Search Engine Land: Google opens complaint form to crack down on fake info in Maps. “Marissa Nordahl, a Google My Business Community Manager announced that Google launched a new form named the Business Redressal Complaint Form that will allow searchers and users to ‘report fraudulent activity relating to businesses Google Maps,’ she said.”
The Hindu: Retiree loses ₹1 lakh to Google Maps loophole. “A 60-year-old retired government servant in Thane has become the latest victim of scamsters who exploit a loophole on Google Maps to acquire bank details of people. The Kapurbawdi police said the woman, who stays with her family at Majiwada, found on Monday that ₹1 lakh was debited from her account after she dialled a number she found on Google for Axis Bank’s Fort branch.” This is happening way too much to folks in India. ₹1 lakh is a little over $1400 USD.
BBC: Investment scam targets Instagram users. “Victims aged in their 20s have each lost an average of £8,900 after falling for investment scams that appear on image-sharing platform Instagram. Action Fraud, a UK police-led awareness centre, said there had been a surge in activity in recent months by fraudsters posting about get-rich-quick schemes. Victims are promised high returns within 24 hours, but the fraudsters demand fees and then disappear.”
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.”
Ars Technica: Google Play apps with >4.3 million downloads stole pics and pushed porn ads. “Google has banned dozens of Android apps downloaded millions of times from the official Play Store after researchers discovered they were being used to display phishing and scam ads or perform other malicious acts.”
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.”
The Verge: These YouTubers are owed $1.7 million, and they’re probably never going to get it. “A group of approximately 50 YouTube creators allegedly owed more than $1.7 million following the collapse of network Defy Media are unlikely to see that money. Ally Bank, one of Defy Media’s financial backers, tweeted a statement on January 25th following a video from popular YouTube creator Matthew ‘MatPat’ Patrick asking Ally to give him and other YouTube creators the money they’re owed by Defy.”