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fraud

Those with long memories will remember the well-worn name of Andre Coker. It's been used in a variety of spam-scams but, at least insofar as it's reached us, been unused for some time. But it's back and Andre is a woman now.

It's been modified from the advance fee fraud e-mails that we are used to and someone has been to writing lessons.

It starts with an unusual approach, then moves into the same technique as we've seen from this name dozens of times over many years.

Oh, and he uses UN.ORG as the "from" address. Cheeky.

FCRO Subsection: 

This spam-scam is fascinating: it looks like an old telex message. Very clever.

But it's still an obvious fraud when you read it.

BIScom Subsection: 

This morning, a spam-scam arrived claiming that a subscription had been renewed.

Then a few minutes later, we came across a news article that had something in common.

Is it pure coincidence?

FCRO Subsection: 

The Journal of Clinical Investigation is a genuine scientific journal.

However, fraudsters have used its name to attract attention to a rogue website.

World Remit (www.worldremit.com) says that it has learned that there are at least two fake websites.

CoNet Section: 

The Carbolic Smoke Ball case gave carte blanch for businesses to lie so long as they didn't go too far.

But that related to the efficacy of their products.

Here's an extraordinarily blatant lie that is so common that it's a surprise that it's not stamped on as a matter of policy.

FCRO Subsection: 

More than 100 people put more than USD10 million dollars into, amongst other things, a fake food business. That's a lot of money on average so we can assume these were not stupid people. George S. Blankenbaker Jr., 56 found a honey hole and worked it hard. His reward is jail.

That's not the end of the story...

In a criminal prosecution brought by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, ASIC, the financial regulator, two out of five criminal charges brought against an alleged fraudster were dropped because the witnesses in those cases became "unavailable." The charges related to conducting an unauthorised financial services business and to soliciting moneys which were used improperly.

Nevertheless, the accused has pleaded guilty to the remaining three charges at the door of the court before his trial commenced yesterday.

It's a long and convoluted story across years and jurisdictions as well as various enforcement agencies.

From an SEC press notice, 13th July 2021 (slightly edited)

"The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced [proceedings] against special purpose acquisition corporation Stable Road Acquisition Company, its sponsor SRC-NI, its CEO Brian Kabot, the SPAC’s proposed merger target Momentus Inc., and Momentus’ founder and former CEO Mikhail Kokorich [alleging] misleading claims about Momentus’ technology and about national security risks associated with Kokorich. "

BIScom Subsection: 

"So far this year scammers have stolen more than AUD7.2 million from Australians by gaining access to home computers, an increase of 184 per cent compared to the same period last year." So says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Contrary to the common "phishing e-mail" approach, many instances start with a phone call. And just to make it worse, they are targeting phones: you know, those things that contain your financial apps and are used as "tokens" or for SMS confirmations by your bank.

CoNet Section: 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued civil proceedings against Matthew J. Skinner of Santa Clarita, California and five entities he owns and controls – Empire West Equity Inc., Bayside Equity LP, Longacre Estates LP, Freedom Equity Fund LLC, and Simple Growth LLC – for conducting four unregistered and fraudulent real estate investment offerings between 2015 and 2020, through which, it is alleged, he raised more than USD9 million from over 100 investors.

The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission has frozen the accounts of a foreign registered fund operated by two US residents.

BIScom Subsection: 

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