Email with the subject “YOUR ACCOUNT NEEDS ATTENTION!!!”:
A Laramie citizen received an email that their Blockchain account has been suspended. A convenient button to click to restore the account is provided. There are so many problems with this email that it’s hard to list them all: misspellings, bad grammar, multiple exclamation points, and a suspicious email address (afiu[dot]org). CyberWyoming note: Scammers are increasingly using cryptocurrency to steal your money. If you believe any of your accounts are suspended, look up the business online and call the support desk for assistance. However, you still need to be careful because some scammers are smart enough to create fake websites with fake support numbers. The websites are just one or two characters different from the real website: for example, Fidality.com rather than Fidelity, Shwab.com rather than Schwab.com, etc.
Business Identity Theft:
As you may know, anyone can go to the Secretary of State's office website and look up company information. Scammers are now using this information to apply for loans and get into government accounts like SAM.gov. CyberWyoming Alliance researched how to put a credit freeze on your business accounts, and you can't. It isn't the same as personal credit freezes. Instead, if you suspect business identity fraud you have to go to each of the credit services and add a Fraud Alert. There are also monitoring services at each of the credit agencies that you can pay for to be more proactive.
Talk to your company's bank and ask them what you can do to protect your business from identity theft. – Brought to you by National Cybersecurity Society, a Gula Tech Foundation grantee. CyberWyoming note: Read every email about updates to your business. Always enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your accounts, personal and business. To learn more, join Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses: one-on-one, on-the-job training, human risk management. cyberwyoming.org/competition/.
It's that time of year for tax scams:
tax scams are proliferating where your tax refunds are stolen and fake messages from the IRS are sent. The good news that there are ways to protect yourself:
- Get an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS (irs.gov/identity-theft-fraud-scams/get-an-identity-protection-pin).
- Be wary of emails, calls, or texts claiming to be from the IRS.
- Vet your tax preparer and ask what steps they take to protect your information.
- File as early as you can. The sooner you can file, the less time cybercriminals have to file a fake return and try to nab your refund.
Social Security Administration Scam Alert:
Scammers call, email, text, write, or message you on social media claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or the Office of the Inspector General. They may even attach a picture as “proof” that the person is really from the SSA. The SSA says scams all work the same way:
- Scammers pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust.
- Scammers say there is a problem or a prize.
- Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
- Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.
The SSA wants you to know they will NEVER
- Threaten you with arrest or legal action because you don’t agree to pay money immediately.
- Suspend your Social Security number.
- Claim to need personal information or payment to activate a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or other benefit increase.
- Pressure you to take immediate action, including sharing personal information.
- Ask you to pay with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or by mailing cash.
Most Pet Ads Are Fake:
Scambusters reports that 80% of all pet ads are fake with individual losses averaging around $600. It’s not just fake ads, either – last month scammers hijacked an animal rescue groups page on Facebook, posted ads for French Bulldogs, and took deposits from unsuspecting adopters. They also use posts for missing pets to prey on people. For more information on how to spot fake pet ads, see scambusters.org/petad.html. Brought to you by Scambusters.org.
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 Fortinet FortiOS, Microsoft products, MS Office for Android, Firefox, Adobe products, and Google Chrome. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.
Data Breaches in the News:
Telehealth provider Cerebral, AT&T. 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