Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program

Washington Post: Scathing SBA watchdog report details ‘pervasive’ fraud in coronavirus disaster-loan program. “A federal watchdog reported Tuesday that it has identified $250 million in taxpayer-subsidized coronavirus loan funds given to ‘potentially ineligible recipients,’ pointing to a strong likelihood of widespread fraud in an important but troubled economic assistance program. The Small Business Administration’s office of inspector general launched numerous investigations after receiving more than 1,000 hotline complaints about potentially fraudulent transactions, according to a report released Tuesday. It also criticized the agency for allegedly failing to put in place internal controls to prevent abuse.”

Department of Justice: Florida Man who Used COVID-Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Sports Car Charged in Miami Federal Court

Department of Justice: Florida Man who Used COVID-Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Sports Car Charged in Miami Federal Court. “A Florida man was arrested and charged with fraudulently obtaining $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and using those funds, in part, to purchase a sports car for himself. Authorities seized a $318,000 sports car and $3.4 million from bank accounts at the time of arrest.”

Ars Technica: Woz sues YouTube over “bitcoin giveaway” scam videos using his name

Ars Technica: Woz sues YouTube over “bitcoin giveaway” scam videos using his name. “Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has sued YouTube over the proliferation of ‘bitcoin giveaway’ scam videos on the YouTube platform. The videos falsely use the names of Wozniak and other celebrities—including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin—to give the scams legitimacy.”

Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times: Feds begin prosecuting fraudulent PPP coronavirus loans. Some cases will be hard to win. “Ever since the public backlash last April against some large, well-off or nationwide companies that helped themselves to emergency government funds intended to rescue small businesses during the pandemic, federal officials have vowed to crack down on any abuses of the popular program, also known as PPP. That effort is now underway with more than a dozen criminal cases filed in 11 states in recent weeks. All involve allegations of blatant fraud, such as lying on applications, falsifying tax or business records and misappropriating money. And most involve relatively small businesses or individual owners.”

Report: 70-plus Brands Targeted By Fraudulent Social Media Ads (WWD)

WWD: Report: 70-plus Brands Targeted By Fraudulent Social Media Ads. “According to a joint report released Wednesday by Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade and the American Apparel & Footwear Association, some 70 major international brands have been targeted by scam ads posted on major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or on sites like Google and YouTube. The report noted that, in some cases, the advertisements can grab up to a quarter of a million views before they’re detected.”

Kotaku: Twitch Forces U.S. Army To Stop Tricking Viewers With Fake Giveaways

Kotaku: Twitch Forces U.S. Army To Stop Tricking Viewers With Fake Giveaways. “The U.S. Army has a Twitch channel that it uses to fish for potential recruits. Last week, it came under fire for issuing bans to viewers who asked about war crimes. This week, a report by The Nation dug deeper, pointing out, among other things, that the channel had a habit of running fake controller giveaways that redirected viewers to a recruitment page. Following widespread scrutiny, Twitch says it’s forced the Army to stop.”

The Scotsman: Influencer accused of £200m plot to defraud Edinburgh firm

The Scotsman: Influencer accused of £200m plot to defraud Edinburgh firm. “Ramon Abbas, who has attracted millions of followers on the social media network by sharing images of his lavish lifestyle, is alleged to have conspired to launder hundreds of millions of pounds from frauds known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other scams.”

New York Times: How to Fight Health ‘Cures’ Online

New York Times: How to Fight Health ‘Cures’ Online. “Anne Borden King had already battled online health misinformation as a parent of a child with autism. Then, as a patient, she was barraged on Facebook by bogus cancer ‘cure’ advertisements after posting about her diagnosis. Borden, a co-founder of the Campaign Against Phony Autism Cures, talked to me about what we and Facebook can do to stamp out the worst kinds of junk health information that preys on people’s fears. It requires us to have some uncomfortable conversations, and for Facebook to fundamentally change how it works.”

Law360: DOJ Shuts Down Websites Shilling ‘False’ COVID-19 Vaccines

Law360: DOJ Shuts Down Websites Shilling ‘False’ COVID-19 Vaccines. “A Kentucky federal judge on Monday ordered the shutdown of a series of related websites and a Facebook page offering preregistration for a nonexistent COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for $100 worth of bitcoin after the Louisville man prosecutors claim is behind the scam agreed to a preliminary injunction.”

Security Magazine: FTC launches new online tool for exploring military consumer data

Security Magazine: FTC launches new online tool for exploring military consumer data. “The Federal Trade Commission launched a new tool that explores data about problems military consumers may experience in the marketplace. For the first time, data about reports the FTC has received from active duty service members and veterans will be available online in an interactive dashboard.”

CNN: Florida man and his sons charged with selling toxic chemical as a coronavirus cure to thousands

CNN: Florida man and his sons charged with selling toxic chemical as a coronavirus cure to thousands. “Three months after President Donald Trump suggested ingesting disinfectants as a treatment for coronavirus, a Florida man and his three sons are facing criminal charges for allegedly selling a toxic solution to tens of thousands of people as a cure for Covid-19.”

CNN: As Twitter and Facebook find fake networks of accounts, are they merely scratching the surface?

CNN: As Twitter and Facebook find fake networks of accounts, are they merely scratching the surface?. “So: Another day, another mass-removal of bogus social profiles that manipulated the public. This is ‘probably only scratching the surface of the shady political tactics being used,’ Donie O’Sullivan pointed out Wednesday night. ‘A good reminder that what you see on Facebook might not be what it seems.’ Yes — but it’s almost impossible to know just how big the proverbial iceberg is. How much of what looks like ‘engagement’ on the web is actually ‘fraud?'”

ProPublica: You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps

ProPublica: You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps. “Jason Cardiff didn’t want his new business to end up like his last one, an alleged pyramid scheme involving robocalling and selling unwitting customers bogus remedies to lose weight or quit smoking. One of his ventures, Prolongz, falsely claimed to offer men ‘increased ejaculation control.’ ‘I am not going to lose another company,’ Cardiff told his lawyer in an April 5 email, just before detailing a fantasy list of people he wanted to place on the board of his new venture, VPL Medical Inc.”

CNN: Facebook removes Roger Stone from Instagram after linking him to fake accounts

CNN: Facebook removes Roger Stone from Instagram after linking him to fake accounts. “Facebook announced Wednesday it had shut down pages and accounts linked to Roger Stone and Proud Boys, a far-right group Facebook has banned under its hate policies. Stone’s own Instagram account was shut down as part of the takedown. The network of more than 100 Facebook pages, accounts and Instagram accounts spent more than $300,000 on Facebook and Instagram ads to promote their posts. Some of the pages and accounts included false personas, an analysis commissioned by Facebook found.”

BetaNews: Fake content drives online fraud

BetaNews: Fake content drives online fraud. “Based on a study of 34,000 sites and apps, as well as a survey of over 1,000 consumers conducted in June 2020, new research details how content abuse is a critical part of the fraud supply chain, the interconnected ecosystem of fraud. The research, carried out by digital trust and safety firm Sift, also uncovered a fraud ring based in Russia where fraudsters executed a card-testing scheme through fake listings on an e-commerce marketplace.”