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  • FBI Exposes Criminals Collaborating with Shipping Companies for Cash Collection

    The FBI has recently issued a warning that the menacing technical support scammers are surging in numbers, and they are back at it again, but this time with an entirely different approach.

     While these tech support scams have been going around for as long as people can remember, the latest warning issued by the FBI states that these technical support scammers are now collaborating with shipping companies, targeting older citizens. 

     A public announcement that was issued by the FBI states, “The FBI is warning all citizens of the latest nationwide rise in tech support scams targeted towards older citizens, where scammers are seen instructing their possible victims to wrap cash in a magazine(s) and ship it via shipping companies,”  

     They seem to have parted ways from their conventional strategy, which is asking their innocent victims to transfer funds via wire-fund, cryptocurrencies, and various gift cards, and now use magazines and shipping companies to carry out their despicable scam.

     It is clearly visible that the victims are mostly elderly citizens who aren’t caught up with the digital world or are easy prey to manipulation. 

     According to the FBI, “ The elderly citizens are targeted by these technical support scammers through texts, email, phone calls, and deceptive pop-up windows while acting as representatives of a legitimate company.”

     “The Tech Support Scammers initiate contact with their target via these communication lines, convincing the elderly citizens by informing them that they have been victims to fraudulent activity or have a potential refund from a subscription service that is due.”

    It has been observed that once the initial persuasion is successful, the tech support scammers then convince their victims that they’re there to help them fix the supposed “issue” and send them a phone number to call on for their assistance.

     Since these tech scammers pose as legitimate company representatives with a rehearsed script that has been used a number of times, it doesn’t take much to persuade their elderly victims genuinely.

     “The scammers request the victims to give them access to their computers in order to deposit the full refund or funds that they are due directly into the bank accounts when on call,”  the FBI in their public service announcement added.

     Typically, the scammers persuade their victims to download a remote access software, which allows them to gain full control of their victim’s computers. After downloading the software, the victims are convinced to log into their bank accounts to start the process.

     Once the crooks have all the access, they “accidentally” send money that is considerably higher than what the agreed refund amount was and then proceed to ask the victim to return the extra, or they lose their jobs.

     The elderly people fail to understand that their account balance is manipulated with the access of their computer and that the payment never actually happened; the victims succumb to the scammer's manipulative tactics and thereby lose money!

     In the past, the transaction usually occurred using digital money via the earlier mentioned payment methods, which are wire transfers, cryptocurrencies, and gift cards; scammers recently have switched to cash concealed within a magazine(s) or other items alike that are sent via shipping companies.

     The FBI added, “The tech support scammers instruct the victims to ship the packages that contain the agreed amount of money to retail businesses and pharmacies that can receive packages from shipping companies.”

     With no clear evidence, many speculations exist on why these tech support scammers have recently switched to cash instead of digital money. However, it has been suggested that avoiding detection has become more difficult through other means.

     In the recent public service announcement that the FBI issued through the IC3 website (Internet Crime Complaint Center), elderly citizens and citizens, in general, were cautioned and were provided with instructions on how to protect themselves from these scammers. 

     “Elderly citizens are advised never to download any kind of software requested by an unknown individual that may have recently or are currently contacting you. Individuals are also advised not to allow any unknown person to have control of your computer.”

     “Unsolicited pop-ups, links sent through texts, attachments, or email links are not to be clicked on, and never contact any phone number in an email, text, or pop-up. In addition, never send cash via shipping companies or mail,” further informed the FBI.

    In addition, the FBI encourages and requests each victim of these suspicious or fraudulent activities to report it without any hesitation to the FBIs official Internet Crime Complaint Center website, www.ic3.gov.

     Victims are advised to add as much information as possible when reporting these crimes. 

    “Individuals are requested to add the name of the company or person that contacted you, the method of communication used- emails, phone numbers or websites, the recipient name(s) and the address the cash was shipped to” 

    Author DeepWeb
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