Email with subject “To Whom It May Concern”:
A Wyoming citizen reported a phishing email from Jerry Walland, an auditor. He wants you to join with him in a business venture worth $20 million. The email is really from idola.net.id, which is in Indonesia.
Email with the subject “ACTION REQUIRED:
Incomplete DSBS/SAM Registration”: A Boulder citizen reported receiving an email that his SAM registration was incomplete and to call a phone number to fix it. The citizen had just finished the registration, and the email came from samsregistration.com, so it seemed legit, but it was a scam. CyberWyoming note: Always look up the phone number via a different channel, and then call that number to verify. In this case, the phone number is not searchable, and the SAM (System for Award Management) and SBA (Small Business Administration) websites explain that many scammers are impersonating their websites, email addresses, and phone numbers.
Have you ever received an email or text that just says “hi”?
Never respond as these are how “pig butchering scams” start, leading to conversations with scammers who have increasingly sophisticated investment playbooks as well as websites, dashboards, and phone apps. An investigator for Wired Magazine found that the scammers didn’t care that he was an investigator and continued to try to ensnare him in their schemes. The scammer’s investment website was even rated high on a Google search so that any potential victim might think it was a legitimate. These pig butchering scams are run by crime syndicates in China and some other Asian countries, and they have stolen at least half a billion dollars in 2021. Check out the full article: wired.com/story/pig-butchering-scams-evolving.
The Internet Theft Resource Center (ITRC) warns that impersonation will be the scam category in the coming year, along with social media account takeovers and romance/dating scams. Other experts have said they expect to see a further sharp rise in the use of ransomware. The Center also predicts an increase in con tricks and fraud targeting immigrants and ethnic minorities who don't have good command of English. Brought to you by scambusters.org. CyberWyoming Note: Wyoming companies and charitable organizations have been impersonated, so before you give out your personal information or money, always call to double check.
Top 7 Scams to Watch Out for in 2023:
AARP has compiled a list of the top scams that have been repurposed for 2023 including payday loans, one-time password bot scams that get you to provide authentication codes to your bank or investment funds via an unsolicited phone call or text, student loan forgiveness, puppy purchases, stealing checks from mail boxes, and fake QR codes. CyberWyoming Note: It’s worth checking out these scams on aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-2023/top-scammer-tactics-2023.html as some of these are really sneaky such as replacing the QR code on a restaurant menu!
Ignore any text message you receive saying the United States Postal Service can't deliver a package because your address is incomplete. For instance, it may say they don't have your house number. Victims are told to call a toll-free number where they're asked to pay a $3 fee to update records, using a credit card. USPS doesn't operate this way, and the crooks not only get your $3 but also your card number. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
FTC Launches New Website to Help You Spot a Scam and Educate Your Community:
The FTC launched a new website called Money Matters: consumer.ftc.gov/money-matters-how-spot-avoid-and-report-scams. It outlines information on credit reports, buying/renting a home, employment scams, borrowing and debt, your rights when shopping, buying and owning a car, student scams, and prizes/grants scams. Educators, check out the presentations, graphics and more for your classroom!
MS-ISAC and CISA Patch Now Alert:
The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) or the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a patch now (update your software) alert for Apple products including Safari, macOS, iOS, iPadOS; Citrix Workspace Apps, Virtual Apps, and Desktops; Firefox 110 and ESR; Adobe products including After Effects, Connect, FrameMaker, Bridge, Photoshop, InDesign, Premier Rush, Animate, Substance 3D Stager; many Microsoft products including Azure, Office, and Windows. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.
Data Breaches in the News:
Reddit, Pepsi Bottling, and a breach of GoAnywhere developer Fortra affected over one million patients of Community Health Systems (one of the largest healthcare service providers in the U.S.). CyberWyoming Note: If you have an account with one of these companies, be sure to change your password and consider placing a credit freeze on your accounts through the three credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
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