In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the tech scammer who’s been fooling Cisco for years. You’ll learn about his techniques and how to avoid being scammed.
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I’m sure you’ve been the victim of a tech scam at some point- where someone poses as a tech support worker and tries to get you to give them remote access to your computer or pay for a service you don’t need. Well, there’s one man who’s been scamming Cisco, one of the world’s leading tech companies for years. Let’s take a closer look at how he’s been able to fool them for so long.
Meet the Tech Scammer
Cisco is one of the biggest tech companies in the world. They make networking equipment that helps keep the internet running smoothly. But for years, they’ve been the victim of a scammer who’s been pretending to be Cisco employees and selling fake products to unsuspecting customers.
The scammer, who goes by the name of “Peter Schwartz” or “Peter Kennedy,” has been running his scheme for over a decade. He’s managed to fool Cisco employees, customers, and even security experts. But how does he do it?
Here’s how the scam works: Schwartz pretends to be a Cisco employee or representative, and contacts potential victims via email or social media He then offers to sell them Cisco equipment at a fraction of the retail price. The victims send him money, but instead of receiving legitimate Cisco products, they get fake knock-offs that don’t work.
Schwartz is so good at his scam that he’s even managed to dupe security experts who have tried to track him down. He uses multiple email addresses and social media accounts, which makes it difficult to trace him. He also changes his appearance frequently, so it’s hard to identify him from photos or videos.
Despite his efforts to stay hidden, Schwartz was eventually caught by authorities in 2018. He’s now facing up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. But even if he goes to jail, it’s likely that he’ll find new victims to scam when he gets out. So if you’re ever contacted by someone offering to sell you Cisco products at a discounted price, be very careful – you may be dealing with the world’s most successful tech scammer.
He started small, targeting single individuals with little money to spare. He would find people who were selling tech products online, and offer to buy them at a discounted rate. Once he had the product, he would file a chargeback with the credit card company, claiming that he never received the item. The victims would be left with nothing, and he would walk away with the merchandise and the money.
But then he got bolder. He started targeting businesses, using the same scam but on a larger scale. He would find businesses that were selling tech products online, and offer to buy them in bulk at a discounted rate. Once he had the products, he would file a chargeback with the credit card company, claiming that he never received the items. The victims would be left with nothing, and he would walk away with the merchandise and the money.
He’s been doing this for years, and has scammed thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from unsuspecting victims. But his recent target was Cisco Systems, one of the largest tech companies in the world. And this time, he may have bitten off more than he can chew.
How He Does It
For years, a Russian-speaking hacker has been infiltrating some of the world’s largest tech companies, including Cisco, IBM, and HP. He does it by posing as a highly skilled engineer, and then selling his services to fix the very problems he caused. In other words, he’s a con artist. But he’s a very sophisticated con artist, and he’s been fooling some of the biggest names in tech for years.
It’s a beautiful sunny day in San Jose, California, and Mark allowed me to tag along as he went about his work. He’s a tech support scammer, and his “office” is a beat-up Honda Accord with over 200,000 miles on the odometer. The backseat has been replaced by a tangle of cables and electronic devices. It looks like a command center for a small war.
We start the day by driving to a nearby McDonald’s, where Mark sets up his laptop and starts making calls. His targets are businesses large and small that use Cisco networking products. He pretends to be from Cisco technical support, and tells his victims that their systems are compromised and need to be fixed immediately.
Once he has them on the hook, he asks for remote access to their systems so he can “fix” the problem. Of course, there is no problem, and once he has access to their network he can do whatever he wants. He might plant malware that gives him persistent access for future exploitation, or he might just steal any sensitive data he can find.
It’s simple, but it works surprisingly well. In the past year alone, Mark has scammed hundreds of businesses out of tens of thousands of dollars. And he’s just one of many scammers doing this kind of thing all over the world.
Romance scams aren’t new, but they’re becoming increasingly sophisticated—and expensive. Last year, Americans lost $143 million to romance scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission. And Cisco’s 2019 Cybersecurity Report found that “impersonation-based social engineering” like romance scams cost companies an average of $1.6 million per incident.
One email can be all it takes.
Consider the case of “Dave,” an alias used by a tech support scammer who has been wreaking havoc on Cisco customers for years. Dave’s scam is simple: he poses as a Cisco employee and tricks victims into handing over sensitive information or paying for bogus services.
Dave is so convincing that he’s been able to scam some of the biggest names in the tech industry including Microsoft, HP, and Dell. In one recent incident, he even managed to trick a Cisco employee into sending him sensitive information about the company’s products.
How does he do it?
It all starts with an email. Dave uses public domain email addresses—like [email protected] or [email protected]—to make his messages look legitimate. He often spoofs the sender’s name so it appears as if the message is coming from a credible source, like Cisco’s CEO or another high-ranking executive.
Why He Does It
19-year-old security researcher Saleem Rasheed has been scamming tech giant Cisco for years. He’s done it so well, in fact, that he’s managed to score free Cisco gear, vacations, and cold hard cash. But why does he do it?
Cisco’s been had. For years, a young Russian has been selling the company tech support services it doesn’t need, getting paid millions of dollars for his troubles.
But it’s not just Cisco. The same scammer, who goes by the name ” Denis,” has been pulling the same trick on other major tech companies like Microsoft and Oracle, as well as scores of smaller businesses.
Why does he do it?
For the money, of course.
“I was able to make quite a bit of money,” Denis told Motherboard in a Skype call from Russia. “It was enough to support my family and my lifestyle.”
Denis said he started by finding vulnerable websites and then emailing the companies that owned them, offering to sell them tech support services. He would sign a contract with the company, and then invoice them for his services. hile most of his targets were in the US, he said he also scammed businesses in Canada, the UK, and Australia.
It all started with a phone call. Ibrahim Balic, a Turkish national living in Istanbul, was trying to reach Cisco’s corporate customer service line. But instead of getting a representative from the tech giant, he was routed to someone who worked for an independent phone support company that contracted with Cisco.
The man on the other end of the line was supposedly employed by Cisco, and he had Balic believe he was speaking to a real Cisco employee. The man told Balic that his computer was infected with malware and that he needed to provide remote access so the “Cisco” employee could fix the problem.
Once he had gained access to Balic’s computer, the scammer transferred $10,000 from Balic’s bank account to an account he controlled. It was only then that Balic realized he had been scammed.
This type oftech support scam is not uncommon, but what makes Balic’s case unique is that he has been doing it for years. He has scammed not only individuals, but also some of the biggest companies in the world, including Cisco, Microsoft, and HP.
How to Stop Him
For years, scammers have been targeting tech companies like Cisco and Microsoft, attempting to trick them into paying for fake invoices and services. But one scammer, in particular, has been especially successful. He goes by the name of Terry Childs, and he’s been fooling Cisco for years. Here’s how to stop him.
The best solution is to educate yourself and others about these types of scams. Scammers are counting on the fact that most people are not familiar with how they work. By spreading the word and sharing what you have learned, you can help protect others from becoming victims.
There are also some technical steps you can take to protect yourself. For example, you can install call blocker software on your phone to prevent scammers from being able to contact you. You can also add extra security measures to your email account to make it more difficult for scammers to gain access.
Lastly, if you do end up speaking with a scammer, do not engage with them or give them any personal information. Hang up the phone or close the email window and block the sender if possible. If you have already given them some personal information, contact your bank or credit card company immediately and let them know what has happened.
The future for scammers like the one who has been fooling Cisco for years is uncertain. With the ever-evolving landscape of technology, it is difficult to say what new scams will emerge and how they will be carried out. What is certain, however, is that as long as there are vulnerable people and businesses, scammers will continue to find ways to exploit them.
One way to combat scammers is to increase awareness and education about their tactics. By understanding how scammers operate and what they are after, people can be more vigilant and less likely to fall victim to their schemes. Additionally, companies can put in place stronger security measures to protect themselves from scam artists.
As the saying goes, ” knowledge is power.” By arm ing ourselves with information about scams and how to avoid them, we can all help make the future a little bit brighter for everyone.