Miami Herald: Republicans want to muzzle database of consumer complaints . “U.S. consumers filed nearly 300,000 complaints last year about their dealings with banks, credit card issuers and other financial services companies. Most of those complaints were compiled and made available for anyone to see as part of a database administered by the federal government. But Republicans working to overhaul the financial regulation law known as Dodd-Frank want to bar publication of information from that database, which industry groups have long criticized as potentially misleading and incomplete.”
Krebs on Security: How Cybercrooks Put the Beatdown on My Beats. “Last month Yours Truly got snookered by a too-good-to-be-true online scam in which some dirtball hijacked an Amazon merchant’s account and used it to pimp steeply discounted electronics that he never intended to sell. Amazon refunded my money, and the legitimate seller never did figure out how his account was hacked. But such attacks are becoming more prevalent of late as crooks increasingly turn to online crimeware services that make it a cakewalk to cash out stolen passwords.”
Gizmodo: How to Spot a Link You Shouldn’t Click On. “Even as our tech gets increasingly sophisticated and intelligent, sometimes it’s falling for the oldest tricks in the book that breach the security walls we’ve put in place—like clicking on dodgy links or shady attachments that we shouldn’t. You don’t have to get tripped up by these simplest of scams though, if you know what you’re looking for.” Covers lots of scenarios, though I would have liked more external tools.
New Scientist: Thousands of fake companies added to Google Maps every month. “Local businesses on Google Maps aren’t always as local as they seem. Tens of thousands of bogus listings are added to Google Maps every month, directing browsing traffic towards fraudulent schemes, finds a team of researchers at Google and the University of San Diego, California.”
From the US Embassy in Haiti: Haitian National Police (HNP) and U.S. Embassy Target Fake Facebook Pages Defrauding Visa Applicants. “In a joint effort between the HNP and the U.S. Embassy, Embassy staff worked with Facebook to remove three profiles that were impersonating the U.S. Embassy. The fraudulent profiles, which included ‘Ambassy usa in haiti’ and ‘Ambassade des Etats unis en Haiti port au prince,’ advertised fake visa programs. Applicants were directed to non-Embassy telephone numbers to reach people who pretended to be Embassy employees. These profiles were fraudulent and several dozen Haitian citizens lost hundreds of dollars each by transferring money to bank accounts in the scam, lured with the promise that their visas would be automatically approved for a training program or scholarship opportunity.”
Sydney Morning Herald: Scientists outwit predatory publishers by tricking them into appointing a fake editor. “Has there ever been a more impressive academic than Dr Anna O. Szust? The prolific polymath has been appointed editor at almost 50 academic journals covering a mind-boggling array of scientific fields. The problem is, Dr Szust does not exist.”
The Verge: Facebook, Twitter, and Google must remove scams or risk legal action, says EU. “Navigating your way around the internet may seem intuitive if you’ve grown up with access to it most of your life — but for those who are just beginning to use social media platforms, it can be hard to detect scam from the constant stream of information. The European Commission has taken a step to prevent these types of web-based consumer fraud, ordering companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to address and prevent them from appearing on their sites.”