[email protected]
www.wyocan.org
www.cyberwyoming.org/alliance
307-314-2188, PO Box 2332, Laramie, WY 82073

Beware of online seminars:

A citizen reported she attended a free online seminar, and about five minutes after it started, Norton anti-virus warned that her computer was under attack. She immediately shut down the seminar and her computer. An investigation of the link to the seminar showed that it used a well-known video conferencing platform that claims it investigates all their vendors. However, it is possible that the seminar was being hosted by scammers who were using it to obtain access to computers and installing malware. CyberWyoming note: Fortunately this citizen had anti-virus installed on their system and was warned of an attack. We recommend that all computers be protected by antivirus and that any link, even for a seminar, be treated with caution.

Scammers are targeting small businesses with fake awards:

Small businesses are often targeted by scammers offering fake awards known as "vanity honors" to promote their products or services. These scams trick business owners into believing they've won prestigious awards and then ask them to pay for plaques or materials. While not necessarily illegal, falling for these schemes can mislead customers and harm a business's reputation. Scammers create convincing narratives, mimicking legitimate awards programs, and using impressive titles like "Man of the Year" or "World's Leading Professional." They make their offers seem prestigious and selective, often using names similar to well-known awards.

To safeguard against vanity honors scams, take these steps:

  1. Question the selection process and who else participated if you didn't submit an entry.
  2. Be cautious of fees for promotional services, such as creating media packs.
  3. Conduct online research to verify the award's legitimacy and its history.
  4. Beware of award names similar to well-established, genuine honors.
  5. Do not pay for awards; legitimate honors do not charge recipients.

Resist the temptation to participate in these scams for the promise of a better reputation. It's important to stay skeptical and protect your business from such fraudulent schemes. – Brought to you by Scambusters

My mother had $17,000 stuffed in a box of books:

The New York Times asked people to send stories about being scammed. Here is an example: “My mom had gotten a link that said her PayPal account had been compromised. She gave this person permission to screen-share with her computer. They got her to buy two $500 Target gift cards. Many hours later, she showed up at my house, still on the phone with them. I took the phone and hung up. She had a box of books that was stuffed with $17,000 in cash that she was about to send to them. I asked her how she got so much money from her bank, and she said that the people on the phone had told her to tell her bank that she was buying a car.” CyberWyoming note: Set up monthly meetings with your family (including your parents) to discuss the latest scams. Important topics would be that cash should never be sent to anyone in magazines or books, and never to send gift cards, cash, or cryptocurrency without having a family meeting first.

Text message scams are increasing:

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is warning that scams over text messages (also known as smishing) have increased 18% over the past couple of months. They say to beware of text messages claiming to be from trusted businesses or government agencies. These messages may warn of urgent issues with your accounts or offer enticing prizes and deals. However, criminals often use caller ID spoofing to make these texts appear genuine. Clicking on links in these messages can lead you to fake websites where your login information can be stolen, or malware can compromise your device. Look for signs of fraud, such as urgency, misspellings, and incomplete information. Remember that government agencies rarely initiate contact via text or phone. To protect yourself, avoid engaging with suspicious texts, and never share sensitive information through text. Instead of clicking links, type web addresses directly, use official apps, or call the sender using a verified number. Report scam attempts to your wireless provider by forwarding them to 7726 (or "SPAM"). To filter out junk texts, adjust your messaging app settings or use call-blocking services and apps provided by your carrier. Stay vigilant to safeguard your personal and financial information.

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 (Watch, iPad, Mac, iPhone, etc.), Mozilla products, Cisco Catalyst, Adobe Reader (CyberWyoming note: The automatic update for Adobe Reader is not working at this time, so you’ll need to update it manually – see bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/adobe-warns-of-critical-acrobat-and-reader-zero-day-exploited-in-attacks/). If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.

Data Breaches in the News:

DarkBeam, National Student Clearinghouse, Clorox. 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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