Can you hear me?
A Loveland (CO) citizen received a phone call, and the first thing the scammer asked was “can you hear me?” After the citizen said yes, the next thing they asked was whether his name was <redacted>, and he said yes. At this point he hung up, but it was too late. Since 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and other scam-alerting organizations have been warning about the “Can You Hear Me?” scams. Scammers try to get the caller to say “yes” during the call, and they will later use a recording of that answer to authorize unwanted charges on the victim’s accounts. If you have already responded to this type of call, review all your statements such as from your bank, credit card lender, and telephone company for unauthorized charges. Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should immediately report the incident to the FTC Report Fraud Center reportfraud.ftc.gov/.
Email with the subject “E-Order for Your Proposal”:
A Fort Collins (CO) citizen received an email with an attached letter supposedly from PayPal. The letter states that the citizen’s PayPal account was used to purchase a handgun for $1,497.00. At the bottom of the letter is a phone number for “questions.” When the citizen called the number, the scammer asked to access her computer remotely, which caused her to realize it was a scam and to hang up. CyberWyoming note: There are many red flags with this email – the email address of the sender is not from PayPal, and the “invoice” is an attached image. One of the reasons this scam works, however, is because it’s for enough money to make someone overlook the red flags, and a firearm is involved. Whoever put this scam in place knows enough psychology to get someone to call right away. And that’s why we always recommend taking several breaths, counting to ten, or making yourself a cup of tea before responding to any email that you don’t expect. Scammers are trying to get you to rush or panic which will override the reasoning part of your brain.
Beware Tax Scams:
The IRS never initiates contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media to request personal or financial information. The IRS is old school – they use regular mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to notify you of issues. They may call you if there is an overdue tax bill, unfiled tax return, or an employment tax deposit has not been made. But before they call, there will be letters sent. On rare occasions, a revenue officer may appear at your home or business. They will carry two forms of ID: an IRS-issued credential and an USPD-12 card. Both cards have serial numbers and photos of the employee, and you can demand to see both. But before this happens, you will have received multiple letters. The revenue agent will never demand payment via prepaid debit card or gift card. They will never text you or contact you via social media. They will advise you of your rights as a taxpayer, but they will never demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to pose questions or appeal the amount owed. They will never threaten to bring in the police, immigration officers, or other law-enforcement. They cannot revoke your driver’s license, business license, or immigration status. CyberWyoming note: You can always start with the AARP help line, no matter what the scam is. They will help you determine if it’s a scam, how to report it, and how to recover assets if possible. Their number is always listed at the end of this brief 1-877-908-3360.
There are scammers just waiting for an opportunity to scam you again, claiming they can recover your assets. It’s estimated that there are even more recovery scammers than regular (if there is such a thing) scammers, and often they are working together. Recovery scammers will phone, text, or connect via social media, stating they will recover 100% of your lost assets (the first red flag – no one can guarantee 100% recovery). Other red flags: Demands to pay up front, pressure to pay quickly, asking you not to report the original crime, and requests for your bank details. If you’ve been scammed, it’s best to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.gov) and the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3.gov) by going to their websites. Never trust someone who contacts you from the FTC or IC3 before you have reported a scam. Never pay up front and don’t rush. Remember, you can always call the AARP helpline (no matter your age) 877-908-3360 and ask for help on how to report a scam and recover your assets. – Brought to you by Scambusters scambusters.org/recovery.html
Don’t Seek Revenge Against Scammers:
Even telling scammers that you know what they are doing or giving them a piece of your mind can backfire. Remember – if they have called you, they have your phone number. In some cases, they will punish you with thousands of robocalls (recorded calls). The best thing to do is hang up. Brought to you by Scambusters scambusters.org/revenge.html
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 Google’s Chrome browser and Google’s Android (phone operating system). If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) updated.
Data Breaches in the News:
MSI, recovery companies Monument and Tempest, Uber, 3CX, Western Digital, Bing (search results were changed), LockBit, AudienceView (a concert ticketing vendor). 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