Sheridan Citizen Reports Publisher’s Clearinghouse Email:
Publishers Clearing House is a well-known sweepstakes and there is no cost to participate. Hacker’s know this and steal the brand name to create scams. An email was reported in Wyoming with the subject line of “December 30th is approaching. What is your decision?” The email was from a website address called lbdmessage.com (which doesn’t exist) but spoofed as “**PCH Sweepstakes**”. The branding and pictures in the email are very convincing and claim you won $5000 a week for life, but CyberWyoming Alliance found a similar scam reported by the Better Business Bureau in South Dakota where a man replied, then received numerous phone calls and was asked to pay taxes to unlock the prize. The man made several ‘tax’ payments using MoneyPak cards. MoneyPak cards are often used as gift cards. Remember that legitimate companies never ask you to pay in gift cards or prepaid debit/credit cards. The scam was also reported by Forbes in the past week.
Nothing Adds Up:
A Sheridan citizen reported an email from Liz Gordon at a ZFsourcing.com email address, which when typed into a browser, redirects to zerofees.com. Zero Fee Solutions is a legitimate company in Michigan that has a 1 star customer review rating from the Better Business Bureau even though they are A+ rated. They provide credit card merchant services, which goes along the lines of what Liz Gordon is offering. But Gordon’s signature line had an address in Florida and a completely different phone number. The subject line is “A please call me this evening” and the wording is just a bit off, indicating that the email may not be a native English speaker. Nothing makes sense in this email, so just delete it!
AARP Alert Online Shopping Practices:
More than 75% of US consumers reported they have experienced some kind of fraud when shopping online and when AARP initiated a safe online shopping quiz the same percentage failed. Remember that the AARP Fraud Watch Network has a helpline at 877-908-3360 and any age can call. Tips from AARP:
- If the discount is deep, it is probably fake. It’s easy to set up a website.
- Foil the porch pirates and pick up your packages at the delivery location.
- Use the gift cards you receive quickly and, if purchasing a gift card for someone else, purchase it directly from the retailer online. Cards on the store racks can be manipulated.
Be Aware of Bait-and-Switch Scams:
Scambusters.org encourages you to learn about the top 5 bait-and-switch scams that are being reported online.
- Employers & Gig Workers – Tricksters have wormed their way into the employment field by sending someone that appears to be skilled and knowledgeable to the interview only to learn later that the certifications and experience aren’t up to the tasks.
- NFTs (non-fungible tokens) & Collectibles – Verify the seller because scammers are advertising a valuable item but sending a cheap knock-off.
- Loans & Rentals – Low teaser rates often are impossible to qualify when reading the fine print and consumers get stuck with much higher rates when it is too late to back out.
- Computer Software & Apps – Often scammers advertise free software with such limited functionality you can’t use it. Read the fine print and look for reviews, specifically on how to cancel monthly billing.
- Travel Hotels & Rentals – Watch for hidden fees like ‘resort fees’, ‘maid service fees’ and more.
If you buy your TV, internet, or cellular service from Spectrum (or Charter as it used to be known) don't be taken in by a poorly worded email with unusual typography saying your statement is ready. Of course, there's a link to click in the message but this could take you to a fake sign-on page or even upload malware onto your PC. This scam email is currently doing the rounds across the US. Just don't click. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
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 Fortinet’s operating system (FortiOS), Citrix’s ADC and Gateway, VMWare’s vRealize Network Insight, Mozilla’s Firefox and Thunderbird, Microsoft, Apple (iCloud for Windows, Safari, macOS Monterey, Ventura, and Big Sur, tvOS, watchOS, iPadOS), Google’s Chrome browser, Drupal, Samba, and Adobe (Experience Manager, Illustrator, and Adobe Campaign) products. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.
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