alexa in violation of privacy laws
- FTC settles with Ring; alleges any employee could view video; company to pay $5.8 million redress
- Kansas City: Two men plead guilty to PPP fraud
- New York: Man with tax preparation business indicted for PPP fraud; got $13 million
- North Carolina: Three more plead guilty in national PPP loan fraud
- Long Island businessman pleads guilty to PPP fraud
- Lloyd's bank warns that two thirds of the scams they see start on Facebook or Instagram
- Facebook warns of worldwide “Look who died” scam, pretends to be from a friend and has a link to an article, but you have to enter your login credentials to read it; scammers then can get personal account details
- Florida: Art gallery owner gets 27 months prison for selling counterfeit art by Andy Warhol and others
- Tennessee: Nigerian man and his wife get 70 and 60 months prison for laundering money from BEC real estate fraud as well as romance fraud; took a cut of money and sent most to Nigeria
- Swiss defense contractor ABB hit by attack; loses data
- Attack on the City of Augusta, Georgia
- Cripples state run utility in India
- Chinese hackers attack US Navy in US and Guam
- Attack on MCNA dental insurer; affects record of 8.9 million people
- Philadelphia: DOJ gets final injunctions against three money mules who handled victim money and sent it on to scammers in Nigeria and Jamaica
- South Carolina: Two Jamaican men get six years prison each for lottery fraud; handled $1.8 million in victim money
- Jamaica arrests security guard and bartender wife for lottery fraud