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Author Topic: HOWTO track down a Fake Invoice con-artist: A Story in 4 Parts and counting  (Read 3030 times)
mouser
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« on: September 18, 2011, 10:08:53 AM »

From BoingBoing via MetaFilter comes this 4 part story on how one businessman with a background in investigations got mad at a con artist scammer that sent him a fake invoice:

Quote
I mentioned yesterday that my firm received what I believe to be a fraudulent pseudo-invoice for services not rendered. It appeared to be a variation on the classic toner scam, discussed here.

For some reason, this one seriously pisses me off. Maybe its because the fraud is so blatant. Maybe it’s because the weasel-worded disclaimer designed to give them a defense to fraud claims is so perfunctory and lame. Maybe it’s because after I sent an email to the scammer’s lawyer, the scammer himself called me and tried to run a con on me. Like I’m a fucking rube.

So. I’ve decided to dedicate some time and money to investigating this scam and the people and companies responsible for it. I’ve also decided to write about the investigation, and use it as an opportunity to discuss con man culture and how anyone with an internet connection, a few bucks, and some time can investigate an attempted scam — or, preferably, conduct due diligence on a suspected scammer before they can even try to con you.




Note: The series isn't complete yet, so additional parts are forthcoming.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 10:31:02 AM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2011, 10:26:41 AM »

I'm only half way through, but one really nice thing about this write up is that the author is trying to teach how to track down scammers while he explains what he did.
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sulasno
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2011, 10:40:18 AM »

I won't waste time tracking scammers but instead bring them on a wild goose chase lol

I would waste their time while having fun
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J-Mac
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2011, 01:18:14 PM »

Nice find mouser. Good read!

Jim
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J-Mac
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2011, 04:27:56 PM »

The sad thing is that these people have probably made so much money that *if* they are ever actually caught, whatever penalty they receive will make the endeavor worth it. And that's the state of white collar crime prosecution in this country. It is almost as if white collar crime isn't a crime at all. Anything anybody can do to make a buck is fair game. Sick.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 04:34:02 PM by db90h » Logged
Deozaan
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 05:10:38 AM »

I just read all 5 articles (and maybe more are forthcoming?) and it was a good read. Thanks!
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2011, 06:27:30 AM »

Just read installments 1 through 6.

Bloody hell! Is this guy ever driven... tellme

I'm gonna make it a point to never "seriously piss off" this Ken guy without good reason. Grin

« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 06:33:21 AM by 40hz » Logged

Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2011, 06:47:14 AM »

Bloody hell! Is this guy ever driven... tellme

I'm gonna make it a point to never "seriously piss off" this Ken guy without good reason. Grin

re alleged harrassment of someone mentioned in the articles:
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Ask yourself: based on this series, what is Ken likely to do to me if I use the information in his posts to behave badly?

 Grin link
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Tom
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 07:38:16 AM »

@tomos - yeah I saw that. And I'm inclined to agree with his guess it's all made up.

Any business that was affected by this scammer would be far more likely to just go in with Ken and forward any evidence they have to him. Because with the Feds involved, all you'll want to do is grab some popcorn, sit back, and watch the show.

I have seen the US Postal Inspectors in action. They're an awesome and highly professional group of lawmen/women. And I've also seen what the FTC can do when they decide to do some 'wilding' on a company they suspect of violating the law.

From what I observed, there's little anybody could do to cause more pain and suffering for a scammer than drawing the wrath these two agencies down upon them.
 Thmbsup

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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
kyrathaba
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 09:01:38 PM »

My favorite part of the whole series:

Quote
A quick trip to www.ustdevelopment.com, the web site listed on the solicitation, gives us more terms. First, I note (as piperTom, in comments, already has) that the url redirects to a web site called www.us-telecom.com. That’s not the last we’ll hear of that name. From the website, after noting the awful design and architecture (typical of fraudsters; they’re cheap and they think they’re web designers), we add some email addresses to our search term list
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