Cyber Criminals Using Photo-Sharing Programs to Compromise Computers
05/30/13—The FBI has seen an increase in cyber criminals who use online photo-sharing programs to perpetrate scams and harm victims’ computers. These criminals advertise vehicles online but will not provide pictures in the advertisement. They will send photos on request. Sometimes the photo is a single file sent as an e-mail attachment, and sometimes the victim receives a link to an online photo gallery.The photos can and often contain malicious software that infects the victim’s computer, directing the user to fake websites that look nearly identical to the real sites where the original advertisement was seen.
The cyber criminals run all aspects of these fake websites, including “tech support” or “live chat support” and any “recommended” escrow services. After the victim agrees to purchase the item and makes the payment, the criminals stop responding to correspondence. The victims never receive any merchandise.
The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online. Here are a few tips for staying safe:
Be cautious if you lose an auction on an auction site but the seller contacts you later saying the original bidder fell through.
Make sure websites are secure and authenticated before you purchase an item online. Use only well-known escrow services.
Research to determine if a car dealership is real and how long it has been in business.
Be wary if the price for the item you’d like to buy is severely undervalued; if it is, the item is likely fraudulent.
Scan files before downloading them to your computer.
Keep your computer software, including the operating system, updated with the latest patches.
Ensure your anti-virus software and firewalls are current—they can help prevent malware infections.
If you have fallen victim to this type of scam, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
FBI's Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending May 31, 2013
New York/Houston: Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Conspiring with Iranian Military Officials to Assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States
Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen holding both Iranian and U.S. passports, previously pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries. Full Story
Albuquerque: Governor Martinez’s Former Campaign Manager Indicted on Computer Intrusion and False Statement Charges
The charges against Jamie Estrada arose from the interception of wire communications intended for others, including the governor and members of her staff. Full Story
San Antonio: Former Cameron County District Attorney Convicted in Connection with South Texas Bribery Scheme
Armando Villalobos solicited and accepted more than $100,000 in bribes and kickbacks in the form of cash and campaign contributions in return for favorable acts of prosecutorial discretion. Full Story
Las Vegas: Former Nevada Lobbyist Convicted of Making Unlawful Senate Campaign Contributions
F. Harvey Whittemore devised a scheme to unlawfully use family members, employees, and their spouses as conduits to funnel more than $130,000 of his own money to the campaign. Full Story
New York: Former Corporate Officers of China-Based Oil and Gas Company Charged with Fraud and False Statements
Wang Hongjun and Chao Jiang, both Chinese citizens residing in the United States, are alleged to have misappropriated approximately $1,265,000 in offering proceeds by wiring the money to bank accounts in the name of their family members. Full Story
San Francisco: Walmart Pleads Guilty to Federal Environmental Crimes, Admits Civil Violations
As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department, as well as a related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Walmart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Full Story
Boston: Former Navy Engineer Pleads Guilty to Organizing and Managing Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud Scheme
Ralph M. Mariano admitted to defrauding the U.S. government of between $7 million and $20 million by directing co-conspirators to bill the navy for work that was never performed. Full Story
Los Angeles: Former Senior Partner at KPMG Agrees to Plead Guilty to Charges Related to Insider Trading Scheme
Scott London, who oversaw KPMG’s audit practice for the Pacific Southwest, provided confidential information to a close friend who paid him with cash bribes and luxury items. Full Story
Baltimore: Former Navy Reservist Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Numerous Minors to Produce Child Pornography
Anthony K. Mastrogiovanni, who sexually exploited more than 30 male juveniles ranging from 9 to 16 years old, met and befriended his victims through civic organizations or his military affiliation. Full Story
Buffalo: Man Charged with Stealing from Buffalo History Museum
Daniel J. Witek is alleged to have stolen and attempted to sell at least five historical letters to Lion Heart Autographs in New York City. Full Story