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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: military draft, , , , whobbly wheel   

    Text message scam threatens victims with being drafted 

    Text message scam threatens victims with being drafted

    Leave it to scammers to use any opportunity to implement a new scam. With the recent tensions between the U.S. and Iran, scammers are using the fears of war to their advantage. The U.S. Army is warning the public about text messages that are being sent out threatening recipients with jail time if they don’t register for the “official Army draft.” It’s believed this scam is designed to garner personal information from the victim in order to commit identity theft. While Selective Service is still a thing, there hasn’t been a draft since 1973. Plus, if there was a draft the military would not use text messaging to find draftees.

    In other scam news, a car scam has claimed 50 victims in Houston. The scam is being called the ‘wobbly wheel’ scam. In it, a driver will honk at another driver telling them one of their wheels is loose. It just so happens that the person who noticed the bad wheel has the very part needed to fix the wheel. Once the wheel is ‘fixed’ they’ll ask for money or gift cards as reimbursement. These scammers have said to be targeting female drivers that have children with them. Four of six known suspects said to be committing the scam have been arrested. If you’re approached with this scam it is recommended that you notify police.

    Lastly, we have another story about being careful who you rent from. In Minnesota, a couple was scammed out of money and left without a home after responding to an ad for a rental property. The ‘landlord’ said that he couldn’t meet them or show them the property because he was out of state. However, the scammer was able to access the lockbox used to house the keys and gave the renters the code once they sent him money through a payment app. Not being able to show the property is always a red flag as is sending money through apps or wire transfers.

    Keep an eye out for these scams in case they come to your area.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Was Ring caught looking at customer cameras? 

    Was Ring caught looking at customer cameras?

    Amazon-owned Ring Cameras did not have the best 2019. If customer camera feeds weren’t being hacked then user information was allegedly being exposed in a data breach. Unfortunately for Ring, it doesn’t look like their 2020 is shaping up to be any better. In previous gaffes made by Ring, there was a kernel of truth in their claim that some of these privacy invasions could have been prevented by better user security. For example, by enabling two-factor authentication and not using the same password on all online accounts. But what happens when the security company is the one invading your privacy.

    Motherboard is reporting that Ring had to fire a number of employees who were caught accessing customer data that was not part of their jobs. In short, they were looking at customer video that they should not have been. While it can be expected for a company to monitor some of the user data for quality control purposes, it’s alleged that this was not the reason that certain employees were viewing customer videos. Considering that many Ring customers use the cameras inside their homes this can be especially off-putting knowing that Ring employees may be watching you at home.

    Depending on how this story gets picked up by the media, this could be a devastating blow to Ring’s reputation. How are consumers supposed to trust a company to help keep us safe when their employees are violating the privacy of the consumers? Granted, the number of people who were said to be doing this at Ring was low and they’ve all been relieved from their positions. But still, this seems to be yet another black eye for the security company that used to be the darling of families everywhere.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Work at home job scam cost victims thousands 

    Work at home job scam cost victims thousands

    Working at home is the dream for many, especially those who are currently looking to get back into the workforce. Because of that. many scammers use phony work at home positions to try to lure suspecting victims into their clutches by promising them good pay for easy work. However, with most things online, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Recently, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police have received reports of a work at home scam that has cost its victims thousands of dollars. Money that they’ll probably never be able to get back.

    The victims, in this case, found these jobs on a legitimate employment website. They even went through an application process and an interview. After they were ‘hired’ they even spoke to a phony human resources department. It seems like these scammers were willing to pull out all the stops to make sure this looked like a legitimate job opportunity. The job itself entailed the victims depositing a check into their own bank accounts before being told to use the money to purchase a laptop. Then the remainder of the money was sent to various clients through platforms like PayPal, Zelle, wire transfers, and, of course, gift cards.

    As you might have expected, the checks the victims were sent were fake checks but the money was already spent by the time their banks noticed. With the money being sent to various places, the victims are now on the hook for paying the money back to the bank. Any job that asks you to process business funds out of your own bank account is more than likely a scam. Not only that but since the victims went through an entire application process, the scammers have their personal information as well. So potentially these victims could also be victims of identity theft in the future.

    No matter how legitimate a job may appear, if they want you to use your own bank account or your own funds to do the job it’s probably not a job at all.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Your old credit card numbers may still be online 

    Your old credit card numbers may still be online

    When you use any one of many online retailers they may ask you if you want to save your payment information with them in case you use that vendor on a frequent basis. This can be quite convenient especially if it’s a vendor that you use all the time. However, with many things online, convenience can come at a cost of security. If you use the vendor long enough, you may have changed your credit or debit card information several times. Each of those card numbers could still be listed in your online account. Even if the numbers have expired they could still mean potential disaster for you.

    According to LifeHacker, there is a scam that relies on you leaving your old card numbers on your online accounts. For example, they talk about how if an Amazon account becomes compromised a bad actor may find old and expired card numbers linked to the account. Scammers will then try the expired numbers to see if they can still be used to make online purchases. Some card companies allow their users to make purchases even if the card is expired in case the user has just forgotten to update their information. The scammers know which cards and which vendors have more liberal policies when it comes to these purchases.

    In some cases, these purchases can show up on your doorstep. The scammers will normally keep an eye on your porch to try to grab the purchase but sometimes just knowing that the old card number works is enough. The best way to prevent this kind of fraud is to make sure that you delete your old card numbers from your online shopping accounts. It’s also recommended that you use only one card for all your online purchases as it makes it easier to keep track of any discrepancies. There are also services you can use that give you one-time use numbers that you can use for online purchases. It would mean you’d have to enter a new number with each purchase but sometimes it’s worth going the extra mile to keep your information secure.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2020, , date changing,   

    What’s the truth about writing out 2020 in full? 

    What's the truth about writing out 2020 in full?

    Shortly after the new year and decade began, a warning went out over social media about the year 2020. The warning was that if you make out any checks this year, do not abbreviate the year by simply using 20 as your year designation. For example, in standard American date abbreviation, today is 1/6/20. The wisdom behind this warning is that someone could use the abbreviated year format and alter it to look like another year. A bad actor could potentially turn 20 into anything from 2000 to 2021 or even beyond. Since social media isn’t always the best source for news, is this really a danger?

    Those who warn against abbreviating the year say that if a check is altered to a year in the past, it could appear as if you’ve had an ongoing debt since that time. If the check is altered to a date in the future, uncashed checks that have expired can be made active again. They also recommend that you should write the date out in full such as January 6, 2020, to prevent any kind of date tampering with legal documents. While this all can sound menacing, what are the odds of something like this happening to you?

    According to the internet investigators at Snopes.com, it’s unlikely that anything will happen if you forget to put the full date on a check or legal document. Snopes notes that there are many other forms of check alteration that are more likely to occur that are more lucrative for bad actors. Not only that but there are many ways to prove the alteration of the check took place so you could protect yourself against legal ramifications that could come from an altered check. However, it doesn’t hurt to write out the date in the full as it’s easier to do to prevent any potential problems than trying to fix them after a check has been altered.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Terrifying twist on scam that targets the elderly 

    Terrifying twist on scam that targets the elderly

    We’ve talked about the grandparent scam before. In it, scammers target the elderly and pose as grandchildren or some other younger relative that claims to be in trouble. Usually, the scammer will try to coerce the elderly victim into making a payment by gift cards or money transfer that is supposed to be for bail, a medical expense, or some other emergency situation. Previously, if someone was taken in one of these scams the only thing they’d have to worry about is losing money. Now, one report is stating that a new frightening wrinkle has been added to the scam.

    A consumer reporter for the New York Post is stating that he has received reports of the scammers coming to people’s doors to collect cash instead of gift cards or wire transfers. The scammers are posing as some kind of collection agents for the scams. In some cases, the people who are instructed to pick up the money don’t even know e=why they’re picking up money from the victims. It’s not just New York City where this is happening either. The scam has reached across the country to the Los Angeles area.

    If the scam is happening on both coasts then it can happen anywhere in between. If you receive one of these phone calls, don’t make any kind of payment or arrangement until you speak with a relative who can verify the location of the person in question. You could also ask the caller a question that only that person would know. You should also contact your local police as well so they can try to prevent other people from falling victim to the scam.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 2, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    That missed delivery might be a fake 

    That missed delivery might be a fake

    Even with the holiday season over a number of us will still continue to make purchases online throughout the year. We will also be checking our email to make sure our packages are being delivered on time. We might even go to the websites of the US Postal Service or whatever delivery service the vendor is using to see exactly where are packages are at this moment. Leave it to the scammers to prey on our fear of missing our deliveries to try and inject yet another scam into our lives.

    Once again, the Better Business Bureau is warning us about a pair of scams that are targeting online shoppers. In the first scam, you’ll be sent an email that looks like it came from a vendor claiming that the package is undeliverable. You’ll be asked to click on a link to resolve the issue where your computer could be infected with malware. The other scam is a little more analog. Scammers will put a notice on your front door claiming that they tried to deliver a package and will ask you to call to reschedule the delivery. When you call, the scammers will try to get your personal information.

    The BBB recommends that if you receive one of these notices on your door, never give any personal information to the scammers. Delivery companies will never need to know your Social Security or credit card numbers. If you receive one of these phishing emails, hover the cursor over the link to see exactly where the link might be taking you. And if there is an actual problem with delivery, go directly to the delivery service’s website instead of clicking the link in the email. This will go a long way in keeping your information more secure.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Wyze   

    Another security cam company has data breach 

    Another security cam company has data breach

    You may have recently seen that Ring cameras have not been having the best time of it in the news lately. If their cameras aren’t being hacked by internet pranksters, they’re making headlines for a potential data breach. Because of this, you may be considering using a Ring competitor to monitor your home. If you are, you may want to choose carefully as a Ring competitor just had a massive data breach that makes Ring’s look like a minor oversight in comparison.

    A cybersecurity firm recently announced that they found the security company Wyzed had exposed the personal information of over 2 million customers. Wyze themselves said the breach came about from a database error that led to the server’s security protocols being removed. The data was exposed from December 4th until the 26th when Wyze was notified of the breach. To Wyze’s credit, they rest all the security tokens for their customers requiring them to reset their login credentials.

    However, there is something in reports that should cause concern among Wyze’s users. The cybersecurity firm that found the breach has also claimed that data was being sent to the Alibaba Cloud in China. Wyze says they do not use Alibaba Cloud and that they do not share data with any government agencies. While Wyze may not be sending data to the Chinese government is it possible that they’re just taking it instead?

    If you are a current Wyze customer, you should be on the lookout for identity theft scams such as phishing attacks.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Ok Google (or Alexa), download some malware 

    Ok Google (or Alexa), download some malware

    The Better Business Bureau is warning about a scam that inevitably increases this time of year. If you received a new device like a Google Home or Amazon Echo for the holidays, you may want to be careful about how you activate the device. A number of scams are designed around these devices that can either cost you money or hijack your device. If you’re having trouble with the initial setup of the device, be careful how you proceed when it comes to contacting customer service. Some tech support avenues could lead you to have a device of disappointment.

    When activating your new device, you want to try to avoid phony customer service numbers. Many times, the first number you see on a web search for customer service may not be the official one. Instead, you could be talking with some unauthorized third-party service that may try to charge you for activating your device. Most devices should be activated for free once the purchase price for the device has been paid. Or, these scammers could be trying to get you to install malware on your new device that could lead to an invasion of your privacy.

    It doesn’t take much for a scammer to set themselves up on a web search page by purchasing a sponsored link. This could easily list them above the legitimate company on search results. The BBB recommends keeping a lookout for things like if the web address is misspelled or the website itself uses poor grammar. These are likely indicators that the information they’re providing you is false. You should also avoid apps that claim to be activation apps for your new device as these have also been used in the past to try to obtain personal information.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , pickpockets, , ,   

    Now you see your jewelry, now you don’t 

    Now you see your jewelry, now you don't

    If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season you may want to avoid San Francisco, or at least leave the jewelry at home. San Francisco police are warning visitors about a street-level scam that has seen its victims lose a lot of personal items. Con artists are said to be approaching victims by performing sleight of hand tricks. These deft deceivers then switch out your jewelry with fakes before absconding with the real thing. If you think that this only happens in movies, think again. You may also want to rethink the notion that it can’t happen to you.

    The virtual kidnapping scam is making the rounds again, this time in the Sedona area of Arizona. In case you’re not familiar with this scam it can be particularly disturbing to the victim. In it, the scammer will call their victim and claim that they’ve kidnapped one of their loved ones. Sometimes they’ll even have other people act as the alleged kidnapping victim. In reality, there has been no kidnapping and the scammers are trying to get the victim into an emotional state where they’ll pay a ransom without question. If you receive a call like this, it is recommended that you try to contact the person who the scammers claim is being kidnapped.

    Lastly, in Virginia, a man was targeted in a car wrapping scam. This is yet another variation of the phony check scam. The man was contacted by someone claiming to represent an energy drink company and they wanted to pay him for wrapping his car in advertisements. They sent him a check for $3,000 which he was supposed to deposit in his bank account, keep $500 and use the rest to buy the wrapping for his car. Thankfully, the man felt like something was wrong and had his bank investigate the check before depositing it. The check was a fake and if the man had deposited it and spent the money he would have had to pay the bank the difference back.

    Please keep in mind that while these scams may not be happening in your area right now, they could be showing up there soon.

     
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