Safeguarding Yourself From Scams – Don’t become a victim! Part 1: Common Techniques

Safeguarding Yourself From Scams – Don’t become a victim! Part 1: Common Techniques

scam-alert1
1.) Phishing : Phishing e-mails mimicking online businesses or banks in an attempt to fool people into freely giving out confidential personal and financial information. URL Obfuscation is the part of the phishing scam that really plays on human error and our brain’s ability to “fill in the gaps” automatically by sending a victim to a fraudulent web site address that looks almost exactly like a real address (i.e. http://www.pay-pal.com versus http://www.paypal.com).

2.) Pharming : Pharming is another form of phishing that “poisons” a person’s computer’s DNS cache and redirects visitors from a real web site to a bogus mirror site. Every web site has its own internet address and the Domain Name System (DNS) translates the IP address into the host name. A DNS cache poisoning changes the entries in the computer so when the legitimate site is typed in, the victim is sent to a fraudulent web page instead.

3.) Trojan Horse : Trojan Horses are malicious software files that infiltrate your PC by hiding in seemingly innocuous files. Some Trojans, called “keystroke loggers,” record every one of a person’s keystrokes and send that information back to the attacker.

4.) Trojan : Zombie Computers and Man-In-The-Middle Attacks are part Trojan and the malicious software that is installed on the victim’s computer allows that person’s PC to be controlled remotely by their attacker without their knowledge. The Man-In-The-Middle attack is frequently partnered with an “Evil Twin” which is a fake wireless internet hot spot connection that looks almost like a legitimate service. When the victim attempts to connect, the criminal launches a transaction to get the victim’s credit card information in the form of a standard pay-for-access deal to use the wireless internet.

5.) Cashier’s Check Scams : There are numerous ways to use cashier’s checks in scams. Here are a few of the most common –

Money mule: you receive payments, and you’re supposed to deposit the payments to your account and forward the money to somebody else. Often advertised as a work-at-home check processing job, these schemes are often problematic. In some cases, you’re laundering money for criminals. In other cases, the first few payments are fine, but eventually you’ll get a fake check (after they’ve gained your trust) and you’ll lose money.

Foreign wealth scams: somebody you don’t know reaches out to you and asks for your help transferring a large sum of money out of a corrupt nation. In exchange, you can keep a tiny fraction of the transfer, which is more than you make in a year. Of course, you’ll have to send money to somebody to complete the transfer (which will never arrive).

Inheritance and lottery scams: you’re about to receive a lot of money, but you’ll need to pay a small amount for taxes or legal fees to “release” the funds. It’s a small price to pay for the riches that are headed your way. Of course, they’ll never materialize.

Property rental scam: somebody is moving to your area for a new job. They’d like to pay the first and last month of rent (and security deposit) with a cashier’s check before they ever see the property. The day after you deposit the check, they say there was an issue with the job – they’re not coming, so they don’t need the rental. You can keep the security deposit, but they’d like for you to return some of the rent. After you send the refund, you’ll find that the check was a fake.

Part 2 (JULY) will go over a few tips to protect yourself.

~Your TeCHS

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Online Safety, Part 2 – Unsolicited Calls

I write a lot about staying safe online but in our world this subject is incredibly important. Over the next few months I will be writing about general online safety tips.

Scam-Alert

There is a very common scam out there right now where you will get a call and the person on the hone will say something like this: “Your computer is infected with a virus and I will help you get rid of it.” They also usually state they are from “Microsoft” or “Apple” or some other large computer company. They are not. They are nothing more than lying thieves.

They will then ask you to go to a specific web site address and allow them access to take control of your computer.

DO NOT DO THIS!
NEVER DO THIS.

Hang up IMMEDIATELY! Then block the phone number from your phone (or add to the auto-reject list).

We even get these calls at our office!
I admit, if we aren’t busy we have a little fun with these people… and if you are so inclined, I suggest doing so yourself but NEVER go to the site they tell you to and NEVER give them access to your computer.

Once you allow them access, they will have total control over your system, your data, your digital life.

~Your TeCHS

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Your Digital Life Simplified!

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Three tips to help you stay safe online

Three tips to help you stay safe online

Scammers are constantly increasing their fake emails and calls… Here are three really good ways to protect your identity and information online from criminals, scams, and phishing attempts.

  • Keep a clean machine: Keep all of your software up-to-date (especially operating system updates) on all Internet-connected devices to reduce risk of infection and malware. Check for updates regularly and make sure they are installed.
  • Use a better password: Improve your defenses on accounts by making passwords that you can remember and that are hard to guess. Passwords should use a combination of numbers, capital and lowercase letters and symbols. They should also be different for every account.
  • Passcode protect:  Every device ‒ laptop, tablet or smartphone ‒ should be protected with a passcode or password to prevent unwanted access if it is lost or stolen.

~Your TeCHS

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