Google My Business:
A Laramie citizen received a call from a 559 area-code claiming to be Web Listing Pros saying that her company's website wasn't showing up correctly on Google My Business. The recorded call encouraged "the business owner" to press 1 to speak to a live representative. The person that received the call knew it was fake because her company's website has high SEO ratings, and she regularly updates her Google My Business account. CyberWyoming note: Your business number is easy to find online and opens you up to the recorded calls. Some of these types of calls have even been reported from a company's own number, which shows that the scammers can spoof any phone number.
Email with the subject “Online Lottery Draw”:
A Wyoming citizen received an email that they won a Mercedes Benz car! But there’s a hitch – the citizen must provide all their personal details and pay a delivery fee (amount not disclosed). The sender’s email address is obviously not real, nor did the citizen enter any lottery to win a car.
Tax Preparer Scams:
With the tax deadline of April 18 fast approaching, you may be tempted to go to a tax preparer who is luring you with the promise of an unusually large refund. Do your research first because many of these are scams. Keep in mind that a tax preparer will have ALL of your personal information – name, phone number, address, social security number, date of birth – all of which can be used to steal your identity. If the tax preparer is promising to get you a refund based on COVID programs, again, this is most likely a scam as many of these programs have expired. - Brought to you by IRS.gov
Small Business Tax Scams:
Scammers are targeting small businesses with the promise of a tax credit for “employee retention.” That program expired in 2021, so if someone is promising to get the credit for your 2022 taxes, it’s a scam (or the tax preparer is woefully ill-informed). - Brought to you by IRS.gov
Tax Scams - Do your research before you donate!
Scammers try to get you to donate to fake charities, especially for disaster relief. Donations for tax credit must be made to authorized charities. You can search for the charity on IRS.gov irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search to ensure it is an approved and legitimate charity.- Brought to you by IRS.gov
In 2022, U.S. consumers lost $8.8 billion to fraud:
That’s up 30 percent from 2021. Wyomingite reported losses were $17 million, up $7 million from last year. Investment-related scams are almost half of the losses followed by imposter (usually romance) scams, online shopping, lottery scams, and business or job opportunity scams. At least a quarter of the thefts came from social media, and 1.1 million people were victims of identity theft. The actual numbers are probably higher because people are too embarrassed to report the thefts. CyberWyoming note: Always be skeptical of handing over money or providing your personal information. It’s better to lose out on some deal or risk embarrassment due suspicion than to be the victim of fraud.
The plot thickens:
A couple of weeks ago, the Hacker’s Brief reported that a business’ Sam.gov account was hacked, and their accounts were transferred to a stranger. Last week, the company found a statement on the Sam.gov site that the scam alert had been sent in error. A similar issue happened last week when a Wyoming government agency inadvertently sent out an email with a suspicious link. CyberWyoming called the government agency and they were unaware that their testing of a new system had sent out that email. CyberWyoming note: if you receive an email, text, or call from a company or agency that seems strange, check their website, or call them to confirm.
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 all Microsoft products, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Safari, iOS, macOS (Monterey, Big Sur, Ventura), iPadOS. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.
Data Breaches in the News:
KFC/Pizza Hut, Samsung Electronics (via employees using ChatGPT). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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@example.com
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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