India Today: Exclusive: On board Delhi’s sickening ambulances fleecing Covid-19 patients. “As surging demands bring emergency responders to a breaking point, an India Today TV investigation in Delhi found some ambulance operators charging exorbitantly high to shift Covid-19 patients. The probe found them to be soliciting more than Rs 1,000 per kilometer to transport a patient in an ICU vehicle. Vinod, an ambulance operator outside a private hospital in East Delhi, demanded Rs 50,000 for a ride to a healthcare facility in Gurugram, 44 km away.
Gizmodo: New Google Play Store Rules Aim to Weed Out Spammy Apps. “In an attempt to boost confidence in its Play Store offerings, Google has announced new rules that will look to weed out misleading, low-quality apps from its marketplace. In an update published Thursday, the company announced new metadata policies designed to moderate how developers present their apps. The rules, meant to drive more ‘meaningful downloads’ for consumers, will take effect later this year.”
Bleeping Computer: Google Alerts continues to be a hotbed of scams and malware. “While Google Alerts has been abused for a long time, BleepingComputer has noticed a significant increase in activity over the past couple of weeks. For example, I use Google Alerts to monitor for various terms related to cyberattacks, security incidents, malware, etc. In one particular Google Alert, almost every new article shared with me today by the service led to a scam or malicious website, with two of them shown below.” I’m not seeing that in my Google Alerts – but I am seeing a lot of Web spam.
Department of Justice: Justice Department Warns About Fake Post-Vaccine Survey Scams. “Consumers receive the surveys via email and text message, and are told that, as a gift for filling out the survey, they can choose from various free prizes, such as an iPad Pro. The messages claim that the consumers need only pay shipping and handling fees to receive their prize. Victims provide their credit card information and are charged for shipping and handling fees, but never receive the promised prize. Victims also are exposing their personally identifiable information (PII) to scammers, thereby increasing the probability of identity theft.”
Washington Post: He believed Apple’s App Store was safe. Then a fake app stole his life savings in bitcoin.
Washington Post: He believed Apple’s App Store was safe. Then a fake app stole his life savings in bitcoin.. “Phillipe Christodoulou wanted to check his bitcoin balance last month, so he searched the App Store on his iPhone for ‘Trezor,’ the maker of a small hardware device he uses to store his cryptocurrency. Up popped the company’s padlock logo set against a bright green background. The app was rated close to five stars. He downloaded it and typed in his credentials. In less than a second, nearly all of his life savings — 17.1 bitcoin worth $600,000 at the time — was gone. The app was a fake, designed to trick people into thinking it was a legitimate app.”
Department of Justice: Popular Instagram Personality Known as “Jay Mazini” Charged with Wire Fraud. “A complaint was filed in federal court in Brooklyn yesterday charging Jegara Igbara, also known as ‘Jay Mazini,’ with wire fraud related to a scheme in which the defendant allegedly induced victims to send him Bitcoin by falsely claiming to have sent wire transfers of cash in exchange for the Bitcoin. In reality, Igbara never sent the money, and stole at least $2.5 million worth of Bitcoin from victims. Igbara is currently being held on state charges in New Jersey and will make his initial appearance in the Eastern District of New York at a later date.”
The Daily Beast: Meet the Fake Lawyer Who Goes to War for Anti-Mask Restaurants. “Rick Martin presented a formidable résumé. ‘Lawyer Rick Martin “The Judge Slayer,”‘ a biography on his website read. Billing himself as the head of the ‘Constitutional Law Group,’ (CLG), Martin advertised his legal services for businesses that defied anti-COVID-19 measures. ‘“I have put three District Judges, two District Attorneys, and countless law enforcement officers behind prison walls,’ he wrote. ‘We the People need to come together and take back our country from these unlawful criminals.’ But it was Martin and one of his clients who went to jail this month.”
You will never be asked to pay for a vaccine: Watch out for these vaccination scams looking to get your money, information (USA Today)
USA Today: You will never be asked to pay for a vaccine: Watch out for these vaccination scams looking to get your money, information. “As if it wasn’t a stressful enough time – with tens of millions of Americans anxiously awaiting vaccination information to help protect themselves and their families from COVID-19 – a new crop of scams are exploiting the process. In fact, the FBI and the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services are warning about fraudulent vaccination schemes circulating through telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and even door-to-door visits.”
NPR: DOJ Has Charged Nearly 500 With COVID-Related Fraud In The Past Year. “Early on in the pandemic, the Justice Department made fighting such crimes a priority. There was added urgency after Congress passed the massive CARES Act a year ago Friday, which provided a lifeline of cash to help support the country’s economy. Now, on the anniversary of the CARES Act, the Justice Department says that over the past year it has charged 474 defendants with fraud or other criminal schemes tied to the pandemic. The grand total that fraudsters tried to scam from the government and the public in those cases is more than $569 million.”
Lifehacker: How to Recognize Scam Sites That ‘Help’ You Schedule Your Vaccine. “As vaccine supply struggles to meet demand, grassroots social media groups known as ‘vaccine hunters’ have sprung up all over the country, helping people find and book appointments. As helpful as these groups can be, they’ve also become the new favorite target for scammers. Here’s how you can protect yourself.”
Mashable: FTC warns of ‘vaccine survey’ scams, because people are the worst. “There’s no good thing that scammers won’t try to ruin. The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning Wednesday that unscrupulous actors are preying upon the newly vaccinated, attempting to trick those in the throes of post-jab joy out of their cash.”
The Register: Scammers tried slurping folks’ login details through 70,000 coronavirus-themed phishing URLs during 2020
The Register: Scammers tried slurping folks’ login details through 70,000 coronavirus-themed phishing URLs during 2020. “In a post published today, Palo Alto’s Unit 42 threat intel division said COVID-themed phishing lure URLs ‘largely centered around Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and testing kits in March 2020, government stimulus programs from April through the summer 2020 (including a fake US Trading Commission website that posed as the US Federal Trade Commission in order to steal user credentials) and vaccines from late fall 2020 onward.’ It added that it had seen 69,950 phishing URLs between January 2020 and January 2021 which focused on ‘COVID-related topics’.”