Fake Funeral Notice Scam
Scam artists are forever trying to trick people into clicking on links that will download malware to their computers. But the latest scam takes the tricks to a new low. Scammers are sending bogus emails with the subject line "funeral notification." The message appears to be from a legitimate funeral home, offers condolences, and invites you to click on a link for more information about the upcoming "celebration of your friend’s life service." But instead of sending you to the funeral home's website, the link sends you to a foreign domain where the scammers download malware to your computer.
Malware, short for “malicious software," includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
If you get an email about a friend or loved one’s passing, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says hit Delete. Don’t click on the link. You may then want to contact the funeral home or family directly to verify the information.
"One-ring" Cell Phone Scam
Who’s calling now? That number doesn’t ring a bell. Hold the phone, says the Federal Trade Commission. You could be a potential victim of the growing "one-ring” cell phone scam.
Here’s how it works: Scammers are using auto-dialers to call cell phone numbers across the country. Scammers let the phone ring once — just enough for a missed call message to pop up.
The scammers hope you’ll call back, either because you believe a legitimate call was cut off, or you will be curious about who called. If you do, chances are you’ll hear something like, “Hello. You’ve reached the operator, please hold.” All the while, you’re getting slammed with some hefty charges — a per-minute charge on top of an international rate. The calls are from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they’re from inside the U.S., but actually are associated with international phone numbers — often in the Caribbean. The area codes include: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849 and 876.
If you get a call like this, don’t pick it up and don’t call the number back. There’s no danger in getting the call: the danger is in calling back and racking up a whopping bill.
If you're tempted to call back, do yourself a favor and check the number through online directories first. They can tell you where the phone number is registered.
New Target Scam
If you've been following the news this holiday season, you've probably heard that Target shoppers may have been affected by the recent data breach. Target notified their customers of the breach via email.
Unfortunately, scammers follow the news, too. Scam artists may send out phony “Target” emails pretending to help, but they actually want to trick you into giving them your personal information. And they are skilled at making the emails look real. If you get an email that says it's from Target, here's what to look out for to make sure you don't get scammed.
*If any email asks for your personal or financial information, it's most likely a scam. Say the email asks for your credit card number to check whether your card was compromised by the breach. What do you do? Don't reply. No legitimate business will ask for your personal information through unsecure methods like email.
*If there are links in the email, don't click on them, even if they seem legit at first glance. Scammers can easily create links and sites that look like the real deal, but can install viruses to your device or direct you to spoof sites that exist to steal your information. Hovering over a link can reveal a deliberately misspelled web address, or a completely different destination. Your best bet is to type the URL directly into your browser.
During the holidays, scammers may send emails promising a free gift card, a new tablet or computer, or even a seasonal job in exchange for your financial information. Even though these offers may sound tempting, delete the message and keep your information to yourself.
If you think you've received a fake email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and delete the message from your inbox.
For more scam updates check out this website from the Federal Trade Commission;
Cyber Monday and Online Shopping Season:
Contact the seller or the site operator directly to resolve any issues. You may also contact the following:
For additional information about safe online shopping, please visit the following sites:
· OnGuard Online
· Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
· Internet Crime Complaint Center
Internal Revenue Service
Cyber Criminals using photo-sharing programs to compromise computers!
The FBI has seen an increase in cyber criminals who use online photo-sharing programs to perpetrate scams and harm victims' computers. These criminals advertise vehicles online but will not provide pictures in the advertisement. They will send photos on request. Sometimes the photo is a single file sent as an e-mail attachment, and sometimes the victim receives a link to an online photo gallery.
The photos can/often contain malicious software that infects the victims” computer, directing them to fake websites that look nearly identical to the real site where they originally saw the advertisement. The cyber criminals run all aspects of these fake websites, including “tech support” or “live chat support,” and any “recommended” escrow services. After the victim agrees to purchase the item and makes the payment, the criminals stop responding to correspondence. The victims never receive any merchandise.
The FBI urges consumers to protect themselves when shopping online. Here are a few tips for staying safe:
If you have fallen victim to this type of scam, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.ic3.gov/
MOST POPULAR PASSWORDS
1 - Fake Check Scam
2 - Work-at-Home Scams
3 - Mystery Shopper Scam
4 - Lotteries and Sweepstakes Scams
5 - Pay-in-Advance Credit Offers
6 - Tech Support Scams
The latest version of the scam begins with a phone call. Scammers can get your name and other basic information form public directories. They might even guess what computer software you're using. Once they have you on the phone, they often try to gain your trust by pretending to be associated with well-known companies or confusing you with a barrage of technical terms. They may ask you to go to your computer and perform a series of complex tasks. Sometimes they target legitimate computer files and claim they have viruses. There tactics are designed to scare you into believing they can help fix your "problem."
Once they have gained your trust, they may:
Regardless of the tactics they use, they have one purpose: to make money.
If You Get a Call:
Keep these tips in mind: