A CyberWyoming Alliance Challenge for National Data Privacy Week:
National Data Privacy Week is January 22-28. The CyberWyoming Alliance challenges Wyomingites to check the settings on three of your social media accounts during that week! Don’t know where instructions can be found about your social media accounts? Check out this link: staysafeonline.org/resources/manage-your-privacy-settings. Finish reviewing 3 different accounts and email us your Wyoming address at [email protected] and we will send you a webcam cover! (And, no, we won’t keep your address on file.)
What is Love Bombing?
The nonprofit Cybercrime Support Network describes love bombing as, "Showering you with over-the-top affection, flattery, gifts, and praise early on in the relationship to win over your affection and attention. This tactic... is used by the scammer to manipulate you into jumping into a relationship sooner and more seriously than you originally intended." Both in the real world and in romance scams, the perp uses love bombing in the early days of the relationship, often sending love messages, money, flowers, and gifts several times a day to the point where the victim feels overwhelmed. They may seem to be over-generous; then the manipulation begins. Here are some red flags to watch for from the outset:
- They brag about themselves, their looks, and their expertise, often in investing or other types of money-making.
- They say they love you almost immediately and certainly within days or weeks, telling you they want to be with you all the time.
- They use pet names and affectionate terms like "honey" and "sweetie" before you feel ready for this type of talk. You start to get the feeling that things are moving too quickly.
- They claim to be worried about you and about losing you, so they need to keep checking on you.
- They say you were made for each other, calling you a "soul mate."
- As they get to know you, they tell you things you want to hear and about plans for things you can do together - like buying a house.
- They try to force you into making some sort of commitment to them, almost from the get-go.
- Having flattered you and made you feel like a star, they switch tactics, criticizing and pretending to be angry, upset, or offended because you won't do as they ask or because you're trying to put the brakes on.
- You start to feel like you did something wrong and owe them something. It's as if you have to recover the relationship by pleasing them.
- They pretend to be jealous and try to cut you off from friends and family so you start to feel more dependent on them.
If you think you may be a victim of love bombing, talk to a trusted friend, mental health professional, or call the AARP Fraud Watch Network at 877-908-3360. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
You Didn't Win:
One of the longest running sweepstakes scams using the legitimate name of Publishers Clearing House (PCH) has suddenly reappeared, big time. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports a 240 percent increase in September alone. The tricksters tell victims they've won but need to pay to collect winnings and provide bank account and Social Security details. The real PCH doesn't request any of this. You didn't win; make sure you don't lose. CyberWyoming Note: this has been reported in Wyoming and South Dakota! Brought to you by scambusters.org.
Please report scams you may experience to [email protected] to alert your friends and neighbors.
Other ways to report a scam:
- Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker: bbb.org/scamtracker/us/reportscam
- Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection 307-777-6397, 800-438-5799 or [email protected]
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov
- Report your scam to the FBI at www.ic3.gov/complaint
- Reported unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registration. Online at donotcall.gov/report.html or call 1-888-382-1222, option 3
- Office of the Inspector General: oig.ssa.gov
- AARP Fraud Watch Network (any age welcome) Helpline 877-908-3360
- IRS: report email scams impersonating the IRS to [email protected]
- Call the Wyoming Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) for assistance with potential Medicare fraud, abuse, or errors at 1 800 856-4398
- Victim Support: The AARP Fraud Watch Network and Volunteers of America (VOA) created a new, free program to provide emotional support for people impacted by a scam or fraud, called ReST. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudsupport to learn more about the free program and register