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  • Geebo 8:09 am on June 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , malware, ,   

    The real-world effects of the tech support scam 

    The real-world effects of the tech support scam

    The tech support scam can take many forms. One of the more common versions of the scam is when your device will show a warning similar to the one above. It will say that your device has been infected by a virus and you’ll be directed to a phone number to call to have the virus removed. Another common version of the scam is when the scammers call random people up posing as a big tech company like Microsoft, Google, or Facebook and will tell the person they call that their computer has been infected with a virus.

    Both scams will have you grant remote access to your computer or device to remove the virus. In reality, your device does not have a virus and the scammers will not only charge you for a phony virus solution but they could also plant any type of malware on your device.

    This unfortunately happened recently to a man in Wisconsin. The scammers posed as a well-known virus protection company, called told the man he had a virus on his computer. The scammers requested remote access to his computer and $900 in gift cards to ‘fix’ the problem.

    The man made the payment but after doing so he noticed that his bank account had an additional $300 taken out of it. This was done through malware that the scammers had left on his computer while they had remote access.

    If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you’ll know that anyone asking for payment in gift cards is a giant red flag indicating a scam. No legitimate company or agency will ask for remote payments through gift cards. Due to the fact the cards are virtually untraceable once their serial numbers are given out, they’ve become the de facto currency for scammers. Secondly, no company will ever call or contact you to tell you that you have a virus on your device or computer.

    If you receive one of these calls, you should hang up immediately. If you see a pop up like the one pictured above, close the window and run a malware scan on your device. For Windows PCs and laptops we recommend either using the Windows Security Scan built into Windows 10 or using a commercial malware detection tool like Malwarebytes. There is a free version of Malwarebytes that is available for download.

     
  • Geebo 8:06 am on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , malware, ,   

    There is no 2nd stimulus payment 

    There is no 2nd stimulus payment

    With life in the United States currently adapting to the everyday changes brought on by the global pandemic, scammers and con artists have been adapting as well. With every change, they continue to tweak and transform their scams into whatever can best serve them now while disregarding the untold victims they leave in their wake.

    By most reports, the majority of those who were eligible to receive the economic impact payments have received them. That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t those who could use additional stimulus benefits. There has been talk among lawmakers to issue additional payments, but as of the time of this posting (5/26/2020) no additional stimulus payments have been approved by the government.

    That hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to fool their victims into believing that a second stimulus payment is on its way. The reason the scammers are doing this is so they can pull the same scams they tried when the initial stimulus payment was being issued.

    A report from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office is warning residents about one such scam where the scammers are posing as IRS employees. They’re saying they can provide additional funds as long as the consumer installs a certain software on their device. The victims are then asked for a $1,000 gift card to pay for the software.

    So in this particular scam, the scammers are double-dipping their victims. Not only are the scammers trying to steal consumers’ money by asking for payment by gift card but they’re also installing software on consumers’ devices. This software can be anything from malware designed to steal your security credentials or ransomware that can lock you out of your device.

    If the IRS needed to contact you for any reason, they will contact you by postal mail. They will not contact you unwarranted by phone, text, or email.

     
    • Robert Jamison 2:31 pm on May 27, 2020 Permalink

      I’m on SSI and I haven’t received my stimulus check or has been direct deposited into my account and the IRS has all my info on my direct deposit but I got the nice letter from the POS Trump be nice to get the stimulus first before you get the letter

  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Corona Antivirus, , , malware, medical fraud, , , quarantine,   

    Kickbacks and more coronavirus scams 

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/coronavirus-kickbacks-fbi-arrests-georgia-man-large-scale-unnecessary-testing-n1172101

    We thought by now that we might be seeing a decline in new scams related to the coronavirus pandemic but we are woefully mistaken. With more recent news, it seems like the scams are still on the rise.

    Medical fraud is one of the more common scams in the United States. Often, many dishonest medical providers will order unnecessary tests in order to either defraud healthcare insurance carriers or get kickbacks from the testing facilities. A Georgia man who ran a marketing company was recently arrested by the FBI for accepting kickbacks from medical testing companies for referring people to these companies to get unnecessary covid-19 testing. We keep hearing about how testing materials are scarce and are only available for the worst cases yet here is a man wasting them for the sake of greed.

    If this next scam didn’t involve covid-19 it might have almost been funny. However, leading antimalware maker Malwarebytes is reporting that there is a fake app out there calling itself ‘Corona Antivirus’. The fake app claims that if you install this app on your computer it will protect you from the actual coronavirus. If only it were that easy. Corona Antivirus is actually a piece of malware that could do a number of unpleasant things to your device.

    In the state of Washington, at least one police department is warning residents of a quarantine scam. Residents there have complained they’ve been getting calls from someone claiming to be the local police. The scammer tells the victim that they’ve been reported for violating the quarantine and must pay a fine over the phone before asking for your financial information. Police will never call you to ask you to pay for a fine over the phone.

    If you see images on social media that look like tweets from President Obama or President Trump stating that you’re eligible for $1,000 from PayPal, it’s a fake. The images had been circulating on Instagram before the accounts posting the images were pulled. Neither PayPal nor any other payment app is offering free money.

    In Illinois, a woman had her home robbed after she let a man into her house claiming to be an inspector. The man claimed he was a plumber and said he needed to check the water because people in the area contracted covid-19 form the water supply. The CDC states that covid-19 has not been detected in drinking water.

    Lastly. we’d like to remind you that if you’re receiving a coronavirus relief payment, you do not have to sign up for anything. If you filed your taxes for 2018 or 2019 and received your refund through direct deposit, the relief payment will be deposited into the bank account that the IRS has on file. There is nothing anyone can do to make the payment get to you faster. So if someone claims that they can get you the payment faster, they’re trying to scam you. Please do not give out any of your financial information to people you don’t know.

    Again, this has become a boom period for scammers. Don’t let the fear of coronavirus push you into making bad decisions that could cost you later.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cattle ranchers, , , , , malware,   

    More coronavirus scams to watch out for 

    More coronavirus scams to watch out for

    Before we get started, we here at Geebo.com hope that you and your family are coping during these trying times. Unfortunately, we have several new scams that are trying to take advantage of all of us during this global pandemic.

    In the past week, there have been a number of reports claiming that some scammers have been going door to door offering to do home covid-19 inspections for a fee. In some cases, these scammers have even posed as hospital employees. These are not legitimate services and you could be allowing bad actors into your home. If you encounter a scammer like this it is recommended that you decline their services and contact your local police.

    Previously, we’ve discussed how phony coronavirus websites are on the rise. Now, there is at least one Android app that’s trying to capitalize on the recent wave of panic. At first, you’ll receive a random text offering you safety masks. The text message will contain a link that will download an app to your device. However, the app will hijack your contacts list and send texts with the same message to everyone in your contacts. There is also the probability that the app will install some form of malware to your device. Even in times of solace, you shouldn’t be clicking on random links sent to you by strangers through text messages or emails.

    Some scammers are still trying to push ‘miracle cures’ for the coronavirus onl9ine. One such scam purported to be a Fox News article claiming that a CBD oil treatment can be used to prevent coronavirus. While CBD oil may have benefits for certain conditions, there is no evidence to suggest that covid-19 is one of those conditions. While progress is being made, there is still currently no vaccine or cure for covid-19.

    Lastly, there is apparently no field or demographic that the coronavirus scammers won’t target. In this particular scam, even cattle ranchers are being scammed. These cattle farmers are being targeted by scammers with high-pressure tactics that now is the best time to sell their cattle because of the pandemic. The scammers will then send phony checks to the ranchers that are over the amount the ranchers were asking for. The scammers will then ask for the difference back once the rancher cashes the check. By the time the bank realizes the check is a fake, the scammers will have disappeared and the rancher will be responsible for the amount of the check to their bank.

    The scams have gotten so bad around the country that many state and federal task forces are being deployed to combat these scams.

    While we should be helping each other to the best of our abilities during this unprecedented crisis, you should also have the knowledge to protect yourself from scammers.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Disney+, , malware, ,   

    Disney+ accounts are under attack 

    Disney+ accounts are under attack

    Disney+ is the home streaming service brought to you by the Walt Disney Company. It just recently launched and is already seen as a competitor to Netflix. It was hugely successful upon its recent launch and it’s easy to understand why. Not only do they provide the famous Disney catalog but they also own many other entertainment properties such as the Marvel movies and former Fox-owned shows like The Simpsons. That’s not even taking the entire Star Wars franchise into account along with the new Star Wars ongoing series The Mandalorian. Of course, where there’s an online success there are people looking to take advantage of that success and Disney+ is no different.

    Within hours of the launch of Disney+, users were already complaining that they had been locked out of their accounts. These compromised accounts are now up for sale on some of the seedier parts of the web. The accounts are going for as little as $3-$11. Many of these accounts were paid for years in advance leaving those affected with little to no recourse. Basically, hackers were gaining access to the accounts with previously compromised email and password combinations. The hackers then change the login information, locking the account’s owner out before putting the account up for sale.

    If you have a Disney+ account and you’re using a password that you’ve used elsewhere, change your password right away. In general, you should never use the same password twice. As always, we recommend using one of the many free password managers out there. If you were thinking about enabling two-factor authentication on your Disney+ account, unfortunately, you can’t. Disney has yet to offer that feature on Dinsey+. You may also want to do a malware scan on your computer as that’s another popular way that scammers and hackers can obtain your passwords.

    You should be enjoying this service and not having to spend hours with customer service trying to get the issue resolved even if you can.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , malware, , religion   

    Are religious apps taking advantage of the faithful? 

    Are religious apps taking advantage of the faithful?

    Even some of the oldest religions in the world have taken advantage of the digital revolution. Now, instead of carrying their religious texts with them everywhere many religious practitioners now use digital apps instead. With these apps, passages of inspiration and guidance are just at the tip of their fingers. There are legitimate apps dedicated to whatever religion you may choose to practice. However, that doesn’t mean that every religious app should be trusted as some try to be all-knowing but not in a good way.

    CNET recently did an expose on a number of religious apps in the Google Play Store. It was discovered that religious apps potentially contain more malware than gambling apps. Some of these apps request privacy permissions from users that go above and beyond what any app should be asking for with at least one app sharing personal information with Facebook. These privacy-invading apps do not discriminate as they can be found in apps dedicated to most major religions.

    People who practice a religion tend to trust other practitioners of that faith a little more than others. However, there have always been those looking to take advantage of that kindness and faith. While such faith in our fellow man is to be commended there is no shame in being somewhat cynical when it comes to those looking to make a buck or two off of your devotion. While many of these apps purport to make you stronger in your faith, the devil is truly in the details.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: malware, , ,   

    Malware attack targets veterans 

    Malware attack targets veterans

    Most online scams and attacks tend to target vulnerable groups of people such as the elderly, low-income families, and those in desperate need of a home. This new attack is no different, however, it’s targeting a group of people who have not only served their country but often find themselves needing resources more so than many other members of society. We’re of course talking about military veterans. Some of them are dealing with enough problems without having to deal with scammers and other bad actors but unfortunately, there are always people looking to take advantage of a bad situation.

    A number of internet security firms have reported that there is a malware attack floating around that targets veterans who are looking for employment. The veterans are lured to a site that resembles one run by the US Chamber of Commerce that is supposed to help veterans find work. Instead, this phony website infects the user’s computer with malware that is designed to steal personal that’s kept on the device. While it has not been determined what specific information is being stolen one can imagine the myriad of scams that information could be used for especially when it concerns someone who may be receiving government benefits or assistance. Sadly, this isn’t the only scam that targets veterans.

    Another scam that veterans should be on the lookout for is the benefit buyout scam as shown in the video above. There are also scams promising refinancing on VA loans with bogus promises of low rates along with phishing attacks from phony emails that appear to be from the VA. That’s in addition to employment scams that are identical to the ones civilians fall prey to but in this case, they are specifically targeted at vets. If an offer sounds too good to be true it is recommended that you check with your local VA office for additional information.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , malware, , ,   

    Double craigslist scam and more 

    Double craigslist scam and more

    Previously, we’ve told you about gift card scams and phony check scams. Now, at least one scammer tried to swindle someone using both scams at the same time. A woman in Madison, Wisconsin was trying to sell an item on craigslist and she received a check for more than $1000 than what she was asking for. The scammers told her to deposit the check and return most of the balance in gift cards. Luckily, the woman did not fall for the scam. If she had, not only would she have been on the hook for the amount of the phony check but once the gift card numbers would have been given to the scammer, the funds would be virtually untraceable.

    ***

    Speaking of gift cards, a New York man was arrested after allegedly using stolen gift cards to withdraw money at an ATM. The man allegedly used the account information from the gift cards to withdraw around $9,000. While the report doesn’t clarify what kind of gift cards were used we would imagine that they were something along the lines of a pre-paid VISA gift card. This is another potential reason you may want to avoid using gift cards as presents. We have some great tips here on how to avoid being ripped off when buying gift cards.

    ***

    Lastly, you may be tempted to buy a device online that promises you unlimited access to free movies and TV shows. Devices comparing themselves to the Amazon Fire Stick are showing up claiming to be ‘jailbroken’ which allow you to circumvent copyright protection in order to stream movies and TV shows which you would normally have to pay for a service like HBO to view. As you can probably guess, these devices are not only illegal but they’re usually loaded with malware according to CNET. This malware could potentially hijack devices connected to your home network such as microphones and cameras and could also send your personal information to any number of identity thieves. In the long run, you’re better off paying for a legitimate streaming service.

     
  • Geebo 8:59 am on September 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Avast, CCleaner, malware, Piriform   

    What the CCleaner hack means to you 

    What CCleaner hack means to you

    For those of you who may be unfamiliar with CCleaner, it’s an app for Windows computers that removes cookies and other temporary files on your computer to free up hard drive space and provide a performance boost. Recently, CCleaner’s developer, Piriform, announced on their blog that certain versions of the CCleaner software had been infected with malware. This malware is said to have possibly infected over 2 million computers.

    Piriform is claiming that they were able to quickly resolve the issue and that no harm should come to any of its users. However, it is recommended to update to the latest version of CCleaner if you haven’t already. The ironic part to the story is that Piriform is owned by malware protection company Avast. While no computer may have been actually harmed this has to be at least a minor PR kerfuffle for Avast.

    In order to keep your Windows machine more secure, always update to the latest version of whatever software your using. Whenever those pop ups come up asking you to update to the latest version, you should download and install the latest version as it usually means that the software maker has patched some security holes in the software. There are also some great utilities that automatically update your Windows applications for you that you may want to look into.

     
  • Geebo 9:03 am on August 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kronos, malware, Marcus Hutchins, ,   

    Arrest related to Wannacry made, but it’s not who you might think 

    Arrest related to Wannacry made, but it's  not who you might think

    Back in May, a number of computers and corporate networks were infected by the WannaCry ransomware attack. If you’ll recall, Wannacry would encrypt your files and instruct you to pay a ransom in Bitcoin to unknown attackers if you wanted your files decrypted. A British researcher was widely credited for finding an exploit in WannaCry where it could be disabled. Now, that man has been arrested.

    23-year-old Marcus Hutchins was arrested at Defcon, a cybersecurity and hackers conference that’s held annually in Las Vegas. The US Justice Department says Hutchins was allegedly part of another piece of malware called Kronos, Kronos is said to be used in stealing log in information of financial websites enabling an attacker to gain a users’ financial information in theory. The DOJ believes Hutchins made and sold Kronos resulting in a six-count indictment against him, however, those who know him from the cybersecurity field say Hutchins was dedicated to stopping attacks like Kronos and could not possibly be guilty of the crimes he’s accused of.

    Meanwhile, the attackers behind WannaCry finally collected their $140,000 in Bitcoin ransom. While it will be difficult for them to convert Bitcoin into cash without revealing themselves, prosecution may be unlikely considering the attack was believed to have originated from North Korea.

     
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