Fishy Finances via Text:
A Laramie resident recently received a text message from an unknown number, with the sender claiming to be Amy from Merchant Funding. In the message, "Amy" stated that they had pre-approved credit lines available for the citizen's company and asked, in poorly written language, "How much could you be looking for?" The message raised suspicions due to the unprofessional grammar and the fact that the sender's identity was unknown. CyberWyoming Note: When in doubt, throw it out! Suspicious text messages, especially those with poor grammar and unknown senders, are often phishing attempts. Avoid engaging and report such messages to safeguard your personal information and financial security. Report them to reportfraud.ftc.gov/.
Suspicious QR Code:
A Jackson business and resident received an email from an unknown and suspicious email address with the subject “Scan QR_CODE to clear cache” with little to no information except for a QR code and a link. CyberWyoming note: When you run into a suspicious link or QR code, do not click or scan them. They could be a trap!
Hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses:
Secure the Village (securethevillage.org) is warning that small organizations are being threatened by cybercrime. Here’s an example:
Phishing scams targeting small business on social media including Meta are a ‘gold mine’ for criminals: small business owners are reliant on social media like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram for customer contact and growth, and many have built successful followings. However, the success has come with a cost, with hacking rings taking advantage of Main Street through phishing scams and other means of cyber extortion. Demands for ransom to regain control of social media accounts can be costly, and the alternative is starting all over again. CyberWyoming note: Make sure you have double authentication (two factor authentication) set up on your business accounts. It is an easy thing you can do to combat account takeover attempts. Facebook security & privacy: facebook.com/help/148233965247823/.
FTC warns about safely donating in response to the Israel-Gaza crisis:
When considering donations after a crisis, be cautious of charity scams. Take time to research and ensure your contribution goes to those in need, not scammers:
- Donate to established, reputable charities with a history of responding to humanitarian crises.
- Investigate the organization, especially for social media donation requests. Check for reviews and ratings, and consult organizations like the BBB, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or Candid for verification.
- Be wary of individuals on crowdfunding sites; some may mislead you to pocket your money. Give to trusted individuals or verified campaigns.
- Prefer monetary donations over goods unless you confirm specific needs with the charity.
- Refuse payment by cash, gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency; use credit cards for added security.
- Verify the donation number before texting; visit the charity's official website for a secure transaction.
To learn more, go to consumer.ftc.gov/features/how-donate-wisely-and-avoid-charity-scams
Study finds seniors more vulnerable than assumed to fake government scams:
Senior citizens are more vulnerable than previously thought to financial scams impersonating the government, a new study has found. … Seven researchers from Rush University Medical Center and the nonprofit FINRA Investor Education Foundation published the study Friday in JAMA Network Open. Pretending to represent a phony government agency, one researcher contacted 644 older adults in the Chicago area about a potential compromise of personal information related to their Social Security and Medicare benefits. … Researchers found that 16.4% of the residents, who had an average age of 85.6, “engaged without skepticism” with emails, mailers and live telephone calls between October and December of 2021. Nearly three-quarters of the group provided personal information, including the last four digits of their Social Security numbers. – Brought to you by Secure The Village
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 Chrome, Adobe products, and Microsoft products. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.
Data Breaches in the News:
ChatGPT, Kyocera AVX, Chess.com, Dolly.com, ICBC, Truepill, and PyPI.
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