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  • Geebo 9:00 am on May 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Fraud, ,   

    DOJ launches criminal investigation into Uber 

    DOJ launches criminal investigation into Uber

    If you haven’t been following the plethora of problems that have plagued ride sharing service Uber, they got into a bit of hot water not too long ago for allegedly using a program called Greyball. Investigators with the city of Portland, Oregon, accused Uber of using Greyball to try to identify city inspectors and obfuscate their findings. Uber defended Greyball saying they were using it to protect themselves against user and driver fraud but still vowed to discontinue the program. Apparently, that apology was not enough for some people, as the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into Uber’s alleged use of Greyball.

    While Uber has not yet been charged with any criminal activity, they have been subpoenaed by a Northern California grand jury. No details have been made available regarding the subpoena, however, many tech news outlets are speculating Uber may have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by using Greyball. Neither the US Attorney’s Office nor Uber is commenting on the pending investigation.

    So far, Uber appears to be coated in teflon when it comes to any controversy sticking to them. People continue to use the platform by the millions despite all the accusations of anti-competitiveness and their alleged culture that has fostered sexual harassment. What would it actually take for people to stop using Uber to the point where the company would no longer financially viable to exist? Probably not a criminal fraud conviction.

     
  • Geebo 10:58 am on November 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: detectives, Fraud,   

    The social network detectives 

    The social network detectives

    With the advent and ubiquity of social media most people have to worry about embarrassing photos of themselves from being disseminated into the social stream. It’s not unheard of that a drunken picture posted by a friend on MySpace back in the day to cost someone a job or other opportunities.

    Now imagine that you’re trying to commit workman’s comp or disability fraud. You would think that these fraudsters would keep their activities off of social media. Then again, no one ever said that criminals were smart. CBS/CNET has a great article about how a group of claims investigators use social networking tools to investigate these types of fraud.

    The amazing thing from that article is the lengths people will go to try to disguise their identity so they can commit fraud and continue to post their daily lives on social media. For example, one man claimed he had an injury where he was unable to walk, yet he was posting on social media about how he was running marathons. Gotta get that 26.2 sticker I guess.

    What is it about social media that makes people not only over-share details of their lives that could put them in potential danger, but in some cases they risk jail time? The 1970s were called the ‘me decade’ since so many people were looking to improve their own lives through what was then new and unconventional means. Maybe the 2010s should be called the Me Decade II since so many of our lives are driven by likes and subscribers.

     
  • Greg Collier 10:38 am on December 15, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Adult Services, , , , Fraud, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, PGA, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, The Salahi’s, Tiger Woods, Virginia socialites, White House Secretary Desiree Rogers   

    Does life happen in 3’s? 

    big-phony

    The most masterfully crafted images are only that, an image, and nothing more. In recent weeks three public images have broken down, proving that they are mere facades, and capable of hurting many when they fall apart. 

    It turns out that Tiger Woods is not a saint, but rather a mere mortal. With an image backed by multiple million dollar endorsement deals, Tiger can no longer hold up his end of the bargain. I am confident, however, that there are golfers and other athletes out there that could use those now available endorsement dollars by providing a genuine image brand that the public demands.   

    Tareq and Michaele Salahi, Virginia socialites, who crashed the recent White House dinner, have also portrayed themselves to be people they are not. The Salahi’s were able to convince many people that there was substance behind their image—how else do you get White House Secretary Desiree Rogers to consider adding your names to “the list”. Is this a victimless crime that is being transformed into a bigger issue than it should be? I don’t think so. How much of our tax dollars will be spent investigating this breach of White House security? How much time will be wasted on news networks dissecting every move that was made that night instead of covering issues and events that genuinely impact our world? How about those who lost their jobs for letting the masquerading couple make it through the gates? Or, most importantly, how did the dinner honoree-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-feel about an uninvited couple stealing the night’s spotlight?  Unfortunately, a night both Indian’s and American’s will never forget hinges upon the false images portrayed by their fellow citizens. 

    To top the list, though less public and less glitzy, is Craig Newmark, the founder and president of Craigslist.  Last week, a trial between eBay and Craigslist shined new light on Newmark’s ‘aw-shucks, power to the people, do-gooder’ image.  It turns out that he may be in it for the money after all – shocking!  Who is hurt by Newmark’s faulty façade? Those loyal followers who fiercely defend Craig Newmark’s image, while he is the backroom counting his $9.5 million!  Perhaps the anarchy of the “Adult Services” section is not about autonomy and non-governance after all, but rather about the insane amounts of user traffic that area attracts. Once free, this morally bankrupt section even charges users a listing fee! What a brilliant business model he has created…Newmark is no different than the rest of corporate America that care more about their personal bottom line than the personalities who make their business possible.  

    We have been given 3 masterfully crafted images… and 3 facades that crumbled in the midst of their self-serving objectives. They say life comes in 3’s…I wonder who will be next?

     
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