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Attacks/Breaches

10/28/2016
10:50 AM
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US Charges Several In India Call Center Scam

Authorities file charges against 61 in a phone fraud that cheated 15,000 out of $250 million via identity theft and impersonation.

A massive phone scam, which cheated around 15,000 people out of over $250 million, has been busted by US and Indian authorities and 61, including 20 in the US, are charged with the crime, reports The Washington Post. The scheme involved fake calls from call centers in India with the accused posing as officials from the Internal Revenue Service or immigration services and threatening victims with arrest and penalties if not paid outstanding tax dues.

According to the US Justice Department, scammers in India worked in tandem with co-conspirators in the US to steal personal details of victims from Facebook and other online sources and make the calls which had US government caller ID. The money forced out of their victims was used to buy prepaid debit cards or sent outside the US illegally.

The defendants, arrested on charges including identity theft and wire fraud, also cheated victims out of so-called deposit money in promise for a loan or grant.

Leslie Caldwell of the Justice Department said official agencies would never call to seek dues. “If you get one of these calls,” she said, “it is not the U.S. government calling you.”

For more, read here.

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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
10/30/2016 | 12:41:23 PM
No, YOU prove YOUR identity.
Reminds me of when I got a phone call from someone purporting to be my health-insurance carrier asking me to "verify" my information -- including address, SSN, etc..

Considering they telephoned me, and considering that the number they were calling from was not a telephone number known to me to be associated w/ my carrier, I refused.  The huffy person on the other end of the line appeared put out.

I then called my insurance company on the number I knew to be correct to ask them about it.  Unfortunately, it's such a big bureaucracy that I couldn't even get through to someone who could even tell me whether or not the call was legitimate for sure.

Because my insurance company was so bureaucratic and stupid, I wouldn't put it past them to have such stupid practices -- but it's also just as likely (at least) that it was a malfeasor's bit of social engineering.  In any case, nothing bad happened to me because I refused to "verify" my information.

People calling you asking you to "verify" your information is the slightly more sophisticated social-engineering equivalent of someone calling you and after you say hello, the other person on the line immediately says, "Who's this?"  YOU CALLED ME.  >:P
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