Auditor: Iowa misallocated at least $21 million in COVID-19 funds (Des Moines Register)

Des Moines Register: Auditor: Iowa misallocated at least $21 million in COVID-19 funds. “Iowa’s government misallocated at least $21 million of federal assistance intended for COVID-19 relief and must correct the error by the end of the year or face having to repay the money, State Auditor Rob Sand says. Iowa used the money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act to help pay for a new accounting system.”

Department of Justice: Rapper Who Bragged about Unemployment Benefits Scam in Music Video Arrested for Allegedly Bilking COVID-19 Jobless Relief Program

Department of Justice: Rapper Who Bragged about Unemployment Benefits Scam in Music Video Arrested for Allegedly Bilking COVID-19 Jobless Relief Program. “A rapper who boasted in a YouTube music video about getting rich from committing unemployment benefits fraud was arrested [October 16] on federal charges of carrying out that very scheme by fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, including by using stolen identities.”

CNN: Wells Fargo fires 100 employees for misrepresenting themselves to access Covid-19 relief funds

CNN: Wells Fargo fires 100 employees for misrepresenting themselves to access Covid-19 relief funds. “Wells Fargo has fired more than 100 employees for misrepresenting themselves to obtain money from a relief fund for small businesses, and whose actions may have amounted to defrauding the US Small Business Administration.”

BuzzFeed News: Doulas Are Using The Internet To Warn Each Other About People Pretending To Be Pregnant

BuzzFeed News: Doulas Are Using The Internet To Warn Each Other About People Pretending To Be Pregnant. “Doulas act as nonmedical support during childbirth. This might mean helping make a birth plan, helping labor at home, advising when to head to the hospital, emotional support, and help with baby care and breastfeeding postpartum. The work has a surprising problem: For years, doulas have dealt with fakers who want to roleplay a pregnancy or childbirth fantasy. They can’t stop it, but doulas are organizing using Facebook groups to warn each other.”

The Guardian: Herd immunity letter signed by fake experts including ‘Dr Johnny Bananas’

The Guardian: Herd immunity letter signed by fake experts including ‘Dr Johnny Bananas’. “The Great Barrington declaration, which was said to have been signed by more than 15,000 scientists and medical practitioners around the world, was found by Sky News to contain numerous false names, as well as those of several homeopaths. Others listed include a resident at the ‘university of your mum’ and another supposed specialist whose name was the first verse of the Macarena.”

Washington Post: Fake Twitter accounts posing as Black Trump supporters appear, reach thousands, then vanish

Washington Post: Fake Twitter accounts posing as Black Trump supporters appear, reach thousands, then vanish. “An account featuring the image of a Black police officer, President Trump and the words ‘VOTE REPUBLICAN’ had a brief but spectacular run on Twitter. In six days after it became active last week, it tweeted just eight times but garnered 24,000 followers, with its most popular tweet being liked 75,000 times. Then, on Sunday, the account was gone — suspended by Twitter for breaking its rules against platform manipulation.”

KHOU: Will you pass? This quiz website helps bank users outsmart scammers

KHOU: Will you pass? This quiz website helps bank users outsmart scammers. “Next time you get onto your bank’s website or check their phone app, look for a little button that says, ‘would your bank really ask that?’ It will take you to a quiz, and some of those questions just might stump you.”

Feds: Garner man used fake businesses to get $1.7M in PPP loans (WRAL)

WRAL: Feds: Garner man used fake businesses to get $1.7M in PPP loans. “A Garner man has been charged with fraudulently seeking more than $6 million in federal coronavirus relief money, authorities said Tuesday. An indictment unsealed Tuesday charges Tristan Bishop Pan, 38, with wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.”

NBC News: Turning Point USA tied to fake accounts, Facebook says

NBC News: Turning Point USA tied to fake accounts, Facebook says. “Facebook said Thursday that it has taken down hundreds of fake accounts created by a marketing company that worked with the young conservative group Turning Point USA to invade the comments sections of mainstream publishers and denigrate Democratic politicians.”

New York Times: A Museum Puts Its Fakes on Show

New York Times: A Museum Puts Its Fakes on Show. “The paintings on show in ‘Russian Avant-Garde at the Museum Ludwig: Original and Fake’ are all ostensibly by artists from that radical movement of the early 20th century. Yet displayed alongside bona fide works by renowned artists like Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko and Natalia Goncharova are paintings whose previous attributions museum researchers now reject.”

ACAMS News: FinCEN Director Discusses COVID-19 Fraud Schemes, Suspicious Activity Reports

ACAMS News: FinCEN Director Discusses COVID-19 Fraud Schemes, Suspicious Activity Reports. “U.S. financial institutions have filed more than 91,000 SARs on potentially illicit payments related to the novel coronavirus pandemic since February, Ken Blanco, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said Tuesday. The bureau has also received ‘hundreds of inquiries’ related to anti-money laundering compliance issues during the pandemic, including questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, a $669 billion federal relief package designed to help struggling businesses pay their employees, Blanco told attendees of the ACAMS Virtual Las Vegas Conference.”

Scams and spam: USPTO users face epidemic of spurious communications (World Trademark Review)

World Trademark Review: Scams and spam: USPTO users face epidemic of spurious communications. “Suspicious advertising and fraudulent invoice campaigns targeting US trademark owners again appear to be a growing problem, with one victim claiming to have lost more than $30,000 after allegedly being scammed on freelance platform UpWork.”

BetaNews: Fraudsters target account takeovers during the pandemic

BetaNews: Fraudsters target account takeovers during the pandemic. “Attempted account takeovers grew by 282 percent over the last year, while ATO rates for physical eCommerce businesses — those that sell physical goods online — have jumped 378 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Q3 2020 Digital Trust and Safety Index released today by Sift finds that between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020, ATO attacks happened in discrete waves about a week apart, indicating that fraudsters are turning to bots and automation in order to overwhelm security.”

Seattle Entrepreneur Investigated for Selling Bogus, $400 COVID Vaccine: Feds (Daily Beast)

Daily Beast: Seattle Entrepreneur Investigated for Selling Bogus, $400 COVID Vaccine: Feds. “A Seattle entrepreneur is under federal investigation for allegedly claiming he’d manufactured a vaccine for the coronavirus—and selling it for $400 a pop. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation into Johnny Stine, the 56-year-old founder and president of North Coast Biologics, a Seattle biotech company with a focus on antibodies, after he touted the bogus vaccine on social media, according to a 40-page search warrant application obtained by The Daily Beast.”

NewsHub: Social media scams: Kiwis duped by fake Facebook pages posing as legitimate tech companies

NewsHub NZ: Social media scams: Kiwis duped by fake Facebook pages posing as legitimate tech companies. “New Zealanders are urged to exercise caution online after a number of Kiwis were duped by fraudulent Facebook pages set up by offshore scammers. New Zealand Police and the social media giant are warning the public to remain vigilant after authorities received ‘multiple reports’ in relation to a series of Facebook pages posing as authentic companies.”