Fraud Management & Cybercrime
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Fraud Risk Management
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ID Theft

‘Original Internet Godfather’ on the Pandemic’s Impact on Scams and Scammers



Brett Johnson, cybersecurity consultant

Tens of millions of Americans have lost jobs because of COVID-19. As a result, former “most wanted” fraudster Brett Johnson predicts a surge in fraud, saying bluntly: “There are going to be a lot of victims.”

See Also: A Guide to Digital Identity Verification: The Technology & Trends

The nation has already seen spikes in phishing attacks and ransomware campaigns by scammers hoping to cash in on the pandemic, says Johnson, who now works as a cybersecurity consultant. But with such massive unemployment, even more people will turn to fraud out of desperation to save their homes and feed their families, he predicts. “When you’re desperate, you tend to make bad choices,” he says.


In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Johnson discusses:

  • How fraudsters have changed their game because of COVID-19;
  • Fraud trends to watch during the second half of 2020;
  • How enterprises can improve fraud detection and defense.

Johnson, referred to by the United States Secret Service as “The Original Internet Godfather,” was a central figure in the cybercrime world for over 20 years. He built and was leader of ShadowCrew, the precursor to today’s darknet markets. He was instrumental in developing many areas of online fraud while helping design, implement and refine identity theft, account takeover fraud, card-not-present fraud, IRS tax fraud and other social engineering attacks, breaches and hacking operations. Today, Johnson works as a cybersecurity consultant and public speaker.





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Is your business effected by a COVID-19 / Coronavirus related Cyber Crime? 

If a cyber crime or cyber attack happens to you, you need to respond quickly. Cyber crime in its several formats such as online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, e-mail fraud, email spoofing, invoice fraud, email scams, banking scam, CEO fraud. Cyber fraud can lead to major disruption and financial disasters. Contact Digitpol’s hotlines or respond to us online. 

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