Flight MH17 Victims Targeted in Facebook and Credit Card Scams



SYDNEY — In a sick revelation, scammers have set up fake Facebook profiles using the identities of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 victims amid claims that credit cards may have been stolen from the crash site.
On Friday, Ukrainian MP Anton Gerashchenko said via his Facebook page that "death hunters" were collecting cash, jewelry and the credit cards of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
"My humble request to the relatives of the victims to freeze their credit cards, so that they won’t lose their assets to terrorists!" Gerashchenko said in the post.
In response to the claims, the Dutch Banking Association said in a statement that the next of kin would be compensated for any damages resulting from credit card theft related to the crash.
"International media reports that victims of debit cards may have been stolen. Most important is that a debit card without a PIN is basically unusable," read the statement (via a Google-translated version of the Dutch text). "If necessary, banks will take preventive measures. Any damage resulting from abuse of [bank cards] will compensate the next of kin."
Of the 298 people who perished in the crash on Thursday, 193 passengers were Dutch. After days in the elements, the decomposing bodies of many of the victims were put in black body bags and moved onto refrigerated trains by Ukraine emergency services, reportedly under duress by Russia-backed rebels.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) journalist Phil Williams, who was at the crash site, said it was clear that the belongings of passengers from the flight had been rummaged through and handbags and wallets had been taken.
"It really does look, I'm afraid to say, as though there has been some sort of looting here because virtually every bag we've seen has been opened," he said. "It looks like it's been rummaged through, and if that's true that's a very distressing element to this whole disaster."

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference that the treatment of the corpses by the rebels was "utterly disgusting" and anger has been growing among the families of the victims over the treatment of their loved ones.
"I am shocked by the images of utterly disrespectful behavior at the crash site … There are people fooling around amongst the debris with personal and recognizable items of the victims. This is utterly disgusting," he said.
In more disturbing news for the families, it has been revealed that the identities of victims from around the world have been used for scam Facebook accounts. At least five of the fraudulent accounts have been set up in the names of Australians who died in the Malaysia Airlines tragedy — including three children from Western Australia. The pages have since been closed down by Facebook.
The pages shared a link to a video which claimed to show footage of the MH17 crash, but instead directed users to a site with a multitude of pop-up ads for suspicious services. The clickbait read: "Video Camera Caught the moment plane MH17 Crash over Ukraine. Watch here the video of Crash."
Facebook scam

The fake Facebook account set up in Evie Maslin's name (images blurred by Mashable).
Alastair MacGibbon, the director of the University of Canberra's Centre for Internet Safety, toldFairfax Media that fraudulent Facebook pages can be extremely lucrative for criminals after a large-scale incident. The fraudsters make money by directing traffic to certain sites.
"Crooks are super-fast these days at picking up on anything that's remotely topical, and working out how to monetize it from a criminal point of view," he said. "It's a really distasteful trend."
Australian victims affected by the scam include young Perth siblings Otis, Evie and Mo Maslin, Liliane Derden from Canberra and German national Fatima Dyczynski, who was moving to Western Australia.
On Monday, the ABC reported that the Australian Government is considering declaring the downing of MH17 a terrorist attack. If it is categorized as a terrorist attack, the families of the victims would be eligible to receive $75,000 Australian dollars (about $70,400 U.S. dollars) each. Such a payment was granted to the families of the Australian victims of the Bali bombings in 2002 and the Australian victims of the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001 in New York City.
The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for a proper international investigation. "It is an absolutely shambolic situation," he said in a televised press conference on Monday. "It looks more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation."
Live Updates on MH17: Rebel Leader Denies Interfering With Crash Site


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Photographer Documents Customers Snoozing at Ikea



Try it before you buy it.
Or, if you're in one of China's Ikea stores, fall fast asleep on a bed in a display room.
ikea 1

IMAGE: KEVIN FRAYER
For Ikea shoppers in China, the act of taking a nice long snooze in a display room isn't out of the ordinary, and Getty photographer Kevin Frayer has cataloged the sleepy phenomenon.
Frayer visited Beijing's first Ikea and found enough sleeping customers to build an entire photo essay. Eight of the world’s 10 largest Ikea locations are in China — which, incidentally, makes finding your own secluded place of refuge a bit easier.
"It's really hard to not notice it the first time you visit the store," Frayer told Mashable. "People are pretty much sprawled out on any available piece of furniture and I was struck by how comfortable everyone looked. Kind of like the sofa-bed version of test-driving a car."
Frayer said it didn't seem all that unusual for customers to seek out a suitable piece of furniture and sleep there from open to close.
ikeasleep2

IMAGE: KEVIN FRAYER
He noticed that Chinese customers would often make a day out of it — bringing their tea and snacks, getting some shopping done and then treating themselves to a nice nap.
The aim behind the project for Frayer was never to ridicule the sleeping shoppers. Instead, he was kind of awe-inspired by this public etiquette.
“I think I was most surprised by how people managed to achieve a state of real rest," he said. "In this busy, crowded and chaotic environment people can have a good sleep. Next time I might try it myself. lf I can find an open seat.”


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Rebels seize MH17 plane crash black boxes and bodies, human remains shipped on train to unknown site



Xeni Jardin recaps the latest news from Ukraine, where securing the crash site of Flight MH17 remains an open question
Flowers left on debris of flight MH17 (Reuters)
On Sunday morning, reporters at the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight 17 in Eastern Ukraine say armed pro-Russia militants have forced emergency workers to hand over all bodies and body parts recovered so far. The human remains were then loaded onto refrigerated train cars bound for a rebel-held city.
Ukraine's deputy prime minister Volodymyr Groysman said 192 bodies and eight body parts were loaded onto the railway cars.
The rebels say they also have the plane's "black box" data recorders, and will hand them over to the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Most of the recovered bodies are thought to have been put in refrigerated rail wagons

Most of the recovered bodies are thought to have been put in refrigerated rail wagons
This development comes after days of global outrage over how the remains of the MH17 crash victims and the crash site itself are being treated--and how that chaos makes a thorough, impartial investigation impossible.
Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe walk near a train at a railway station in the town of Torez, Ukraine, on Sunday. Employees and local residents say it contains bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe walk near a train at a railway station in the town of Torez, Ukraine, on Sunday. Employees and local residents say it contains bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.
Ukraine and pro-Putin separatists each accuse the other of firing a surface-to-air missile at the plane, which was flying at roughly 33,000 feet from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over the war zone in eastern Ukraine. Both sides deny responsibility. All people on the plane, 283 passengers and 15 crew, are presumed dead.
From AP:
Associated Press journalists saw reeking bodies baking in the summer heat Saturday, piled into body bags by the side of the road or still sprawled where they landed in the verdant farmland in eastern Ukraine after their plane was shot out of the sky Thursday.
By Sunday morning, AP journalists saw no bodies and no armed rebels at the crash site. Emergency workers were searching the sprawling fields only for body parts.
 A pro-Russian separatist stands on guard at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region July 19, 2014.    REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

A pro-Russian separatist stands on guard at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region July 19, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
Alexander Pilyushny, an emergency worker combing the crash site for body parts Sunday morning, told reporters he and other workers had no choice but to hand the bodies over to the rebels. "They are armed and we are not," Pilyushny said. "The militiamen came, put the bodies onto the trucks and took them away."
Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe inspect a refrigerator wagon, which according to employees and local residents contains bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane, at a railway station in the town of Torez, Donetsk region July 20, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe inspect a refrigerator wagon, which according to employees and local residents contains bodies of passengers of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane, at a railway station in the town of Torez, Donetsk region July 20, 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
From a powerful report by Peter Baker and colleagues at the New York Times:
[T]he horror of the crash site was on full display. Small white pieces of cloth dotted the grassy farmland, marking the locations of bodies. The smell of burned flesh hung heavily near a broken hulk of metal on the road. A foot with part of a leg lay nearby.
The scene was strangely empty. There was no yellow tape, no investigators poring over the giant metal carcass. Four local rebels wearing fatigues and carrying hunting rifles wandered through the ruins, poking around the debris more out of curiosity. On the grass were photographs of a family vacation, a baby announcement postcard and a boarding pass.
One of the men, who had never seen a boarding pass, asked what it was. Another picked up an English-language tour book and flipped through it before throwing it back in the heap. “I can’t read it anyway,” he said.
Emergency workers on Saturday carried a body from the site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash in the Donetsk region. For many, the disaster brought home a struggle that had seemed distant. Photo: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Emergency workers on Saturday carried a body from the site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash in the Donetsk region. For many, the disaster brought home a struggle that had seemed distant. Photo: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters
The Guardian's Shaun Walker, in Ukraine:
The Guardian witnessed the arrival of a delegation from the international monitoring body the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at around midday local time to inspect the wagons, accompanied by a convoy of heavily armed and nervous rebels. As they opened the metal door to one of the carriages to inspect the interior, a stench of death wafted out, and black body bags were visible inside.
"The special monitoring mission in its third day dealing with the incident has now monitored the location where bodies are being refrigerated in three wagons," said Alexander Hug, the deputy chief of the mission. "We have not been able to count them as that would be too difficult in this situation."
Michael Bociurkiw, the spokesman for the mission, added: "Going inside the wagons is impossible without special equipment. The stench is very, very bad."




The New York Times is creating an index of the dead, with stories about their lives.
Below, yet another purportedly intercepted phone call between pro-Russia rebel commanders, recorded by Ukraine intelligence. This one deals with the matter of who has control over the black boxes, and the bodies. US intelligence officials have not denied the validity of the previously-released recordings. Each of these has notably included what are said to be the actual phone numbers of the people whose voices we're hearing on the calls.
Related Hocdethi posts:


Published 8:18 am Sun, Jul 21, 2014


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