Cyber criminals are trying new ways to break into personal and corporate databases, adding twists on previous trends. According to a scam alert from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released on September 19, scammers have evolved three schemes: triangle credit card fraud, work-at-home scheme and hitman scam. The report was based on information from law enforcement officials and public complaints that were submitted to the website. These types of quickly maturing trends are especially important for students earning a cyber crime degree or online cyber crime degree to understand and learn how to eliminate.
One of the most common scams is known as triangle credit card fraud, which effects online shoppers and merchants. This scam involves three different players, the scammer, the buyer and the manufacturer. This complex scheme starts with the criminal posing as a seller on a marketplace website. After a buyer purchases an item from the seller (the scammer), the seller places an additional order with the manufacturer of the product with the personal information given to the seller by the buyer.
This scam goes much further in depth, as many of the top scam artists are located in foreign countries and often recruit sellers that are established to do the dirty work.
Scam artists are also targeting the growing number of individuals who want to work from home and who apply to positions online. Criminals post fake jobs online and after an unsuspecting jobs seeker applies and "gets" the job, the fraudster sends the victim a check. The scammer then asks the victim to use half of the check for supplies and wire the rest of the check to another individual; the check ends up being a counterfeit. Many of these criminals use craigslist to find “workers.” According to complaints received by IC3, victims of the crimes have been asked to post job listings on the site and ask for the personal information of those who apply, thus adding victims into the circle of fraud.
Other trends show that cyber criminals have been targeting employees of financial institutions in order to get to the sensitive information in their email accounts. According to the IC3, criminals have been trying to compromise the computers of bank employees with information-nabbing Trojans and Remote Access Tools. The goal of the criminals is to gain information to bypass authentication methods that banks use to deter such activity on accounts.
In known cases, fraudsters have more consistently targeted small-to-mid-sized banks and credit unions, and have browsed through multiple accounts looking for one with a large balance.