The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued a report based on information from law enforcement and complaints submitted to the IC3. The following information details recent cyber crime trends and new twists to previously-existing cyber scams.
Fake Political Survey
The IC3 has been notified of a scam involving telephone calls conducting a multiple-choice "political survey." Following the survey, the recipients are told they have won a free cruise to the Bahamas. After providing a website address for legitimacy, the caller requests the "winner's" email address for notification purposes and credit card information to cover port fees. The website has very limited information, but does contain a few photos, testimonials and a "Caribbean Line" banner in an attempt to convince visitors it is legitimate.
The IC3 has received several complaints regarding a phonebook website. Complainants reported that anyone could post other individuals’ information. Some reported being verbally bullied, had uncensored comments, or false accusations posted about them. Personal information that could be listed on the website included full name, unlisted cell phone numbers, email addresses, direct links to a person's private Facebook account, and any other information or photos someone wants to add. The website also allows users to anonymously call anyone listed on the site directly from the web, as well as track them with GPS.
Free Credit Service Website
The IC3 has received over 2,000 complaints regarding a particular website that is claiming to offer free credit services such as credit scores and credit monitoring. Customers reported being charged a monthly service fee. However, the terms of the agreement advised that the "free" report only lasts for a limited time. At the end of the free term, the website used the customer's supplied financial information to charge a monthly membership service ranging from $19.95 to $29.95.
The terms and agreement from the website states the following:
"For Subscription Services which include a free-trial period, if you do not cancel your free trial within the free trial period, you will be charged at the monthly rate in effect at that time for the Subscription Services for which you enrolled. Your debit or credit card (including, if applicable, as automatically updated by your card provider following expiration or change in account number) will continue to be charged each month at the applicable monthly rate unless and until you cancel the Subscription Services."
The website, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has been given an F rating for the following reasons:
- 1037 complaints filed against the business.
- 8 complaints filed against the business that were not resolved.
- 17 serious complaints filed against business.
- Advertising issues found by the BBB.