police

FBI Busts The Biggest Counterfeit Coupon Ring Ever

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/massive-counterfeit-coupon-ring-busted-in-arizona-2012-7

cbs

Early Tuesday morning, federal officials raided four Phoenix, Ariz. properties, seized 21 cars and arrested three women accused of running the largest counterfeit coupon ring in the country. 

The mission involved a joint effort by the FBI, local police, and a roster of manufacturing giants that included Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Hershey, which were among dozens affected by the scheme, according to industry watchdog Coupon Information Corp.

During the bust, police uncovered more than $25 million worth of bogus coupons and confiscated 22 assault weapons, along with a 40-foot boat, local law enforcement told CBS 5.

“These aren’t ’50 cent off’ coupons. These are ‘free item’ coupons,” Police Sergeant Dave Lake said. “For Iams, you get this coupon from her for $10 and you can get a $70 item…If you can get an unlimited number of those, think how this grows.”

Unraveling the scheme

There’s no telling how badly businesses were burned, but police estimate they’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars. Here’s how manufactures helped tip investigators off to the fraud, according to AZ Central:

“Police said approximately four years ago high-quality copies of manufacturer’s coupons began surfacing in the United States from an unknown source. The victim companies teamed with Coupon Information Corp. and hired private investigators to find where the coupons were being sold in the country. The investigators found several market re-entry points, with the most prolific one located in Arizona.” 

That’s where Robin Ramirez, 46, Amico Fountain, 42, and Marilyn Johnson, 62, allegedly ran the bulk of their business, using a fake website and eBay to sell consumers fraudulent coupons at a deeply discounted rate.

How the plan worked

In order to receive the free or discounted coupons, users were “invited” to join the site and given a 100 percent guaranteed return if the deals were rejected at the point of sale.

“They were selling millions of dollars worth of coupons on (eBay) in addition to SavvyShoppersite.com,” CIC Executive Director Bud Miller told AZ Central.

The website domain may sound familiar. “Savvy Shopper” magazine sends out real coupons to consumers each week, but officials say the scammers simply borrowed the brand to make their scheme seem more legitimate. 

While none of the consumers who purchased the coupons will face charges, counterfeit coupons could easily land the people and businesses that unwittingly purchase them in hot water.

Coupon buyers expose themselves to the possibility of becoming involved with counterfeits, stolen property or other criminal activities,” Miller said in a statement. “They may also expose themselves to additional risk by providing their names, home addresses and financial information to organized crime rings.”

The key to avoiding counterfeit coupons is simple: Don’t buy them. 

Here are some other tips CIC passes along to consumers:

-Beware of invalid disclaimers, such as “You not paying for the coupons, but for the time and effort it took to clip them.”
-Be wary of any coupon emailed to you by anyone but the manufacturer or its authorized distributor
-If a coupon is visible on a computer screen, it is probably counterfeit
-Free product coupons are seldom, if ever, distributed on the Internet.

DON’T MISS: 13 clever uses for household items > 

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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 news No Comments

Fraudsters Now Using 3D Printers To Make Authentic Looking ATM Skimmers [Scams]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5866491/fraudsters-now-using-3d-printers-to-make-authentic-looking-atm-skimmers

Fraudsters Now Using 3D Printers To Make Authentic Looking ATM SkimmersWhat looks like the card slot from a Chase Bank ATM is actually a sophisticated card skimmer removed from a branch in West Hills, California. And police believe a 3D printer may have been used to create it.

Those green bulbous card slots that were supposed to make it very difficult for a card skimmer to be attached to an ATM have turned out to be just a minor inconvenience for sophisticated thieves. Investigators believe this skimmer—which perfectly fits over the ATM’s regular slot— was created from a mould that came from a 3D printer. Which means those behind this particular ATM scheme had some very expensive tools at their disposal.

Fraudsters Now Using 3D Printers To Make Authentic Looking ATM SkimmersIn addition to being a perfect replica of the ATM’s standard card slot, this skimmer incorporates a small pinhole camera that starts recording the PIN pad whenever a card is inserted. On the underside is a series of holes that investigators believe allowed the thieves to download data and footage, but the complex electronics on the inside may have been salvaged from a cellphone, giving this skimmer wireless connectivity. So in the future, like in many situations, make sure you take a good look at the hardware before you stick your thing in the slot. [KrebsonSecurity via BoingBoing]


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Friday, December 9th, 2011 news No Comments

What is Web 3.0? Characteristics of Web 3.0

2009 06 16 What Is Web 3.0

2009 06 16 What Is Web 3.0 – Presentation Transcript

  1. What is Web 3.0? Dr. Augustine Fou June 16, 2009. June 16, 2009.
  2. Evolution of the Internet microprocessor 40 yrs 10 yrs 20 yrs 5 yrs present web internet 2.5 yrs social networks e-commerce 1.5 yrs Web 1.0 Web 2.0 Web 3.0? June 16, 2009.
  3. Evolution of the “Web” content commerce search social networks social content social search social commerce As each stage reaches critical mass, the next stage is tipped into present June 16, 2009.
  4. Key Characteristics present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • Speedy
    • more timely information and more efficient tools to find information
    • Collaborative
    • actions of users amass, police, and prioritize content
    • Trust-worthy
    • users establish trust networks and hone trust radars
    • Content
    • content destination sites and personal portals
    • Search
    • critical mass of content drives need for search engines
    • Commerce
    • commerce goes mainstream; digital goods rise
    • Ubiquitous
    • available at any time, anywhere, through any channel or device
    • Individualized
    • filtered and shared by friends or trust networks
    • Efficient
    • relevant and contextual information findable instantly

June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – retail/shopping present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • what friends bought or want to buy
    • drag-to-share items which friends know friends are looking for
    • item collections
    • value in the aggregation

overstock.com amazon.com FB app: MyFaveThings

    • contextual reviews
    • reviews of reviews
    • what others bought
    • individualized recommendations

June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – social networks present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • aggregates all your online identities
    • syndicates all your updates to all social networks
    • social actions visible to friends
    • trust networks across geography, time, and interests
    • collection of personal homepages

geocities.com facebook.com peoplebrowsr.com June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – restaurant reviews present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • Yelp content vetted through a user’s trust network and individual recommendations made based on situation and need, in real-time
    • user submitted reviews
    • related items based on similarity of user preferences
    • infrequent publication
    • centralized editorial control

zagat‘s yelp need reco for great Italian + GPS + Yelp 5-star Babbo, been there, love it June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – photos present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • real-time, contextual “do you like this knit shirt?”
    • friends give immediate feedback
    • share photos with friends and strangers
    • enable visitors to tag and comment
    • individual albums

kodakgallery.com flickr.com ? June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – real estate present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • information vetted by fellow users, recommended directly an in context
    • listings plus relevant information like school zones, comparable sales, alerts
    • listings based on parameters

corcoran.com streeteasy.com trulia iphone app June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – encyclopedia present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • content is ubiquitous and available through any channel or device
    • trust network proactively forwards relevant info to user who needs it
    • created, updated, and edited (policed) by user actions
    • digitized version of printed encyclopedia

britannica.com wikipedia.com chacha.com June 16, 2009.

  1. Illustrative Examples – online coupons present web 1.0 web 2.0 web 3.0
    • coupons delivered contextually and proactively when user needs it (without the user even asking for it)
    • instant feedback
    • community action makes it more accurate and useful for others
    • collection of online coupons – value in the aggregation

dealcatcher.com retailmenot.com June 16, 2009.

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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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