Poynter: This website impersonated a fact-checking outlet to publish fake news stories. “Someone is publishing fake news stories on a website that looks like a fact-checking organization. On Wednesday, Brazilian fact-checker Aos Fatos published an investigation about a fake news website that had ripped off its brand to publish bogus content. Instead of AosFatos.org, the network published to AosFatos.com.”
CBC: Immigration Minister Hussen impersonated in refugee scam. “A brash new scam on social media hijacked the identity of Canada’s immigration minister to defraud desperate refugees of thousands of dollars. The fake Facebook profile of Ahmed Hussen spelled his last name with one ‘s’ but used the same photos the minister has on his official Facebook page. The account’s information was written in Arabic and English.”
Engadget: My other life as a Kickstarter scammer. “I have the process down to a tee. I start by browsing Kickstarter, looking for projects with active campaigns. There’s no specific selection criteria. Perhaps I find one that’s just gone live, or one coming to the end of its fundraising window. I reach out with a message, explain who I am and invite the project contact to book in an interview. On the call, I feign interest, ask the right kind of questions and promise a write-up on Engadget in the near future. I leave it a day or two and reach out again, saying I’ve heard great things from others about a specialist that can increase a project’s exposure for a daily fee. A highly unethical move for a journalist, but I set to profit from it, so what do I care? The Engadget article never materializes, of course, because this person isn’t me.”
BuzzFeed News: People Are Renting Out Their Facebook Accounts In Exchange For Cash And Free Laptops. “The rental economy for Facebook accounts is yet another example of how people attempt to exploit the platform’s ad system in order to avoid bans and conceal who is really behind a campaign. With a rented account, a person can create a new page and quickly begin running ads. And even if Facebook eventually blocks those ads and bans the account, an ad launderer can move to another rented account and start over — without Facebook or anyone else knowing who they are.” This is not new, unfortunately. I wrote about a weird Craigslist ad almost three years ago.
Mashable: Elaborate Instagram scam bilks influencers after luring them to Jakarta. “A scam is making the rounds in the Instagram influencer and photography community, and it’s so elaborate that you can understand why people fell for it. Someone purporting to be Wendi Deng Murdoch, the former wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is fleecing thousands of dollars from hundreds of unsuspecting Instagram influencers and photographers.”
Motherboard: SIM Swapping Victims Who Lost Millions Are Pressuring Telcos to Protect Their Customers. “In the last year, hundreds—perhaps thousands—of people have had their phone numbers hijacked by hackers looking to steal their unique Instagram usernames or their cryptocurrency. Using a technique known as SIM swapping—a process by which criminals take control of a target’s phone number—hackers have been able to steal millions of dollars from bitcoin and other digital currencies investors. Now, a small group of victims who lost millions to these cybercriminals is trying to fight back.”