On Jan. 7, 2013, the FBI (fbi.gov) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3 - ic3.gov) issued an alert covering several subjects, one of which is called a Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attack that has become so severe that it is affecting emergency services’ telephone lines.
The Jan. 7 alert said, “The scam involves victims being relentlessly contacted at their residences and places of employment regarding claims they are delinquent on a payday loan. Various coercion techniques have been used by the subjects in an attempt to persuade the victim to send money. Such techniques have evolved from repeated annoying phone calls to abusive language, threats of bodily harm, and arrests.”
According to the National Consumer League (nclnet.org), a consumer advocacy organization, “NCL has received numerous complaints from consumers reporting that they’ve been approached by scammers claiming to represent payday loan companies, collection agencies and law enforcement. The scammers frequently use information acquired from legitimate online loan applications to trick their victims into believing that the scammers are truly representatives of their loan providers. These scammers use the threat of being arrested to intimidate their victims into giving them money.”
The FBI alert reports that the coercion tactics used by the scammers are becoming increasingly aggressive and frequent. “The IC3 has become aware of increased coercion tactics used by the subjects, which have created a threat to emergency services across the nation. The threats have now escalated into Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks against the victims' employers, which some have been emergency service agencies. The TDoS attacks have tied up the emergency services' telephone lines, preventing them from receiving and responding to legitimate emergency calls.”
Other methods being used to intimidate the victims include convincing them that there is a warrant for their arrest because of their failure to pay their loan. In fact, it is illegal to threaten someone with an arrest for their failure to pay. If you have become the victim of a scam, please report it to the IC3 at ic3.gov.
Terry Ambrose (terryambrose.com) is a mystery author with an interest in scams and cons. On Jan. 8, he’s also a guest blogger talking about how to avoid email scams at terryodell.com/terrysplace/?p=1982 where he’s also giving away a copy of one of his books.