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Wire Transfers, Mug Shots, IM Scams Reported
WASHINGTON (6/25/13)--Wire transfers, mug shot extortions, and a new Trojan virus affecting instant messaging platforms are the latest scam alerts from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Credit unions can stay alert to these and warn their members, too.

Businesses reported receiving telephone calls from individuals claiming to be with a wire transfer company's tech support. In one incident, the wire transfer company's name was displayed on the caller ID. 

The callers instruct recipients to go to a website to run an application that allows the caller to remotely access the victim's computer. Once remote access is established, the caller instruct victims to open their wire service program and log in to their accounts so the caller can "update the system," said IC3's alert. The victims are asked to turn off their monitors to avoid interfering with the update. Later, the victims find unauthorized wire transfers made to NetSpend account.

One victim, who became suspicious and turned off the computer, discovered $950 had been loaded on the account's prepaid credit card. Another victim reported transfers to several states and individuals, but was told that no transfers were being processed.

IC3 also received hundreds of complaints from individuals who found their mug shots from arrests--including juvenile arrests under sealed court records--or found false information about them on 20 websites using similar practices. Those demanding removal of the mug shot are told to provide key identification information, such as driver's license, court records or other personal information.Victims are also charged a fee to remove the photo. When victims threaten to report the unlawful practices, the website owners threaten to escalate the damaging information against the victim.

A new Trojan virus called "Liftoh" is infecting computers in Latin America using instant messaging platforms such as Skype, said IC3.  Victims receive a message in Spanish with a shortened URL or web address. The messages appear to come from someone on the user's Skype contact list who is linking to a photo. If clicked, the link redirects users to, which hosts a URL that initiates a weaponized zip file with the Trojan, which can download additional malware.

The IC3 report is based on information from law enforcement and complaints submitted to IC3.


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