Identity Fraud Scams

December 9, 2012 |  by  |  Linkedin Blog

Identity fraud has already cost the UK economy £1.7 billion and every security expert I know, is certain this figure is going to rise significantly.

Savvy organised criminals and terrorists have identified business social media platforms as their latest ‘Victim Hunting Ground.’

As the world’s most professional online business social media network with nearly 200 million business members it was only a matter of time before Linkedin succumbed to the organised criminals and terrorists seeking easy prey.

Police Woman

Identity fraud theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK. Internet business scams and Nigerian scams fall into the category of business fraud, new scams perpetrated by organised criminals. They are set up specifically to target theft of identity. Just about every security expert warns business owners to be vigilant towards business cheats & business scams & nearly all of them suggest purchasing business & personal identity fraud insurance to prevent fraud.

How does a perpetrator begin to steal your identity? There are way too many variants to cover in this article, but a typical method is to play on your greed and/or your desire to help someone out who appears to be in grave distress.

Increasingly organised crime and terrorist bosses are targeting business owners Internally through Linkedin. They set up bogus profiles and then once they have connected with people, they post them variants of the Nigerian scam e-mails which proliferate through cyber space.

The bad guys also trawl through their Linkedin connection list and copy the Linkedin members personal or listed business e-mail address. Guess what these e-mail lists are sold or traded between multiple organised crime and terrorist organisations.

These crooks and terrorists are smart as they know people are far more likely to open up e-mails sent internally via the Linkedin platform because business members feel a certain level of misplaced trust towards Linkedin members who are in their 1st level connection base.

As a working security expert I receive many enquiries from individuals and business owners who have been contacted by business cheats via www.linkedin.com and through other outlets promoting their version of internet business scams and/or Nigerian scams. In all my dealings with these clients I believe the very best way to avoid your theft of identity and to prevent fraud is to simply report all business scams as spam to your Internet provider and delete all business fraud, new scams immediately.

Never save them for future reading, because these organised criminals know it’s a percentage game. If a hundred people save one of these e-mails offering you a large sum of money, then at least one or two innocent people will be tempted enough to respond.

If a hundred people eventually respond, then one or two will actually be taken in by this type of business fraud scam. When you consider that these criminal gangs are highly organised and technically savvy enough to send out millions of these e-mails every week, then the number of victims can be staggering.

This means that despite world-wide condemnation of these internet business scams, individuals, and more recently lots of business owners are falling victim of identity fraud theft.

Never forward one of these business fraud, new scams to friends and business associates, because no matter how intelligent your think your friends and associates may be, you will be surprised to learn that you are in fact acting as an unpaid sales and marketing executive for organised crime gangs running business scams and/or Nigerian scams. You also may not realise how vulnerable your friends are, and they may be one of the one percent who respond to these business cheats.

If this happens then one of the following things may happen to your friend or business associate.

1: They will fall victim to theft of identity.

2: They will fall victim to identity fraud.

3: Any money in their bank account will be stolen.

4: Their identity will be utilised for other illegal and fraudulent activities.

5: They may be kidnapped for ransom.

6: They may be executed by organised criminals or terrorists.

To understand the sheer ferocity with which business owners are being targeted by internet business scams structured around theft of identity, I have included the following two examples of many business scams received this week at our www.linkedin.eu security expert office.

They are written verbatim.

Theft Of Identity Business Scams # 1 Paraguay – November 24

Hello,

I am very happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund transferred under the co-operation of a new partner from Paraguay. Presently I am in Paraguay for investment projects with my own share of the total sum.

Now you will need to contact the Rev Father whom used to be a God-father to me when i was in Dakar, his name is Rev john and his EMAIL ADDRESS is as follows: ( revjohn.adams@hotmail.com )

Ask him to send you a certified bank draft of ($100.000.00) which I prepared and kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much. so feel free and get in touched with Rev john-Adams and instruct him where to send you the draft cheque.

Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share our joy and happiness after all the sufferings at that time.

In the moment, I am very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to Rev john on your behalf to receive that money.
Yours Truly,
Tacko

Theft Of Identity Business Scams # 2 Burkina Tunisia & Faso West Africa – November 24

From Mrs. Christabel Brown

Dear God’s elect,
I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears In my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, My Name is Mrs Christabel Brown,, and I am contacting you from my country Tunisia I want to tell you this because I don’t have any other option than to tell you as I was touched to open up to you, I married to Mr. Brown Smith who worked with Tunisia embassy in Burkina Faso for nine years before he died in the year 2005.

We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. Since his death I decided not to remarry, When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$ 8.5m (Eight Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars) in a bank in Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso in west Africa Presently this money is still in bank.

Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of seven months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to hand you over this money to take care of the less-privileged people, you will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.

I want you to take 30 Percent of the total money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to charity, people in the street and helping the orphanage. I grew up as an Orphan and I don’t have anybody as my family member, just to endeavour that the house of God is maintained. Am doing this so that God will forgive my sins and accept my soul because these sicknesses have suffered me so much.

When I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in Burkina Faso and I’ll instruct my lawyer to issue you authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of the money in the bank that is if you assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to receive your reply:
From Mrs. Christabel Brown

As a security professional, the very best advice I can offer to all Linkedin members who receive e-mails or Linkedin In-mails promoting these type of scams, is to immediately flag it as spam and report it to Linkedin’s customer services department or the Linkedin Risk & Privacy teams.

You can view an example of a privacy policy here.

Never respond to these e-mails and never forward them to anyone of your business contacts. Why? Because this type of scam is a numbers game and if you forward it to anyone you are directly helping organised crime and or terrorist organisations by providing an unpaid marketing service for them.

But every security expert I know understands that the real reason you should not forward these communications to your friends or business associates, is because they might not be as smart as you, and personal greed might just push them towards responding to the scammers.

If they do, then guess what? GAME OVER!

Dr. Mark D. Yates

Dr. Mark D. Yates is a global #1 LinkedIn consultancy business growth specialist, LinkedIn speaker, LinkedIn Sign & LinkedIn training instructor & CEO of Link Business Marketing Ltd. If you need to hire a LinkedIn expert to help you gain profitable business growth, contact him. Tel: UK 0203 390 2013 Email: drmarkdyates@aol.com, connect with him on LinkedIn & Twitter You can view & download his dynamic independent LinkedIn training program at: linkedinswat.co.uk.

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