Scarlet Widow Preying on of Individuals From Non profits, Universities and K-12

(Howard) #1

Agari revealed research at RSA about a Nigerian group they nicknamed “Scarlet Widow.” They said this group has moved from wire fraud, romance, and tax scams to elaborate gift card scams that targeted [b]“individuals” {/b] in various nonprofits, schools (K-12), universities. Gift card scams are becoming popular because the money can be laundered easily through cryptocurrency exchanges that will exchange gift cards for bitcoin The article said that the transaction takes about .20 cents on the dollar and is pretty much instantaneous. So the money disappears quickly and apparently little recourse for recovery for the victim. Other scammers have recently used the same method for social security fruads. Those frauds are now ongoing by probably other groups unless Scarlet Widow has a hand in that one too.

The scammers’ technique is common but tricky: They send a generically worded email to targeted victims from a temporary email where the display name is set to an impersonated executive (gleaned through social engineering tactics as well as web scrapers to traverse online directories).

According to Agarai, and reported by Threatpost, the group typically requests targeted victims to purchase multiple Apple iTunes or Google Play gift cards, and then uses {a cryptocurrency exchange ]to move those funds so that authorities can no longer obtain them.

"Agari identified a list of 30,000 individuals comprised of more than 13,000 organizations in 12 countries. Additional targets were individuals whose names were identified with the West Coast Chapter of United Way, The Salvation Army,-* Has anyone seen these emails? More here: