Online scammers are turning analog to steal users' money

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 766   +259
Facepalm: The FBI has issued an alert regarding a new type of online fraud that involves perpetrators requesting victims to send money through shipping companies. This tactic combines digital and analog methods, and could make even the most gullible adults have a doubt or two.

Online scams are usually finalized once the victim sends money via bank transfer, cryptocurrency, gift card codes, or other kinds of digital transactions. The FBI is now warning against a novel variation to this traditional scheme, where fraud attempts come with instructions to send actual cash to a given address.

The FBI alert states that there has been a recent nationwide increase in technical support scams specifically targeting "older adults." Scammers pretend to be tech support representatives, reaching out to potential victims through phone calls, text or email messages, or even pop-up windows on their PCs, asking the targets to call a provided phone number.

The scammers then inform the target that they are owed a refund, but the only way to receive the money is to download a remote assistance program. After the download is complete and a connection is established, the victim is persuaded to log into their bank account – the very same account to which the scammers are purportedly sending the refund.

But the scammers claim that the money sent was a larger sum than intended. As a result, they ask the target to send back the excess money, or else they will lose their "job." However, the requested money must be shipped in the form of cash bundles wrapped in magazine paper.

The FBI provides some useful (albeit trivial) tips to prevent this kind of fraud, such as avoiding downloading software when asked to do so by unknown individuals, never allowing a stranger to remotely access your computer, and refraining from clicking on unsolicited pop-ups, links sent via text messages, or email links.

The agency also points to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a web service where potential fraud victims can file a complaint or report suspicious activity.

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Putting aside for a moment that from the gitgo, this whole thing reeks of a scam, I have to wonder if any of these targeted "older adults" who fall for this garbage ever think to check their bank account to verify if any deposit even occurred, as the scammers claim. If they do that, and see there is no "deposit", why would anyone with even a marginally-functional brain agree to bundle up cash and send it anywhere?

Something's wrong with this picture. Anyone so braindead they can't see through this sort of thing deserves to be victimized. Darwin was right.
"could make even the most gullible adults have a doubt or two"

You must have meant "least gullible". And even that's kinda clumsy fyi.
Before any more people get full of any more "why would anyone" remarks: I have a friend who has acquired brain damage. To anyone who does not know her, and most who do, she appears "normal", whatever that might be. A simple phone call claiming to be from a telco, not even the one she was with, had her downloading software so scammers could take over her bank account. Thats how easy it is for someone with unseen and unnoticed disabilities to be taken advantage of, a scammer's dream come true!
We all have weaknesses of one kind or another, inability to discriminate can be one, so is greed, lack of empathy, gullibility, or whatever, and scammers rely on this. They only have to make a successful hit every now and then for the scam to be profitable. The rest of us are just lucky that so far our own weak points have not left us vulnerable, and poorer.
There is a lot of "older adults" with dementia or Alzheimer's that are susceptible to scams! I have a friend that I help that is 89 and he has me go through his junk mail.I tell him if he gets a phone call and they have an Indian accent, hang up!😁 His credit cards got hacked a while back because of a 40 year that was renting a room from him that believes in the "tooth Fairy"! The 40 year old asked to do a $5 charge on my friends card so he could get a "Free pressure washer" he supposedly won!🤬That is how they got my friend card number!, luckily my friend checks his accounts all the time and had me dispute the charges and get new cards!😁