FBI Spoofed in Real Estate Dispute

February 11, 2011


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Real Estate Promoter Charged with Spoofing FBI

Feb. 14 2011 - 7:32 am | 1 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Pursuant to a February 8, 2011, Criminal Complaint filed in United District Court in Santa Ana, CA, Karen Elaine Hanover, 44, was charged with impersonating a federal agent through the use of "spoofing" technology. Hanover was arrested on February 10th, and, if convicted, faces a maximum of three years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Karen Elaine Hanover

NOTE: A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime but is not the equivalent of an indictment issued by a grand jury. Defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, Hanover operated a real estate service that charged clients a $30,000 "consulting fee" in exchange for providing unique information about favorable commercial properties.  For a sense of Hanover's real estate activities, see her on video at Facebook

Unhappy Clients

When some clients concluded that Hanover failed to deliver the promised services, they complained about Hanover's operation on an Internet blog and encouraged others to report Hanover's suspected fraudulent activity to the FBI and other federal authorities. Frankly, to allege that the clients merely "complained" and "encouraged others" is quite an understatement.  The online allegations are vitriolic, personal, and suggest that the clients are beyond merely upset - we're talking about folks that are infuriated. Learn more about the extent of the clients' allegations at http://duncanwierman.wordpress.com/  

FBI Customer Service

During the second half of 2010, one of Hanover's unsatisfied clients was allegedly contacted telephonically by a caller with a male voice who claimed to be an FBI agent and whose caller ID was for the main number of the FBI's Los Angeles Field Division. In this call, the "agent" threatened to imprison Hanover's client if she did not stop complaining about Hanover.  

Spoof

Subsequent investigation revealed that calls from the purported male FBI agent were actually made from Hanover's cellular phone. The complaint alleges that Hanover used a website to alter her voice and to alter her caller ID (commonly referred to as spoofing) to appear that the call had emanated from a phone number at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Division. Allegedly, Hanover had also used the same website to "spoof" the FBI Miami Division's phone number, as well as the FBI Headquarters number in Washington, D.C. The complaint alleges that the spoofing was undertaken in an effort to discourage Hanover's disgruntled clients from complaining to the authorities about her.  

If You Can Think of It, It's On the Internet

Some of you might be wondering how difficult it is to spoof your phone number and even alter your voice. You might think that this requires thousands of dollars and the need to pull up next to some car in a parking lot and pass over a bag of cash to some scary looking guy, who then hands you an electronic device with the warning not to tell anyone about any aspect of the transaction. Well, think again. For starters, visit this website: http://www.spoofcard.com/  

 Here's how Spoofcard.com markets its product:  

Spoofcard is the revolutionary tool that allows a user to maintain anonymity when making a call. This is done with Spoofcard's many features, the most prominent being the ability for the user to substitute any number as their caller ID.  

Additional features include: Option to change the voice to a male or female, in real-time, and an option for the user to record the conversation.  

Hey, welcome to the Brave New World - scary, no?  

For recent articles involving the fraudulent use of the FBI, see: