Tagged: identity theft Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 10:00 am on March 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Homeland Security, identity theft, , , , , ,   

    Tax collection, Homeland Security, and yet another puppy scam 

    Tax collection, Homeland Security, and yet another puppy scam

    It’s time again to bring you some more scams that are happening around the country that could ultimately impact your area and possibly someone you know.

    First up is a twist on the typical IRS scam. In the typical IRS scam, someone will call a victim on the phone pretending to be from the IRS trying to pressure the victim into making an immediate payment on a tax bill that doesn’t actually exist. The flaw in this scam is that the IRS rarely calls a taxpayer to settle any taxes owed. Instead, the IRS is known for mailing out any delinquent tax notices. That’s where this new scam being reported out of Sullivan County, Tennessee takes it up a notch. The scammers are mailing out letters claiming to be from a “Tax Enforcement Department” which then directs potential victims to call a phone number to make a payment. If you receive a letter like this and you feel like you may owe the IRS some money always call the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040.

    Speaking of government agencies, our next scam involves possible the most fear-inducing branch of the government and that’s the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS recently released a warning stating that scammers were calling people posing as the DHS by spoofing official DHS phone numbers. That way when someone receives the call it appears to be from DHS itself when in reality it’s just a scammer. The scammers are said to be claiming that the people they call have been victims of identity theft and ask the victims for personal information or threatening people with immigration offenses if they don’t make a payment right then and there. Some of these scammers are even sending out emails using an uscis.org email address. That is similar to but not the web address of DHS which is actually uscis.gov If you receive one of these phone calls or emails, the DHS requests that you call them at 1-800-323-8603.

    Lastly, we have an online puppy scam that has an added level of cruelty added to it. Luckily, no puppies actually exist in this scam if you can call that lucky. An online puppy scammer is said to be taking money from victims over PayPal as a deposit for a purebred puppy. The phony breeder then directs all of their victims to an address in Atlanta, Georgia to pick up the fictitious puppy. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, people have driven from as far away as Detroit. The man who lives at the Atlanta address has had to tell all the people who showed up on his doorstep that they’ve been scammed. Buying puppies online is always a risky venture as there are a plethora of scams involving puppies, some of which end up with puppies being bred in backyard puppy mills. When searching for a new pet for your family you should always deal with a locally licensed breeder or your local shelter. You’re less likely to run into scammers this way.

     
  • Geebo 9:11 am on April 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , identity theft, , romance scam   

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military 

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military

    One of the other issues discussed with Mark Zuckerberg by Congress was not just that of privacy, but that of identity theft. US Representative Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, mentioned to Zuckerberg that the Congressman had his own information stolen by scammers who had created fake profiles in order to extort money from victims. According to CBS Marketwatch, this is not a new problem on Facebook and often targets members of the military to steal their identity.

    Members of the military often have their profiles copied to make fake Facebook profiles by overseas scammers. The scammers then use the fake profiles to try to get someone romantically interested in the fake profile. This is hen usually followed up by some request for money from the victim. These scams have claimed anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars from victims, and it’s believed the crime is underreported due to the number of victims who are too embarrassed to come forward.

    Facebook is usually not a big help when it comes to these fake profiles. When the military reports these profiles, Facebook will have them removed, but then they’ll just pop right back up soon after. As in the video shown above, the serviceman whose profile was copied again and again couldn’t get the fakes removed due to Facebook claiming that the fake profiles did not violate their ever-vague ‘community guidelines’.

    Now you may be savvy enough to not fall for such a scam, but think of all your friends on Facebook who may not be. If they’re suddenly head over heels for someone in the military they’ve met online, warn them that this may be a scam, especially if they ask for money. As a military spokesperson put it to CBS…

    Members of the military shouldn’t be asking for money, said Heusdens. “If they say they need help paying for a medical bill, the military pays for medical treatment for soldiers,” she said. Likewise, asking for help to buy food is a red flag.

    “We get fed very well,” she said.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chipotle, identity theft,   

    Chipotle malware attack exposed customers’ card info 

    Chipotle malware attack exposed customers' card info

    Recently, restaurant chain Chipotle announced they experienced a massive data breach that affected numerous locations nationwide. If you visited the restaurant between March 24 and April 18 of this year and paid with a debit or credit card, the odds are that your card information has been exposed to hackers and identity thieves.

    This is just another incident in a long series of incidents that have plagued Chipotle over the past couple of years. In 2015, Chipotle was the subject of a number of food safety issues that involved outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella, and norovirus.

    What makes the Chipotle breach different from most large consumer data breaches is that Chipotle’s card reader system was infected with malware. While Chipotle has been upfront with news about the breach, they haven’t said how the malware found its way into their system. Usually, a user has to open an infected attachment in an email or visit a malware infected website for it to spread among the system. That could lead one to ask if the card reader system is attached to other easily compromised systems within the corporate information chain.

    Chipotle has said their card readers are currently free of malware, but without disclosing how they became infected in the first place it could lead customers to believe they’re still not secure and they’re private information is still at risk.

     
  • Geebo 11:31 am on February 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cloudpets, , identity theft,   

    Cloud connected child’s toy leads to personal data breach 

    Cloud connected child's toy leads to personal data breach

    As seen on TV toy CloudPets is actually a pretty clever concept. By using a smart phone app a traveling parent or a relative that lives far away can leave a voice message to a child on one of the stuffed animals.

    Except there’s that one inherent problem that affects any device connected to the cloud, there’s a chance that personal data stored there could be compromised. CloudPets seems to be having that problem currently as reports say that an insecure database led to third-parties accessing the personal information of many of their users. This information includes names and dates of birth. This is made doubly disturbing considering that a lot of this information belongs to children, not to mention that their voice messages could possibly have been stolen as well. Some reports even state that it’s possible to send unauthorized messages to the devices if someone so desired.

    As with any device that’s connected to the cloud you have to assume a certain amount of risk that the data could be stolen, but when it comes to your children you should double that amount and take proper steps to try and keep that information secure such as using strong passcodes. Or you may want to consider not sharing your child’s personal information at all with a company that advertises on basic cable commercials.

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , identity theft, ,   

    Google ad for Amazon was actually link to scam site 

    Google ad for Amazon was actually link to scam site

    Many tech news sites are reporting that there was a false ad for Amazon this past week when you searched for the retail giant on Google. The ad, that would come first in the search results, did not take you to Amazon, but instead took to you to a site that tried to perpetrate a tech support scam.

    If you went to the site on a Windows computer the site would emulate the infamous blue screen of death and advise you to call a tech support number. If you were in an Apple computer you’d receive a warning that your machine had been infected by ransomware and again be given a number to call. As long as you didn’t call the number your machine would be relatively ok.

    This scam has been around for about as long as the internet has. Fictitious sites would inundate you with pop ups telling you that your computer had been infected with some kind of malware and if you call an ‘official’ tech support number your computer will be fixed. When you call the number usually a ‘technician’ would gain access to your computer remotely with your permission and would use that opportunity to root around your computer for any information worth stealing.

    The problem with this particular scam is that it was perpetrated through Google, possibly the most perceived legitimate site on the internet. Google says that the problem has fixed but still leaves users concerned since this fake ad made it through their screening purpose. In the future users may want to not click on ads on Google’s search page and instead click on the listings instead, at least for now.

     
  • Geebo 10:55 am on December 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hello kitty, identity theft,   

    Why hackers want your kids’ accounts 

    Why hackers want your kids' accounts

    We’re used to hearing about companies being hacked and personal information being stolen. Usually it’s a tech monolith like Yahoo or a retail giant like Target. However, it seems that some hackers are targeting sites and services used by children. Popular Mechanics has reported that children’s sites like V-Tech and Hello Kitty are being hacked for their users information, and their users are children.

    So what would hackers want with the user information of children? A lot of it is what some would call a long con. Hackers could hold on to this information for years until the child turns 18. Then they could use that information to do the usual with stolen personal information. They could open banking accounts, take out loans, apply for credit cards, etc.

    So while you may think that your 10-year-old’s current personal information may currently be useless, that’s not to say that it can’t be eventually be used for bad intents. What you can do is what most adults do. When signing up your kid for some website or service, use false information. How many sites do we adults sigh up for and give the service fake names and addresses. I’ve lost track of how many services I’ve signed up for where I used the address of 123 Fake Street. Also, I think it goes without saying that you should never let your young children sign up for services on their own as they tend to freely give out their personal information. Plus, this would be a great teaching moment to your kids as to why and how their personal information should be protected.

     
  • Geebo 10:31 am on May 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , identity theft, MySpace,   

    The MySpace hack could cost you 

    The MySpace hack could cost you

    Do you remember MySpace? You know, the sparkly animated background plagued social network of the mid 2000s. Admit it, you had one but you abandoned it after the advent of Facebook. Recently it was made public that the former king of the social networking world had been hacked and hundreds of millions of usernames, email addresses and passwords have been compromised.

    So what does this mean to you? Well, that depends. Are you still using the same password that you were using with MySpace? If you use the same password on multiple websites or apps you are in danger of having all your information compromised. Internet security experts often say that you should use different passwords for all your different accounts and to aid in doing so you should use a password manager like Lastpass or KeePass to keep them all straight and passwords should be changed routinely.

    Even if you’ve abandoned your MySpace account and haven’t logged into it in years there still could be personal information attached to the account that could potentially lead to identity theft. If you no longer use a service you’re better off deleting the account than letting it sit out there as a potential target for identity thieves.

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel