Online Fraud & Abuse Mitigation



Amazon Prime Day

Today is Amazon Prime Day. CNN Money reports that the Amazon Prime Day sale is the “biggest global Amazon event ever”. If you spend a few moments navigating the news portals, you’ll find a number of articles related to Amazon Prime Day that cover topics ranging from what it is, weird things to buy  and even […]

Google Scholar is Filled with Junk

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Spam

The University Library of the University of Illinois describes Google Scholar as a “freely accessible search engine that lets users look for both physical and digital copies of articles”. They go on to describe some of the advantages of using Google Scholar but also suggest that there are better alternatives to Google Scholar and encourage […]

Amazon Third Party Ads Cont.

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Malvertising, Online Advertising, Tech Support Scam

An anonymous reader wrote to me in order to point out that finding a single bad ad on a massive site like Amazon is not worth noting purely because of how much traffic passes through it. Anonymous doesn’t understand that this is not a once off scenario and the fact that I find bad ads […]

Third Party Advertising

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Malvertising, Online Advertising, Tech Support Scam

“Don’t do it.” That’s my advice to any network entertaining the notion of third party advertisers. The simple fact of the matter is that when you on board third party advertisers you’re putting your network’s reputation on the line, but more importantly: potentially jeopardizing the safety of your users. The economic benefits of third party […]

The Refund Scam

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Fraudster on the Roof, Wire Fraud

As always, please note that the intention of the “Fraudster on the Roof” series is for readers to learn and think about how to better detect fraud, not to improve how they implement it. The fundamentals of the Refund Scam are simple: scammer orders an item from a large online market place, when it arrives […]

US Senate & the Tech Support Scam

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Tech Support Scam

Running a Tech Support scam? Based in India? Think you’re safe? Think again. Senator Susan M. Collins “According to Microsoft, these computer tech support scams cost Americans an estimated $1.5 billion a year” “Putting a stop to the multitude of ruthless scams that target seniors is among the Committee’s top priorities.” “If you had this […]

On Ad Procurement Delays

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015 in Online Advertising

We already know that the online advertising ecosystem consists of advertisers and publishers that are bound together via advertising networks. Publishers have the content along with the users and advertisers have ads that they want viewed by interested users. Networks then bring the nuts and bolts to connect the entities together. Networks typically divide publishers […]

Farming Credit Cards with Robo Dialing

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Wire Fraud

What better way to steal a credit card than to simply ask nicely for it. I recently received an automated call on my cell phone from an unknown number which basically started like this “Hello, we are calling from the Boeing Credit Union. Your credit card has been blocked. Please press 1 to unblock it.” I […]

Google update to software downloads

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Ad Injectors, Malvertising, Phishing

Google has a policy update on the way which is sure to impact the monsters that target vulnerable audiences with a myriad of deceptive downloads. Dear AdWords Advertiser, We’re writing to let you know about a change to Google’s advertising policies that might affect your AdWords account. Around late April, the Google AdWords policy on […]