Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Fraud Risk Management , ID Fraud

Ex-Fraudster Brett Johnson: 'There Are Going to Be a Lot of Victims'

'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.”

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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.

About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Senior Vice President, Editorial, ISMG

Field is responsible for all of ISMG's 28 global media properties and its team of journalists. He also helped to develop and lead ISMG's award-winning summit series that has brought together security practitioners and industry influencers from around the world, as well as ISMG's series of exclusive executive roundtables.

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