NEWS FROM THE LAB - Thursday, February 4, 2010

Using Google Images to Investigate Fraud Posted by Sean @ 14:48 GMT

Sami, one of our test engineers, was recently seeking a Play Station 3.

He found this offer at Huuto.net, a Finnish auction site.

PS3 Auction

160� for a 60GB unit, with games, not bad.

Sami wanted to confirm that the seller was legit, so he requested a picture, and received this.

PS3 Auction

When he examined the image properties, he discovered that the picture was taken in 2008.

PS3 Auction

Next, he performed a Google Image search using the size option. Smart.

PS3 Auction

He managed to find the image online, located within a Finnish forum thread from 2008.

PS3 Auction

That seemed kind of suspicious, so he suggested that the seller provide another picture, with the PS3 alongside a current newspaper.

The deal fell through, of course, when the seller refused. Not such a clever fraudster, eh?

He seems to have forgotten how easily things can be found on the Internet using the right tools.

Kudos to Sami for documenting his investigation and for filing a report with the police.