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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 5, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , paypal, , phishing, ,   

    Two PayPal scams you should be aware of 

    Two PayPal scams you should be aware of

    PayPal is probably one of the most trusted online payment systems today. There aren’t many online retailers that don’t accept PayPal as a payment option. PayPal also allows those who are underrepresented by banks to not only shop online but to also have a debit card that the consumer can use like any bank debit card. However, this post isn’t meant to be free publicity for PayPal. While PayPal does offer many protections to their users, it can still be used in various scams as we’re about to take a look at now.

    Security experts are warning about a new series of text messages going around that are designed to steal your PayPal login information. The text messages claim that there has been fraudulent activity on your PayPal account and that your account is now limited. That would mean that you would be restricted in the use of your own PayPal account. The text then directs you to click on a link to verify your account. If you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a phony PayPal page that resembles the genuine article. If you enter your login information on this phony page, your information has just been stolen. Since many PayPal accounts are linked to bank accounts, your bank account could be in jeopardy as well. If you feel like you’ve clicked on one of these links and given them your information you should immediately change your PayPal password.

    The other scam is more hands on so to speak. A woman in Georgia was selling a cell phone on Facebook Marketplace. She met a buyer at a local restaurant. The man agreed to buy the phone using PayPal. The buyer showed the woman a fake email that looked like he had just paid her through PayPal. However, the woman wasn’t seeing the payment in her account. The man then made it appear as if he was calling PayPal himself and told the woman that the payment would be in her account in a couple of hours. As you can expect, the payment never showed up. PayPal doesn’t work like this as payments are almost instantaneous. Once you make or receive a payment you should be notified by PayPal right away. If you’re not notified you shouldn’t take a stranger’s word for it that you’ve been paid.

  • Geebo 11:00 am on December 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , phishing, , typosquatting   

    How a typo could cost you money 

    How a typo could cost you money

    Right now, it’s probably too late to get a Christmas present to someone on time if you’re shopping online. However, there is an online shopping scam that takes place all year long that you should be aware of.

    Have you ever mistyped the address of your favorite website only to end up on some sketchy site full of ads and malware? Now what if you mistyped the address of your favorite shopping site but the site looked exactly the same? That’s what some scammers are hoping happens if you misspell the name of a popular retailer.

    Some scammers have registered slightly misspelled web addresses, known as URLs, to try to trick you into giving them money. For example, scammers will register a URL that puts in a zero when the actual address had an ‘O’ in it. Or they’ll add an extra letter that most people won’t notice. This is known as ‘typosquatting’

    These typosquatters won’t just sit around waiting for someone to make a typing error. They’ll also send out phishing emails that look like they’re from the legitimate retailer but use their phony URL for any links in the email. As always, you should never click on email links from people you don’t know personally.

    If you go to the duplicate site, not only could scammers get your login information for the legitimate site, they could also get your financial information.

    The best way to protect yourself from typosquatting outside of double-checking your spelling is to use a credit card when shopping online. Credit cards come with more consumer protections than that of a debit card, gift card, or online payment service. Some credit cards even provide a free service that generates a temporary credit card number that you could use for a one time purchase. This will prevent your credit card from being used for additional fraudulent charges.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pandemic unemployment assistance, phishing, PUA, , ,   

    New unemployment scam promises $7600 

    New unemployment scam promises $7600

    If it seems like we’re hitting you over the head with unemployment scams, we’re sorry. We try to keep the content as diverse as possible but it seems that new unemployment scams have been popping up all over the country lately. This time, the scam is coming out of Ohio.

    The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is warning residents of an email phishing scam. The scam is said to be targeting anyone in the state that has received pandemic unemployment assistance. This is an assistance program Ohio uses to help those not normally eligible for unemployment such as the self-employed and gig workers.

    The email, which can be viewed here, states that applicants can receive an additional ‘7,600 USD’ if they click on the link that says ‘Accept My Claims’. If you were to click on the link it would no doubt take you to an official-looking but phony web page where you’ll be asked to input your personal information. If you’re on a laptop or desktop computer you can hover your cursor over any link to see where it’s really going to take you.

    There are a couple of red flags with this scam if you know what to look for. The first is that the email said payment would be 7,600 USD. USD is normally only used outside of the country to indicate how much something may be if you’re purchasing it from overseas. There are also some grammatical errors in the email that you may overlook if you’re not too careful.

    The whole situation in Ohio leaves a question that we think needs to be asked. How were the scammers able to obtain the email addresses of people who are and were on the pandemic unemployment assistance?

    We’d also like to remind you that just because it’s happening in Ohio doesn’t mean a similar scam couldn’t come to your state. If you receive an email like this, do not click on any of the links contained in it. Instead, if you think there’s an issue with your unemployment go directly to your state’s unemployment website.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on November 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , phishing, , , ,   

    New sweepstakes twist on unemployment scam 

    New sweepstakes twist on unemployment scam

    The Keystone State of Pennsylvania was one of the first states hit hardest by the nationwide problem of unemployment scams. For those who may not have heard, scammers are filing for unemployment benefits in all 50 states. The scammers use the identities of people who had their information exposed in corporate data breaches. Due to the sheer number of unemployment claims that have been filed since the start of the pandemic, most states’ unemployment systems have been overworked. This has allowed scammers to take advantage of the crisis and slip through the cracks and steal benefits.

    Now it seems that the scammers aren’t content with using the stolen identities they got through data breaches. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, residents there have reported receiving emails and social media messages about having won a prize. The messages contain a link that takes them to a page that requests personal information so the ‘prize’ can be claimed. This is what’s known as a phishing attack. Once the scammers have the victim’s information, they allegedly use it to file for unemployment benefits in the victim’s name.

    Since this new variation of the unemployment scam is appearing in Pennsylvania it’s more than likely happening in your state as well. The unemployment scam is one of the rare instances where a scam has happened almost everywhere in the country at once.

    As with all sweepstakes scams, if you’ve never entered anything you can’t win anything. So any online message that claims you’ve won something is more than likely a scam. Once you give your personal information to a scammer it’s out there for good and can never be retrieved. Even if you clear things up with your state’s unemployment office, there’s a good chance that this could be the first in a long line of instances where you have to fight to prove your true identity.

    • Lorrie 3:13 am on November 28, 2020 Permalink

      I never got mine and I’m a victim of iidenty theft help!!!

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

    Stimulus check scams are back 

    Stimulus check scams are back

    Most Americans received their economic impact payments much earlier this year. This hasn’t stopped scammers from trying to trick people into using the promise of additional stimulus payments into giving up either money or personal information.

    Recently, scammers have been texting their victims with messages that state they have pending stimulus payments. The text then goes on to say that if you want to accept these payments you need to click on the attached link. While we haven’t confirmed this if previous texting scams are any indicator, the link will take you to a website that will require you to enter your personal information. Or it could potentially ask you to pay a ‘processing fee’ to receive your stimulus payment. In either case, the stimulus payment doesn’t exist. Ever since the initial economic impact payment were issued, the government has not approved any additional stimulus payments.

    Please keep in mind that the majority of federal agencies that deal with the general public do not communicate by text. That’s not even taking into account that if a government office needs to discuss stimulus payments they will refer to them by their proper name of economic impact payment. Anyone contacting you calling them a stimulus payment or stimulus check is probably not with the government. That’s not even mentioning that even if additional impact payments were to be issued you wouldn’t have to pay money to receive them.

    In addition to these warnings, it’s just good practice to avoid clicking on links in text messages from people you don’t know. This is a common practice used in several different scams that are designed to either steal your personal information or inject malware into your device. Either of which could lead to a number of expensive and inconvenient problems in the future.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , phishing,   

    Phishing scam targets voter registration 

    Phishing scam targets voter registration

    No matter which political party you may belong to, there has been a controversy over mail-in ballots. Some believe that this could lead to either voter fraud or voter suppression depending on which side of the political fence you’re on. However, there’s an apolitical scheme going on that doesn’t care what your ideology is.

    According to authorities in Arizona, emails are being sent out to look like they’re from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. The emails say that your voter registration information is incomplete. Of course, the email contains a link for you to click on so you can provide your correct information. The link takes you to a legitimate-looking website where you’re asked for your personal information.

    This is what’s known as a phishing scam. The scammers aren’t planning to cast a vote in your name. That doesn’t make them any money. Instead, they’ll use your personal information for financial gains such as opening loans or lines of credit in your name.

    As always, you should never provide personal information to unsolicited emails no matter how official the email may look. Anyone with a modicum of computer knowledge can make an email look like it came from any organization they want.

    If you think that there may be an actual problem with your voter registration information, go to your county’s election office and bring several forms of ID with you.

    No matter which way you lean, make sure that your voice is heard.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , gov.us, phishing,   

    New scam tries to fine you for leaving your home during quarantine 

    New scam tries to fine you for leaving your home during quarantine

    With the country now being six months into the quarantine, you would have thought we would have heard of all the coronavirus scams by now. Yet, here we are posting about a new scam with COVID trappings and a little fake governmental fear to boot.

    Tech news website The Verge has posted a blog entry about how one of their editors who is working at home, received a scam email. The mail claimed that the editor left his home three times in one day during the lockdown and needed to go online to pay their $59 fine. The email went on to say the fine needed to paid to the editor’s gov.us account and gave a gov.us web address to click on to pay the supposed fine.

    This is actually a pretty clever scam. The gov.us web address appears like it’s coming from an actual government agency. However, anyone can buy a .us web address. Legitimate federal government web addresses end in .gov so seeing a gov.us address could fool some of the people all of the time. Plus, the scammers aren’t asking for a large amount for their phony fine. Potentially, someone may just click on the email’s link just to pay what they think is a nuisance fine.

    The trick here is that gov.us isn’t even a real website. The web address in the email was actually disguised to take any likely victims to what The Verge called a spammy website. The website The Verge listed has since been taken down but more than likely the website was designed to infect your system with malware that could wreak all sorts of havoc on your device from ransomware to identity theft. In order to avoid pitfalls like this, if you’re on a computer, you can hover your mouse over the address without clicking on it to see where it will actually take you.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , phishing, ,   

    Delivery text message scam not linked to human trafficking 

    Delivery text message scam not linked to human trafficking

    Recently, we posted a story about how a text messaging scam was fooling victims into giving up their personal and financial information. If you’ll recall, the scam entailed receiving a text message that claimed to be from a delivery service like UPS or FedEx. The text message will say that you have an undelivered package and it will provide a link for you to click on to supposedly set your delivery preferences. Here’s a sample of what the message could look like.

    What happens once you click on the link is you’ll be taken to a page that is designed to look like a page from Amazon. The fake Amazon page will then ask you to fill out a customer service survey in order to claim a prize. After you win the prize, you’ll be asked to pay for shipping by providing your financial information. From there, the scammers can do pretty much what they want with your financial information. In some instances, victims have been signed up for subscription services related to their ‘prize’ that ended up costing them $100 a month.

    For some reason on social media, this texting scam started to be passed around as being part of a human trafficking ring. Multiple anti-human trafficking agencies have gone on record to say this is simply not true.

    Unfortunately, the reality is when recruiting victims for human trafficking, it isn’t so elaborate. More often than not, traffickers will prey on the more vulnerable members of our society such as the homeless and those struggling with addiction or untreated mental health issues. If the traffickers are looking to recruit children, they’ll often take to social media to look for children who are having problems at home or school and are looking for a way to escape their lives. Random unsolicited text messages are not one of the tools in the trafficker’s arsenal.

  • Geebo 8:01 am on September 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , hotel scam, , phishing, ,   

    Another trio of identity theft scams to look out for 

    Another trio of identity theft scams to look out for

    Once again, we’re bringing you a trio of scams that are happening around the country. We think you should keep an eye out for them before they come to your area.

    The first scam literally is one that is happening all across the country. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has issued a warning about a Social Security scam that’s targeting seniors. Scammers are posing as the Department of Justice and are looking to steal personal information. The scammers will leave a number to call back which will lead you to a phony investigator who will ask you for your personal information. If you receive one of these phone calls, you’re asked to report them to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or the FTC website.

    The Department of Health from the state of North Dakota is reporting that residents there have been receiving worrying messages about COVID-19. People there have been receiving texts, emails, and even letters telling them that they’ve tested positive for coronavirus. However, many of the people receiving these messages haven’t even been tested for coronavirus. The messages contain a link that directs them to a website where they’re asked for personal information. You should never click on links from or open any attachments from someone that you don’t know personally.

    Lastly, if you find yourself staying at a hotel on a getaway, be careful what information you give over the hotel phone. Police in Wrightsville, North Carolina are warning vacation goers about a scam that has hit their area. Police there say that scammers are calling hotel rooms posing as the front desk and asking for personal information. Sometimes the scammers will even try to get financial information out of their victims. Please keep in mind that the hotel will not ask for payment information away from the front desk. If you receive a call like this while staying at a hotel either call the front desk directly or go straight to the front desk personally.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , phishing,   

    Package delivery update text is a scam 

    Package delivery update text is a scam

    We first discussed the delivery update scam back in January of this year. Now, with even more people receiving deliveries at home, the scam seems to have returned with a vengeance. Various law enforcement agencies and consumer protection groups from all over the country have issued warnings about this scam recently.

    The way the scam works is that you’ll receive an unsolicited text message like the one above. It may claim to be from a delivery service like FedEx, DHL, or UPS. Other times they’ll claim to be from Amazon directly but they’ll all tell you t6he same thing. The messages state that you have an undelivered package that needs your preferred delivery option. Then at the very end of the message, a link will be provided for you to click on.

    As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, you should not click on the link. Doing so will take you to a page that is designed to look like it’s an Amazon page. The fake Amazon page will then ask you to fill out a customer service survey in order to claim a prize. After you win the prize, you’ll be asked to pay for shipping by providing your financial information. From there, the scammers can do pretty much what they want with your financial information. In some instances, victims have been signed up for subscription services related to their ‘prize’ that ended up costing them $100 a month.

    While delivery services do have text messaging services that notify you about the arrival of your package, you need to sign up with these services first before the delivery company will text you. So, if you have not signed up for this service and receive one of these text messages, there are a couple of things you can do. The first is to just ignore it and delete it. The other thing you can do is copy the text of the message, paste it into a new text message, and text it to the Federal Trade Commission at 7726 (SPAM).

    Whatever you do, don’t click on the link or respond to the text. Even if you respond, scammers will know that your number is a working one which will just invite more scams.

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