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Want a blue badge on Facebook?

Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly known as Twitter) are getting serious about "blue badge" verification. So are scammers. Both Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram) and X have relaunched programs this year offering verification badges - for a substantial monthly fee. The aim is not only to make certain accounts more secure but also to make a lot of money. Estimates are that Meta will earn $1.7 billion a year by charging people for a badge. But many people don't realize that, although anyone can apply for a badge, they're intended mainly for people and organizations that are well known and whose reputation could be put at risk by an account takeover or an imposter. Verification is actually quite a complex process - to ensure it works safely. Which is where the scammers step in. They create online posts or send messages saying they can arrange verification quickly and cheaply, often for a lowish one-off fee. In some cases, they may even say you've been pre-approved for verification, subject to payment. Other times, they've been known to contact users at random, saying that verification is now compulsory and that if you don't have it, your membership will be closed. None of these claims is true. And it's not just your money the crooks are after. In at least one recent case, victims were required to complete a whole batch of forms in which they had to provide all manner of personal and confidential information, making them vulnerable for identity theft. – Brought to you by Scambusters

Medical Identity Theft:

A woman received a text from a hospital that the wait time to be seen was 30 minutes to an hour. Since the woman no longer lived in that city, and didn’t have an appointment, she ignored the text. She received a call the next day to discuss the results from the test, and she found out that someone had checked into the hospital under her name. Then she received a bill for $3,600. With the HCA breach, 11 million patients had their personal information stolen, so medical identity theft is a growing issue. Call your health insurance company right away if you lose your ID cards. Things you can do to protect yourself

  • Use a strong, unique password if you log into an online portal to view medical records from your doctor or hospital.
  • Remove prescription labels from empty bottles before you toss them. These labels have information thieves could use.
  • Monitor your credit report to check for medical debt that’s not yours.

- Brought to you by The Current Tech News

Is it really a PDF?

Be careful when downloading a PDF file. After downloading, double-check that the file extension is PDF and not EXE. If it’s EXE, delete it. It’s malware. CyberWyoming note: To see file extensions, open File Explorer; if you do not have an icon for this in the task bar; click Start, click Windows System, and then File Explorer. Click the View tab in File Explorer. Click the box next to File name extensions to see file extensions. Click the box next to Hidden items to see hidden files. – Brought to you by The Current Tech News

ChatGPT users get scammed:

The name of ChatGPT is being used by scammers on social media. The scammers run ads offering easy access to the program, but following up on the ads results in downloading malware onto your computer. The company behind ChatGPT says it doesn't advertise on social media. In fact, as of this writing, you can sign up and access it for free at https://chat.openai.com/ – Brought to you by Scambusters

Fake reviews:

Always be suspicious of overenthusiastic reviews with little depth, CEO Mark Palfreeman of Nixplay says. “Watch out for too many reviews that seem to state a few positive words — like ‘brilliant!’ and ‘amazing!’ — but never really seem to say why the product is brilliant or amazing,” he says. Many of these gushy reviews are posted within a few hours or days of one another, which is also suspect. Cross-reference customer reviews of the same products on different websites. If you see consistent reviews on several online stores, it may add validity to the feedback. You should also be wary of negative reviews that consistently question the good reviews, Palfreeman says. “The negative reviews could be fake, too.” – Brought to you by AARP Fraud Watch Network

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, Mozilla Thunderbird. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.

Data Breaches in the News:

Citrix servers, Hot Topic, Tempur Sealy, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Latest MoveIt victims: Maximus Inc (government services firm), Shutterfly, Medicare.

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

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