Meb Faber: Why All My Books Are Now Free (Aka A Lesson In Amazon Scams And Money Laundering). “You’ve probably heard much in the media recently about Facebook, fake news, and weaponizing content to influence opinions and elections. You may have seen Mark Zuckerberg dragged in front of Congress to testify about Facebook’s mistakes. Well, what you haven’t heard much of in the media (yet) is how Amazon is an equally bad actor. Whereas Facebook is plagued by fake news, Amazon is littered with fake products. And these fake products encourage fraud and play a role in global money laundering.” I have been looking into creating Amazon ebooks but there’s such a load of absolute junk on there — plus overt criminal activity like is noted in this article — that I’m having a hard time with it.
The Guardian: Fake it till you make it: meet the wolves of Instagram. “The original Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort, was a rogue trader convicted of fraudulently selling worthless penny stocks to naive investors. His biopic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the ostentatious, money-obsessed huckster, was a box-office hit in 2013. Although it may have been intended as a cautionary tale, to thousands of young millennials from humble backgrounds, Belfort’s story became a blueprint for how to escape an unremarkable life on low pay. Within months of the Wolf of Wall Street’s UK premiere in January 2014, a stocky 21-year-old named Elijah Oyefeso from a south London housing estate, began broadcasting on social media how much money he was making as a stock-market whizzkid.”
Krebs on Security: A Sobering Look at Fake Online Reviews. “In 2016, KrebsOnSecurity exposed a network of phony Web sites and fake online reviews that funneled those seeking help for drug and alcohol addiction toward rehab centers that were secretly affiliated with the Church of Scientology. Not long after the story ran, that network of bogus reviews disappeared from the Web. Over the past few months, however, the same prolific purveyor of these phantom sites and reviews appears to be back at it again, enlisting the help of Internet users and paying people $25-$35 for each fake listing.”
ECNS: China launches database for stolen foreign antiques. “The State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) on Friday launched a database for stolen foreign antiques to prevent such antiques from entering and circulating in China. The administration will go on to ask entry-exit examination offices to intensify the supervision over the entry and exit of stolen foreign antiques.”
CBR: Facebook and Google “Inspired” $1.5 Trillion Dark Web Entrepreneurs. “Cybercrime revenues now rival the GDP output of major world economies at a colossal $1.5 trillion annually, according to an independent academic study published today. Surrey University’s Mike McGuire spent six months researching cybercrime profit distribution for his ‘Web of Profit’ report; speaking with GCHQ, the FBI, Europol, global financial institutions and covert security workers that have infiltrated the dark web.”
Krebs on Security: Deleted Facebook Cybercrime Groups Had 300,000 Members. “Hours after being alerted by KrebsOnSecurity, Facebook last week deleted almost 120 private discussion groups totaling more than 300,000 members who flagrantly promoted a host of illicit activities on the social media network’s platform. The scam groups facilitated a broad spectrum of shady activities, including spamming, wire fraud, account takeovers, phony tax refunds, 419 scams, denial-of-service attack-for-hire services and botnet creation tools. The average age of these groups on Facebook’s platform was two years.”
CNBC: These online volunteers fight fake reviews, ghost listings and other scams on Google Maps — and say the problem’s getting worse. “Tom Waddington was hanging out at a friend’s house when he got an unexpected notification from Google Maps. Waddington is part of a group of Google Maps advocates who are trying to improve the service, so he lets Google track his location and frequently adds photos or edits to Maps listings. So the notification itself was routine, but the message was strange: Maps wanted him to contribute information about the Urgent Care center nearby. He was in a residential neighborhood.”