The Register: ‘Google cannot stop it, control it or curtail it…’ Inside the murky world of fake addiction treatment center search spam

The Register: ‘Google cannot stop it, control it or curtail it…’ Inside the murky world of fake addiction treatment center search spam. “An investigator who asked to remain anonymous provided The Register with research detailing online advertising in the substance abuse treatment industry, including a review of Google search results listings and how they’re informed by Google My Business data, which companies provide about themselves to identify their store locations and hours. It appears that many of these are just front organizations, intended to pick up people desperate for care and with the insurance to pay for it.”

CNET: Pandemic purchases lead to surge in online shopping complaints, FTC says

CNET: Pandemic purchases lead to surge in online shopping complaints, FTC says. “As people rushed to buy supplies online during the coronavirus pandemic, not all shoppers got what they ordered, the US Federal Trade Commission said in a blog post Wednesday. Online shopping complaints about goods that never arrived surged in April and May, said the FTC.”

New York Times: F.B.I. Warns of Fraudulent Coronavirus Antibody Tests

New York Times: F.B.I. Warns of Fraudulent Coronavirus Antibody Tests. “The F.B.I. has issued a warning about scammers who advertise fraudulent Covid-19 antibody tests as a way to obtain personal information that can be used for identity theft or medical insurance fraud. The warning, issued Friday, is the latest in a series of alerts from the federal government about fraudulent exploitation of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Vox: How Trump gave insurance companies free rein to sell bad health plans

Vox: How Trump gave insurance companies free rein to sell bad health plans. “Amid a raging pandemic and skyrocketing unemployment, those subpar plans are making a comeback. The US uninsured rate has begun ticking up again recently, and it’s poised to soar this year. As millions of Americans cope with the coronavirus crisis and lose their jobs and employer-sponsored health insurance, experts expect that many may undertake the same journey that Lawley did — and end up victims of misleading marketing, weak health insurance, and the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda.”

ProPublica: He Removed Labels That Said “Medical Use Prohibited,” Then Tried to Sell Thousands of Masks to Officials Who Distribute to Hospitals

ProPublica: He Removed Labels That Said “Medical Use Prohibited,” Then Tried to Sell Thousands of Masks to Officials Who Distribute to Hospitals . “Lucas Rensko was making money through a popular handyman-for-hire app called TaskRabbit, doing odd jobs and delivering groceries, when he picked up a task that led him to a leaky-roofed warehouse on a tattered road in northwest San Antonio. Inside, a man named Jaime Rivera had set up long tables where five or six other ‘Taskers’ earning about $20 an hour were ripping Chinese masks out of plastic bags and stuffing them into new ones that were identical but for one potentially deadly difference. The old packages were labeled in all caps ‘MEDICAL USE PROHIBITED,’ meaning not to be used by doctors and nurses who need the strongest protection from tiny particles carrying the novel coronavirus. The new bags, intended to make their way to Texas hospitals, simply omitted that warning.”

Department of Justice: Winchester Man Charged with COVID-Relief Fraud

Department of Justice: Winchester Man Charged with COVID-Relief Fraud. ” A Winchester man was arrested today and charged with allegedly filing fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $13 million in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for COVID-19 relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”

‘My father has a factory.’ How hucksters flooded Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus marketplace (Sacramento Bee)

The Sacramento Bee: ‘My father has a factory.’ How hucksters flooded Gov. Newsom’s coronavirus marketplace. “The chaotic marketplace offers a window into the Newsom administration’s frantic efforts to make sure California has enough equipment to handle a surge of COVID-19 cases in the state’s hospitals. State officials leading that effort were forced to wade through the thousands of offers, rejecting most of them, but also accepting some questionable offers posted on the website that later fell through, including a $456 million deal to buy masks that is now under federal scrutiny.”

Gizmodo AU: NY Attorney General Calls on Apple, Google to Crack Down on Shady Contact-Tracing Apps

Gizmodo AU: NY Attorney General Calls on Apple, Google to Crack Down on Shady Contact-Tracing Apps. “As more states and cities around the world explore reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, Apple and Google have struggled to keep up with the flood of third-party contact-tracing apps in their respective app stores. Now, New York Attorney General Letitia James is urging both companies to impose stricter protections for consumers.”

ProPublica: The Secret, Absurd World of Coronavirus Mask Traders and Middlemen Trying To Get Rich Off Government Money

ProPublica: The Secret, Absurd World of Coronavirus Mask Traders and Middlemen Trying To Get Rich Off Government Money. “My descent into the pandemic PPE trade began with the story of one federal contractor whose failed attempt to find and sell N95 masks in a $34.5 million deal with the VA involved a private jet and the former attorney general of Alabama. The contract was ultimately canceled and referred to the inspector general for investigation. After the story ran and the federal inquiry began, my social media and email inboxes exploded with messages from people claiming to have giant stockpiles of masks or to know a guy who knows a guy with a stockpile.”

The Asian Age: Google detects coronavirus-themed phishing attacks by firms in India posing as WHO, banks

The Asian Age: Google detects coronavirus-themed phishing attacks by firms in India posing as WHO, banks. “Hack-for-hire firms, many of them based in India, are creating accounts spoofing the World Health Organisation (WHO) and targeting business leaders in financial services, consulting, and healthcare corporations in the US, the UK and Bahrain among other countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by Google.”

WRAL Tech Wire: Google rolls out ‘Scam Spotter,’ a new tool to combat online fraud

WRAL Tech Wire: Google rolls out ‘Scam Spotter,’ a new tool to combat online fraud. “Google is teaming with the Cybercrime Support Network in an effort to crack down on internet and phone fraud – which has surged during COVID-19 – with a new initiative called ‘Scam Spotter.’ Unveiled today, the program provides advice to help people identify and protect themselves from scams.”

Ubergizmo: Facebook Messenger Will Now Start Warning Users About Scams And Impersonations

Ubergizmo: Facebook Messenger Will Now Start Warning Users About Scams And Impersonations. “For example when receiving a message from a stranger, Messenger will show you a warning that offers some advice, like refusing requests to send money. For instances where an account that has been created to look like someone you know, Messenger will also warn users that this account appears to be similar to someone you know and that the person you’re chatting with might not actually be your friend.”

Vox Recode: Facebook Messenger will now try to fight scammers without reading your messages

Vox Recode: Facebook Messenger will now try to fight scammers without reading your messages. “Facebook Messenger is rolling out a new tool to prevent scammers and imposters on its platform. The company will use artificial intelligence to help identify these potential bad actors and provide safety notices to users about messages from shady accounts.”

CNET: FTC warns of COVID-19 contact tracing text message scams

CNET: FTC warns of COVID-19 contact tracing text message scams. “The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday warned the public about scammers taking advantage of contact tracing to steal your information. Contact tracers are generally hired by a state’s department of public health. If a tracer contacts you, they won’t ask for personal information. If the person contacting you is asking for money or sensitive information like your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number, it’s a scam.”