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Squid Game-Inspired Scammers Make Off With $3M

Cryptocurrency SQUID, which generated a lot of headlines, could be bought but not sold

(Newser) - A cryptocurrency seemingly linked to Netflix blockbuster Squid Game turned out to be a scam that netted its creators more than $3 million. SQUID, touted as a "play-to-earn cryptocurrency," had surged in price in recent days, hitting a peak of $2,861 early Monday after outlets including the...

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty in COVID Vaccine Scam

Fake site set up to look just like Moderna's offered supposed doses for $30 a pop, feds say

(Newser) - Earlier this year, before COVID vaccines were readily available to eligible patients, a website suddenly popped up advertising Moderna doses for $30 each. That site turned out to be a fake, and now a Maryland man has owned up to his role in getting it up and running. The Baltimore ...

Cops: Wife Told Husband He Had Alzheimer&#39;s, Stole $600K
Cops: Wife Duped Husband for
Years, to the Tune of $600K
in case you missed it

Cops: Wife Duped Husband for Years, to the Tune of $600K

Donna Marino's spouse didn't have Alzheimer's but she made him think he did to control his money

(Newser) - For two decades, a Connecticut man says he let his wife handle virtually all of his finances for him, a move he apparently felt even more necessary once he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. At least, he thought he'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. East Haven police say that'...

Broken Hearts, Empty Wallets: Seniors Catfished for $139M

FTC report says there was a 'surge' in 2020 in romance scams bamboozling Americans 60 and over

(Newser) - Last month, the Department of Justice announced money laundering and wire fraud charges brought against nearly a dozen "romance scammers," and that's only scratching the surface of what the Washington Post calls a "surge" in such deceptions made worse by the pandemic, especially for the senior...

'Grandparent Scam' Victim Sues Her Bank

Florida widow lost more than $700K, says bank was negligent

(Newser) - The "grandparent scam" has been around for a while, but the Tampa Bay Times reports on one with a particularly large payday and an unusual legal twist. An attorney for 82-year-old Anna Nunn of Florida says his widowed client was bilked of more than $700,000—and she's...

Wedding Florist's Alleged Shtick: Not Showing Up

Ohio AG says Desiree Gilliam Pace scammed 48 clients out of $50K

(Newser) - A purported florist allegedly accepted tens of thousands of dollars from couples ahead of their weddings, but never showed up with the ordered flowers. That's according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who's suing the now-shuttered Flowers by Des in Xenia, Greene County, for violations of the Consumers...

It&#39;s the &#39;Most Meaningful Regulatory Action Ever&#39; on Robocalls
It's the 'Most
Regulatory Action
Ever' on Robocalls
in case you missed it

It's the 'Most Meaningful Regulatory Action Ever' on Robocalls

FCC requiring phone providers to verify phone number before call is made

(Newser) - If you've noticed a recent drop in spam calls, thank the Federal Communications Commission. As of June 30, major US phone providers must use caller ID authentication meant to block spoofed robocalls, costing Americans some $10 billion annually, and help "law enforcement track bad actors," according to...

Vaccine Recipients Got Salt Water: India

Doctors were involved in scam, police say

(Newser) - Scores of people in India who traveled to vaccination camps received injections of salt water instead of vaccine that would protect them against the coronavirus, authorities say. About a dozen private sites were set up in the city of Mumbai in May and June, the New York Times reports, that...

He Thought He Found Love in Ukraine. Then a 'Surreal' Twist

UK man tells BBC how he lost $250K in a Ukraine scam

(Newser) - "I was such an idiot." So declares a UK man identified only as James as he explains to the BBC how he became the victim of a $250,000 scam. The 52-year-old charity worker was in Ukraine when his translator set him up on a blind date with...

How Scammers Made Use of MacKenzie Scott's Largesse

She gave billions directly to foundations, and scammers took advantage of that

(Newser) - "What a gift she’s given them," professor Marti DeLiema tells the New York Times of MacKenzie Scott and the almost $6 billion she gave away last year. But the "them" DeLiema is referring to isn't the hundreds of nonprofits who were surprised to get an...

90-Year-Old Scammed of $33M in Just 6 Months

The crime happened to a wealthy woman in Hong Kong

(Newser) - The New York Times uses the word "staggering," and understandably so. Hong Kong police say a 90-year-old woman fell victim to a phone scam that over a period of just six months saw her hand over $32.8 million. The initial caller who contacted her in August reportedly...

Vaccine Scams Are Already Happening
Vaccine Scams
Are Already
the rundown

Vaccine Scams Are Already Happening

Homeland Security agents are already chasing down fake websites

(Newser) - If you're seeing coronavirus vaccine deals, look again: US officials say they're almost certainly scams. Whether by email, phone, or online, scammers are angling to take advantage of our desire for inoculation. "If you're receiving unsolicited offers for a vaccine—not one, not two, but about...

How California Inmates Allegedly Pulled Off Another Crime

Authorities believe they obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment aid

(Newser) - Authorities in California on Tuesday announced that tens of thousands of prisoners, including Scott Peterson and many others on death row, had scammed the state for hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits. So how'd they managed it? The fraud has been linked to every institution run by...

That 'Secret Sister' Gift Exchange? It's a Scam

Don't fall for it, outlets warn

(Newser) - It's the holiday season, which means it's time for news outlets' annual reminder to readers to steer clear of a common Christmas-themed online scam. Posts about so-called "Secret Sister" gift exchanges proliferate social media around this time of year, asking for "six women" who want to...

Many People Planted Those Mystery Seeds. Others Ate Them
Mystery Seeds a 'Much Larger'
Operation Than We Thought
in case you missed it

Mystery Seeds a 'Much Larger' Operation Than We Thought

Thousands of Americans may have planted them, while others admitted to eating them, per Vice

(Newser) - Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans planted the mystery seeds they received in the mail over the summer, against the advice of US authorities, while others decided to pop them in their mouths. That's according to Jason Koebler at Vice , who read through "thousands of internal emails" from state...

NFL Player Charged in COVID Relief Scam

Feds say Josh Bellamy received more than $1.2M in the scheme

(Newser) - Former NFL player Josh Bellamy was arrested and charged Thursday with participating in a scheme to file fraudulent applications for more than $24 million in coronavirus relief funds, authorities said. Bellamy, 31, of St. Petersburg, is charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank...

Police: Students Scammed Into Kidnapping Themselves

Scam is targeting Chinese young adults studying in Australia

(Newser) - A scam that ends with people tying themselves up in a hotel room and sending photos of it to their family? Outlandish but true, say Australian police, who are warning Chinese students in Sydney of a surge of "virtual kidnapping" cases in the country. Police say they have this...

Criminals Use Fear During Crisis: Secret Service

Federal agencies warn of fake charities and fake coronavirus treatments

(Newser) - Times like these give criminals an effective and profitable tool in preying on people, the Secret Service has warned Americans: fear. The agency said the pandemic provides "a prime opportunity for enterprising criminals" to take advantage. Fake charities spring up to collect donations for the ill, ABC News reports,...

Even &#39;Sharks&#39; Fall Victim to Phishing Schemes
'Shark' Out $400K
in Phishing Scam

'Shark' Out $400K in Phishing Scam

Barbara Corcoran 'won't be getting the money back'

(Newser) - Even sharks get swindled now and then. Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran has revealed that she lost almost $400,000 in a phishing scam this week. The real estate mogul tells People that her bookkeeper received an email with a $388,700 invoice from a person she believed to be...

Cops: Cab Driver Saved Woman, 92, From Scam

He took her to the police station instead of the bank

(Newser) - An elderly woman in northern California would have had her bank account cleaned out by scammers if it wasn't for a conscientious cab driver, police say. Officers say the 92-year-old woman told Roseville Cab owner Raj Singh that she was going to the bank to withdraw $25,000 to...

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