On 14 December 2018 Aaron Cole was about to buy a new home and received an email that he considered to be from the securities transfer company directing him to make a 123.000 dollar deposit.
Cole was confused, not realizing that a sophisticated hacker network was likely to spy on his communications with the securities transfer company and that although the email looked like the others he had received from the securities transfer company, this time the email address was slightly different.
A week later, the company called him, advising him it was time to send money. Cole suddenly realized that he had given his family savings to Criminals. The money were from the sale of their former home.
"It was the worst feeling," Cole said Friday. “And then I had to go home and tell my wife that I just gave all the money to cheats. I was just sitting and I just couldn't speak to tell her what happened. "
2015 220 lost millions of dollars in fraud in the US. At 2019, losses will exceed 1,5 billion, according to WFG National Insurance Company.
In the past, the efforts of hacker to fool people were often inexperienced and clumsy, FBI agents told reporters on Friday. Now they can be sophisticated. If users are asked by email to transfer money within the deadline, they should not hurry up and call a known person to whom the e-mail is supposed to and confirm the request, the agents said.
“The emails have become well-crafted and quite detailed. They are highly adapted to this particular victim, "said Gabriel Gundersen, an FBI special agent with the Oregon Cyber Task Force. "It's a piece of social engineering where they force a victim to do something based on an artificial agenda or an artificial timetable."
In one of the largest cases of its kind in history USA., Los Angeles federal authorities announced in August that 80 people, most of them Nigerians, were accused of stealing 6 million dollars on an electronic network fraud and rinsing money. George Chamberlin, an assistant FBI Special Agent in charge of the Portland department, said those cases may take years to develop.
Partnerships between victims, local law enforcement, the FBI and its local overseas offices and law enforcement in other countries are crucial to combating this transnational XIXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX said Loren Cannon, an FBI special agent responsible for the Portland office.
In Oregon, losses exceeded 24 millions by computer-related crimes from January 1 to September 30 this year. For the whole of last year, 23,5 millions of dollars had been stolen, the FBI said.
Most of the money has been lost in so-called fraudulent e-commerce frauds, in which organized crime groups deceive victims into banking transfers accounts controlled by criminals.
Cole, from Portland's Oregon City suburb, was lucky. The securities transfer company, WFG National Insurance Company, hired him - for the same amount he lost - to be a spokesman to warn others about cyber fraud.
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