SCARS FAQs About Scams & Scammers2021-06-22T11:23:18-04:00
  • frequently-asked-questions-FAQs-2021

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. FAQs About ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & Scammers

“Can You Hear Me?” and “Yes” Calls?2021-06-18T22:11:53-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ:  “Can You Hear Me?” and “Yes” Calls

This scam happens when you answer the phone, and the person on the other line asks: “Can you hear me?” and you respond, “Yes.” Your voice is being recorded to obtain a voice signature for scammers authorize fraudulent charges over the phone. You can visit the FCC website to blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• any unwanted calls. The BBB Scam Tracker received more than 10,000 reports on the “Can you hear me?” scam, but none of the reports resulted in an actual loss of money.

“Your Order Has Arrived” – Shipping Status Scam?2021-04-26T09:04:13-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is “Your Order Has Arrived”/Shipping Status Scam

Answer:

You may have received an email that says your “order” from Amazon or other ecommerce retailer has arrived or has been shipped. It likely asks you to click on a link.

These emails can be a phishing scamPhishing scam Scammers often use email "phishing" to hook unsuspecting fraud victims. Treat all unsolicited email and spam as suspicious: Do not open or reply. To avoid loading malicious software onto your computer or device, never click a link – even from a trusted source – unless you've verified its authenticity. Be especially wary of emails asking for emergency funds or help from friends, family and colleagues. Their email accounts may have been hacked. Scammers will also pretend to be government agencies in scam emails. attempting to get personal information from you by asking you to confirm your bank information or other information only known to you.
 
If you are unsure about an email, make sure to check the actual email address to see if it from the company it says it’s from. Usually, phishing scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. will say the company name “Amazon,” but when you click on the email address, you’ll notice it’s not from an Amazon domain.
 
Also, you should never send personal information to an email address without confirming first that it is a legitimate business.
 
You can always visit the retailer’s website directly and log in to your account to confirm any issues or call their customer service number on their main website.
Airbnb Scam?2021-04-26T09:10:39-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Airbnb Scam

This scam takes advantage of travelers renting an apartment or house through Airbnb by featuring fake homes on the site and directing the renter to a fraudulent or “spoof” website to finalize payment. Scammers will often even trick real owners, who don’t know their property is being spoofed. Potential travelers end up paying money for a rental property that either doesn’t exist or isn’t available.

 

Amazon Fake Order Cancellation Emails?2021-04-26T09:11:00-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Amazon Fake Order Cancellation Emails

If you get an email about an order cancellation from Amazon.com, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. Click on links in the email and you could unintentionally download malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. onto your device. Or you might be sent to a site that aims to collect your Amazon account information, like your username and password. If you receive such an email and recently placed an order, go to Amazon.com to check your order status.

 

Antivirus Scam2021-06-22T11:10:31-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is An Antivirus Scam?


Answer:

People are cold called and told they have a problem with their computer which, for a fee, can be fixed. Alternatively, the victim might initiate the contact in response to an online advert or prompt claiming that their device has been infected with a virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program.. Other computer scam methods involve offering bogus virus protection or warranties

Apple Care Scam?2021-04-26T09:11:15-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Apple Care Scam

This new smartphone scam uses phishing emails to send Apple users to a fake Apple website. iPhone users receive a pop-up image of a system dialog box that tells users their phone has been “locked for illegal activity.” When users click on the link, scammers enroll them into a fraudulent “mobile device management service” that allows scammers to send malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. to iPhones. Read more here about phishing scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. and how to spot them.

 

Are Scammers Arrested?2021-04-26T04:32:38-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How Are Most Scammers Arrested

Answer:

Scammers are typically arrested in one of five ways:

  1. Victim Reporting
    The reports that victims make through the various agencies (local police, national police, Anyscam.com) all accumulates – it may not result in immediate action but over time it identifies individual scammers or organizations. Once the law enforcement agency has enough to identify someone they can begin an investigation that can lead to arrests. This is why victim reporting is so important. Right now, only about 3% of victims report these crimes.
  2. Connection to Other Scammers
    When one scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. is arrested all of their connections are looked at carefully. If the scammer had connections that also involved suspected crimes it allows law enforcement to roll up whole organizations in this way. One identification can lead to hundreds, including their leadership.
  3. Obvious Lifestyle
    Most scammers are business people and understand the need to stay below the radar, but there is always one in every group that wants to live large. They show off their new money with cars, jewelry, friends, entertainment, houses, and more. In other words, they make it obvious that they are spending more money than they earn – this allows law enforcement to investigate them for tax evasion, and if they confirm they spend more than they have income for they can be arrested for that.
  4. Tips & Partnerships
    Law enforcement agencies have relationships (usually confidential) with other organizations, NGOs, or entities) that regularly feed them with information. Or they receive tips from the public about individual scammers or groups. All of these allow law enforcement agencies to begin investigations that can lead to arrests.
  5. Scammers Turn On Each Other
    The over-riding motivation with fraudsters is greed – if they feel that they have not been fairly treated they can and do report each other to law enforcement. There is no honor among thieves.

Do you want to see some of the scammers that have been arrested? Click here to visit www.ScamsOnline.org (the SCARS Photo Gallery website)

Scammers & fraudsters arrested year by year
ATM & Credit Card Shimmer Scams?2021-04-26T09:06:23-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is An ATM & Credit Card Shimmer Scam

Answer:

A shimmer scam is an update on skimmingSkimming The capturing of information from the magnetic stripe on your ATM and credit card by use of portable "skimmer" devices that are secretly installed on card-reading machines. except that thieves are using “shimmers” to target chip-based credit and debit cards. A shimmer is a very thin piece of paper that can read your card number and access your credit or debit card’s EMV chip—the chip designed to help make your card more secure.
 
A thief will put a shimmer into an ATM and let it collect information from each card that is used, allowing them to create a non-chip version or magnetic strip credit card then.
 
Shimmers have been showing up more recently despite first being reported on in 2015. In 2017, the number of debit cards compromised at ATMs and merchant card readers—typically via skimming devices that capture card data—rose 10%, according to FICO.
 
DID YOU KNOW? A shimmer is a very thin piece of paper that can read your card number and access the EMV chip on your credit or debit card.

Text

ATM Jackpotting?2021-04-26T09:08:26-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: ATM Jackpotting

 
Jackpotting is a new cyber-attack scam that the Secret Service warned financial institutions about criminals installing software or hardware on ATMs that force the machines to issue large amounts of cash.
 
Criminals have found ways to exploit the standalone machines commonly found in pharmacies, big-box retailers, and some drive-thru ATMs.
 
It’s hard to know the exact financial implications because sometimes these crimes aren’t disclosed publicly, but anytime money is missing,
 
it’s sure to have an impact on the banks and ultimately you—the consumer—in the former of higher fees or more obstacles to accessing your cash.

 

Auction Scam Or Fraud?2021-04-26T09:19:55-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid An Auction Scam Or FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

  • Before you bid, contact the seller with any questions you have.
  • Review the seller’s feedback.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Ensure you understand refund, return, and warranty policies.
  • Determine the shipping charges before you buy.
  • Be wary if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
  • If an escrow service is used, ensure it is legitimate.
  • Consider insuring your item.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited offers.

 

Authorized Push Payment Fraud?2021-04-26T22:39:01-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is An Authorized Push Payment FraudAuthorized Push Payment Fraud Authorized Push Payment Fraud (Scams) occurs when a fraudster manipulates a genuine customer into making a payment to an account they control. There are a variety of types of authorized push payment fraud, including romance scams, invoice scams and a handful of others.

Answer:

Authorized push payment fraud (APP fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.) is a form of fraud in which victims are manipulated into making real-time payments to fraudsters, typically by social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." attacks involving impersonationImpersonation An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors.. As of 2019 in the United Kingdom, because the victims of these frauds authorized the payments, albeit mistakenly, they are typically not fully reimbursed by their banks.

Learn more here.

Avoid Bogus Employment/Business Opportunities?2021-04-26T09:18:25-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ:  How To Avoid Bogus Employment/Business Opportunities

  • Be wary of inflated claims of product effectiveness.
  • Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
  • Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products.
  • Be leery when the job posting claims “no experience necessary”.
  • Do not give your social security number when first interacting with your prospective employer.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Be wary when replying to unsolicited emails for work-at-home employment.
  • Research the company to ensure they are authentic.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
Avoid Credit Card Fraud?2021-04-26T09:19:22-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Credit Card FraudCard Fraud Card Fraud is one of the most commonly referenced fraud definitions. It occurs when a fraudster uses a card (debit or credit) to make a purchase without the authorization of the cardholder. Card fraud can occur in-person or through digital channels.

  • Ensure a site is secure and reputable before providing your credit card number online.
  • Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
  • If purchasing merchandise, ensure it is from a reputable source.
  • Promptly reconcile credit card statements to avoid unauthorized charges.
  • Do your research to ensure the legitimacy of the individual or company.
  • Beware of providing credit card information when requested through unsolicited emails.
Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks2021-06-02T05:20:18-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is a social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." attack?


Answer:

In a social engineering attack, an attacker uses human interaction (social skills) to obtain or compromise information about an organization or its computer systems. An attacker may seem unassuming and respectable, possibly claiming to be a new employee, repair person, or researcher and even offering credentials to support that identity. However, by asking questions, he or she may be able to piece together enough information to infiltrate an organization’s network. If an attacker is not able to gather enough information from one source, he or she may contact another source within the same organization and rely on the information from the first source to add to his or her credibility.

What is a phishing attack?

Phishing is a form of social engineering. Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization. For example, an attacker may send an email seemingly from a reputable credit card company or financial institution that requests account information, often suggesting that there is a problem. When users respond with the requested information, attackers can use it to gain access to the accounts.

Phishing attacks may also appear to come from other types of organizations, such as charities. Attackers often take advantage of current events and certain times of the year, such as

  • Natural disasters (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Indonesian tsunami)
  • Epidemics and health scares (e.g., H1N1, COVID-19)
  • Economic concerns (e.g., IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more. scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.)
  • Major political elections
  • Holidays

What is a vishingVishing What is a vishing attack? Vishing is the social engineering approach that leverages voice communication. This technique can be combined with other forms of social engineering that entice a victim to call a certain number and divulge sensitive information. Advanced vishing attacks can take place completely over voice communications by exploiting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions and broadcasting services. VoIP easily allows caller identity (ID) to be spoofed, which can take advantage of the public’s misplaced trust in the security of phone services, especially landline services. Landline communication cannot be intercepted without physical access to the line; however, this trait is not beneficial when communicating directly with a malicious actor. attack?

Vishing is the social engineering approach that leverages voice communication. This technique can be combined with other forms of social engineering that entice a victim to call a certain number and divulge sensitive information. Advanced vishing attacks can take place completely over voice communications by exploiting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIPVOIP Stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol is a way to make and receive phone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone line.) solutions and broadcasting services. VoIP easily allows caller identity (ID) to be spoofed, which can take advantage of the public’s misplaced trust in the security of phone services, especially landline services. Landline communication cannot be intercepted without physical access to the line; however, this trait is not beneficial when communicating directly with a malicious actor.

What is a smishingSmishing What is a smishing attack? Smishing is a form of social engineering that exploits SMS, or text, messages. Text messages can contain links to such things as webpages, email addresses or phone numbers that when clicked may automatically open a browser window or email message or dial a number. This integration of email, voice, text message, and web browser functionality increases the likelihood that users will fall victim to engineered malicious activity. attack?

Smishing is a form of social engineering that exploits SMS, or text, messages. Text messages can contain links to such things as webpages, email addresses or phone numbers that when clicked may automatically open a browser window or email message or dial a number. This integration of email, voice, text message, and web browser functionality increases the likelihood that users will fall victim to engineered malicious activity.

What are common indicators of phishing attempts?

  • Suspicious sender’s address. The sender’s address may imitate a legitimate business. Cybercriminals often use an email address that closely resembles one from a reputable company by altering or omitting a few characters.
  • Generic greetings and signature. Both a generic greeting—such as “Dear Valued Customer” or “Sir/Ma’am”—and a lack of contact information in the signature blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• are strong indicators of a phishing email. A trusted organization will normally address you by name and provide their contact information.
  • Spoofed hyperlinks and websites. If you hover your cursor over any links in the body of the email, and the links do not match the text that appears when hovering over them, the link may be spoofed. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net). Additionally, cybercriminals may use a URL shortening service to hide the true destination of the link.
  • Spelling and layout. Poor grammar and sentence structure, misspellings, and inconsistent formatting are other indicators of a possible phishing attempt. Reputable institutions have dedicated personnel that produce, verify, and proofread customer correspondence.
  • Suspicious attachments. An unsolicited email requesting a user download and open an attachment is a common delivery mechanism for malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.. A cybercriminal may use a false sense of urgency or importance to help persuade a user to download or open an attachment without examining it first.

How do you avoid being a victim?

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals asking about employees or other internal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
  • Do not provide personal information or information about your organization, including its structure or networks, unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
  • Don’t send sensitive information over the internet before checking a website’s security.
    • Pay attention to the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a website. Look for URLs that begin with “https”—an indication that sites are secure—rather than “http.”
    • Look for a closed padlock icon—a sign your information will be encrypted.
  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use your contact information provided on a website connected to the request; instead, check previous statements for contact information. Information about known phishing attacks is also available online from groups such as the Anti-Phishing Working Group. (See the APWG eCrime Research Papers).
  • Install and maintain anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software, firewalls, and email filters to reduce some of this traffic.
  • Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.
  • Enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA).

What do you do if you think you are a victim?

  • If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
  • If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close any accounts that may have been compromised. Watch for any unexplainable charges to your account.
  • Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.
  • Watch for other signs of identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources..
  • Consider reporting the attack to the police, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.
Avoid Phishing/Spoofing Scams?2021-04-26T09:16:17-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Phishing/SpoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

  • Be suspicious of any unsolicited email requesting personal information.
  • Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal information.
  • Always compare the link in the email to the link that you are actually directed to.
  • Log on to the official website, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited email.
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify if the email is genuine.
BEC Business Email Compromise Scams?2021-04-26T09:14:31-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid BEC Business Email Compromise ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

  • Be mindful of any email, phone call or text messages requesting multiple gift cards even if the request is ordinary.
  • Beware of sudden changes in business or personal practices and carefully scrutinize all requests for multiple gift card purchases even if requests are ordinary.
  • Since many of the fraudulent e-mails reported in this new trend are spoofed, confirm requests for the purchase of gift cards using two-factor authentication. If using phone verification, use previously known numbers, not the numbers provided in the e-mail request.
Browsing Safely: Understanding Active Content and Cookies2021-06-01T13:47:03-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is active content?


Answer:

To increase functionality or add design embellishments, websites often rely on scripts that execute programs within the web browser. This active content can be used to create “splash pages” or options like drop-down menus. Unfortunately, these scripts are often a way for attackers to download or execute malicious code on a user’s computer.

  • JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages, in software, and apps — every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at — displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc. — you can bet that JavaScript is probably involved. It is the third layer of the layer cake of standard web technologies, the other two are HTML and CSS. – JavaScript is just one of many web scripts (other examples are VBScript, ECMAScript, and JScript) and is probably the most recognized. Used on almost every website now, JavaScript and other scripts are popular because users expect the functionality and “look” that it provides, and it’s easy to incorporate (many common software programs for building websites have the capability to add JavaScript features with little effort or knowledge required of the user). However, because of these reasons, attackers can manipulate it to their own purposes. A popular type of attack that relies on JavaScript involves redirecting users from a legitimate website to a malicious one that may download viruses or collect personal information.
  • Java and ActiveX controls – Different from JavaScript, Java and ActiveX controls are actual programs that reside on your computer or can be downloaded over the network into your browser. If executed by attackers, untrustworthy ActiveX controls may be able to do anything on your computer that you can do (such as running spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection. and collecting personal information, connecting to other computers, and potentially doing other damage). Java applets usually run in a more restricted environment, but if that environment isn’t secure, then malicious Java applets may create opportunities for an attack as well.

JavaScript and other forms of active content are not always dangerous, but they are common tools for attackers. You can prevent active content from running in most browsers, but realize that the added security may limit functionality and break features of some sites you visit. Before clicking on a link to a website that you are not familiar with or do not trust, take the precaution of disabling active content.

These same risks may also apply to the email program you use. Many email clients use the same programs such as web browsers to display HTML, so vulnerabilities that affect active content like JavaScript and ActiveX often apply to email. Viewing messages as plain text may resolve this problem.

What are cookies?

When you browse the Internet, information about your computer may be collected and stored. This information might be general information about your computer (such as IP addressGeolocation Geolocation is the utilization of a device IP address, along with other device signals, to determine geographical location. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as 192.0.2.1 that is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. An IP Address can be used to locate a physical computer's location., the domain you used to connect (e.g., .edu, .com, .net), and the type of browser you used). It might also be more specific information about your browsing habits (such as the last time you visited a particular website or your personal preferences for viewing that site).

Cookies can be saved for varying lengths of time:

  • Session Cookies – Session cookies store information only as long as you’re using the browser; once you close the browser, the information is erased. The primary purpose of session cookies is to help with navigation, such as by indicating whether or not you’ve already visited a particular page and retaining information about your preferences once you’ve visited a page.
  • Persistent cookies – Persistent cookies are stored on your computer so that your personal preferences can be retained. In most browsers, you can adjust the length of time that persistent cookies are stored. It is because of these cookies that your email address appears by default when you open your Yahoo! or Hotmail email account or your personalized home page appears when you visit your favorite online merchant. If an attacker gains access to your computer, he or she may be able to gather personal information about you through these files.

To increase your level of security, consider adjusting your privacy and security settings to blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• or limit cookies in your web browser. To make sure that other sites are not collecting personal information about you without your knowledge, choose to only allow cookies for the website you are visiting; block or limit cookies from a third-party. If you are using a public computer, you should make sure that cookies are disabled to prevent other people from accessing or using your personal information.

Brute Force Attacks Conducted by Cyber Criminals2021-06-02T05:56:13-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Are Brute ForceBrute-force attack Brute-force attack: A hacking method to find passwords or encryption keys by trying every possible combination of characters until the correct one is found. Attack


Answer:

According to information derived from FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. investigations, malicious cyber actors are increasingly using a style of brute force attack known as password spraying against organizations in the United States and abroad.

On February 2018, the Department of Justice in the Southern District of New York, indicted nine Iranian nationals, who were associated with the Mabna Institute, for computer intrusion offenses related to activity described in this report. The techniques and activity described herein, while characteristic of Mabna actors, are not limited solely to use by this group.

The Department of Homeland SecurityDepartment of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department (under the President) responsible for public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cybersecurity, and disaster prevention and management. (DHSDepartment of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department (under the President) responsible for public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cybersecurity, and disaster prevention and management.) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are releasing this Alert to provide further information on this activity.

Description

In a traditional brute-force attackBrute-force attack Brute-force attack: A hacking method to find passwords or encryption keys by trying every possible combination of characters until the correct one is found., a malicious actor attempts to gain unauthorized access to a single account by guessing the password. This can quickly result in a targeted account getting locked-out, as commonly used account-lockout policies allow three to five bad attempts during a set period of time. During a password-spray attack (also known as the “low-and-slow” method), the malicious actor attempts a single password against many accounts before moving on to attempt a second password, and so on. This technique allows the actor to remain undetected by avoiding rapid or frequent account lockouts.

Password spray campaigns typically target single sign-on (SSO) and cloud-based applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. utilizing federated authentication protocols. An actor may target this specific protocol because federated authentication can help mask malicious traffic. Additionally, by targeting SSO applications, malicious actors hope to maximize access to intellectual property during a successful compromise.

Email applications are also targeted. In those instances, malicious actors would have the ability to utilize inbox synchronization to:

  1. obtain unauthorized access to the organization’s email directly from the cloud,
  2. subsequently download user mail to locally stored email files,
  3. identify the entire company’s email address list, and/or
  4. surreptitiously implements inbox rules for the forwarding of sent and received messages.

Technical Details

Traditional tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for conducting the password-spray attacks are as follows:

  • Using social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." tactics to perform online research (i.e., Google search, LinkedIn, etc.) to identify target organizations and specific user accounts for initial password spray
  • Using easy-to-guess passwords (e.g., “Winter2018”, “Password123!”) and publicly available tools, execute a password spray attack against targeted accounts by utilizing the identified SSO or web-based application and federated authentication method
  • Leveraging the initial group of compromised accounts, downloading the Global Address List (GAL) from a target’s email client, and performing a larger password spray against legitimate accounts
  • Using the compromised access, attempting to expand laterally (e.g., via Remote Desktop Protocol) within the network, and performing mass data exfiltration using File Transfer Protocol tools such as FileZilla

Indicators of a password spray attack include:

  • A massive spike in attempted logons against the enterprise SSO portal or web-based application;
    • Using automated tools, malicious actors attempt thousands of logons, in rapid succession, against multiple user accounts at a victim enterprise, originating from a single IP addressGeolocation Geolocation is the utilization of a device IP address, along with other device signals, to determine geographical location. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as 192.0.2.1 that is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. An IP Address can be used to locate a physical computer's location. and computer (e.g., a common User Agent String).
    • Attacks have been seen to run for over two hours.
  • Employee logons from IP addresses resolving to locations inconsistent with their normal locations.

Typical Victim Environment

The vast majority of known password spray victims share some of the following characteristics:

  • Use SSO or web-based applications with federated authentication method
  • Lack multifactor authentication (MFA)
  • Allow easy-to-guess passwords (e.g., “Winter2018”, “Password123!”)
  • Use inbox synchronization, allowing email to be pulled from cloud environments to remote devices
  • Allow email forwarding to be setup at the user level
  • Limited logging setup creating difficulty during post-event investigations

Impact

A successful network intrusion can have severe impacts, particularly if the compromise becomes public and sensitive information is exposed. Possible impacts include:

  • Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information;
  • Disruption to regular operations;
  • Financial losses incurred to restore systems and files; and
  • Potential harm to an organization’s reputation.

Solution

Recommended Mitigations

To help deter this style of attack, the following steps should be taken:

  • Enable MFA and review MFA settings to ensure coverage over all active, internet facing protocols.
  • Review password policies to ensure they align with the latest NIST guidelines and deter the use of easy-to-guess passwords.
  • Review IT helpdesk password management related to initial passwords, password resets for user lockouts, and shared accounts. IT helpdesk password procedures may not align to company policy, creating an exploitable security gap.
  • Many companies offer additional assistance and tools the can help detect and prevent password spray attacks, such as the Microsoft blog released on March 5, 2018.

Reporting Notice

The FBI encourages recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local FBI field office or the FBI’s 24/7 Cyber Watch (CyWatch). Field office contacts can be identified at www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field. CyWatch can be contacted by phone at (855) 292-3937 or by e-mail at CyWatch@ic.fbi.gov. When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people, and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designated point of contact. Press inquiries should be directed to the FBI’s national Press Office at npo@ic.fbi.gov or (202) 324-3691.

Can You File A Lawsuit Against Your Scammer & Money Mule?2021-04-26T04:32:50-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Can You File A Lawsuit Against Your ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. & Money MuleMoney Mule A money mule sometimes called a "smurfer," is a person who transfers money acquired illegally (e.g., stolen) in person, through a courier service, or electronically, on behalf of others (usually criminals that they are knowingly or unknowingly affiliated). Typically, the mule is paid for services with a small part of the money transferred - but not always. Mules may or may not be aware that they are performing these actions. Money mules are often dupes recruited online for what they think is legitimate employment, not aware that the money they are transferring is the product of crime. The money is transferred from the mule's account to the scam operator, typically in another country. Similar techniques are used to transfer illegal merchandise. Mules can be prosecuted for numerous crimes.

Answer: In Most Cases Yes

But it very much depends on your country and state or province.

Click Here to learn more about this!

Can Your Personality Make You More Vulnerable To Scams?2021-04-26T01:43:48-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Can Your Personality Make You More Vulnerable To ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.?

Answer: Yes, Very Much So!

Car Scams?2021-04-26T09:11:51-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Car ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

The FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. shared information on a growing scam in which crooks target people looking to buy cars and other vehicles online. The FBI has received 26,967 complaints with losses totaling $54,032,396 since tracking this issue from May 2014 through December 2017. This car scamstarts with a criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. posting an online advertisement with a low price to get the attention of a buyer, including photos of the vehicle and contact information. When a buyer reaches out, the “seller” sends more photos and what appears as a logical reason why the price is discounted and indicates a need to sell.

The criminal then instructs you to purchase prepaid gift cards in the amount of the sale and share the prepaid codes. You’re usually told you’ll receive the vehicle in a couple of days, but victims never hear from the scammers again.

 

Census-Related Fraud2021-06-18T11:32:11-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Census-Related FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim./Scam


Answer:

Census scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. happen when someone pretends to work for the Census Bureau to steal your personal information. Use this information to learn how these scams work, and protect yourself against them.

Some scam artists may pretend to be work for the Census Bureau. They’ll try to collect your personal information to use for fraud or to steal your identity. These scam artists may send you letters that seem to come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Others may come to your home to collect information about you.

Choosing and Protecting Passwords2021-06-01T11:44:15-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Why you need strong passwords


Answer:

You probably use personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords, or passphrases every day: from getting money from the ATM or using your debit card in a store, to logging in to your email or into an online retailer. Tracking all of the number, letter, and word combinations may be frustrating, but these protections are important because hackers represent a real threat to your information. Often, an attack is not specifically about your account, but about using access to your information to launch a larger attack.

One of the best ways to protect information or physical property is to ensure that only authorized people have access to it. Verifying that those requesting access are the people they claim to be is the next step. This authentication process is more important and more difficult in the cyber world. Passwords are the most common means of authentication, but only work if they are complex and confidential. Many systems and services have been successfully breached because of non-secure and inadequate passwords. Once a system is compromised, it is open to exploitation by other unwanted sources.

How to choose good passwords

Avoid common mistakes

Most people use passwords that are based on personal information and are easy to remember. However, that also makes it easier for an attacker to crack them. Consider a four-digit PIN. Is yours a combination of the month, day, or year of your birthday? Does it contain your address or phone number? Think about how easy it is to find someone’s birthday or similar information. What about your email password—is it a word that can be found in the dictionary? If so, it may be susceptible to dictionary attacks, which attempt to guess passwords based on common words or phrases.

Although intentionally misspelling a word (“daytt” instead of “date”) may offer some protection against dictionary attacks, an even better method is to rely on a series of words and use memory techniques, or mnemonics, to help you remember how to decode it. For example, instead of the password “hoops,” use “IlTpbb” for “[I] [l]ike [T]o [p]lay [b]asket[b]all.” Using both lowercase and capital letters adds another layer of obscurity. Changing the same example used above to “Il!2pBb.” creates a password very different from any dictionary word.

Length and complexity

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed specific guidelines for strong passwords. According to NIST guidance, you should consider using the longest password or passphrase permissible (8–64 characters) when you can. For example, “Pattern2baseball#4mYmiemale!” would be a strong password because it has 28 characters and includes upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. You may need to try different variations of a passphrase—for example, some applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. limit the length of passwords and some do not accept spaces or certain special characters. Avoid common phrases, famous quotations, and song lyrics.

Dos and don’ts

Once you’ve come up with a strong, memorable password it’s tempting to reuse it—don’t! Reusing a password, even a strong one, endangers your accounts just as much as using a weak password. If attackers guess your password, they would have access to your other accounts with the same password. Use the following techniques to develop unique passwords for each of your accounts:

  • Use different passwords on different systems and accounts.
  • Use the longest password or passphrase permissible by each password system.
  • Develop mnemonics to remember complex passwords.
  • Consider using a password manager program to keep track of your passwords. (See more information below.)
  • Do not use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed.
  • Do not use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language.

How to protect your passwords

After choosing a password that’s easy to remember but difficult for others to guess, do not write it down and leave it someplace where others can find it. Writing it down and leaving it on your desk, next to your computer, or, worse, taped to your computer, makes it easily accessible for someone with physical access to your office. Do not tell anyone your passwords, and watch for attackers trying to trick you through phone calls or email messages requesting that you reveal your passwords.

Programs called password managers offer the option to create randomly generated passwords for all of your accounts. You then access those strong passwords with a master password. If you use a password manager, remember to use a strong master password.

Password problems can stem from your web browsers’ ability to save passwords and your online sessions in memory. Depending on your web browsers’ settings, anyone with access to your computer may be able to discover all of your passwords and gain access to your information. Always remember to log out when you are using a public computer (at the library, an internet cafe, or even a shared computer at your office). Avoid using public computers and public Wi-Fi to access sensitive accounts such as banking and email.

There’s no guarantee that these techniques will prevent an attacker from learning your password, but they will make it more difficult.

Don’t forget security basics

  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other software up to date.
  • Use and maintain antivirus software and a firewall.
  • Regularly scan your computer for spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection.. (Some antivirus programs incorporate spyware detection.)
  • Use caution with email attachments and untrusted links.
  • Watch for suspicious activity on your accounts.
Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks?2021-04-26T09:19:39-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks

  • Inspect the cashier’s check.
  • Ensure the amount of the check matches in figures and words.
  • Check to see that the account number is not shiny in appearance.
  • Be watchful that the drawer’s signature is not traced.
  • Official checks are generally perforated on at least one side.
  • Inspect the check for additions, deletions, or other alterations.
  • Contact the financial institution on which the check was drawn to ensure legitimacy.
  • Obtain the bank’s telephone number from a reliable source, not from the check itself.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
Cryptocurrency Scams?2021-04-26T09:12:08-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Cryptocurrency ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

As the price and popularity of Bitcoin and other cyber-currencies skyrocketed in late 2017, scammers eagerly sought to take advantage of the frenzy. The Japanese Bitcoin exchange Coincheck was hacked in January, and the thieves were able to steal more than $500 million in cryptocurrencies. This is the largest cryptocurrency hack to date. Facebook and Instagram have banned advertisements for certain bitcoin, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and some other cryptocurrency-related products because of deceptive and misleading practices. Several ads were leading victims to sites such as Prodeum, whose only purpose was to take their money and not provide the advertised service.

 

Cybersecurity for Electronic Devices2021-06-02T05:58:54-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Why does cybersecurity extend beyond computers?


Answer:

Computers include more than laptops and desktops. Many electronic devices are computers—from cell phones and tablets to video games and car navigation systems. While computers provide increased features and functionality, they also introduce new risks. Attackers may be able to take advantage of technological advancements to target devices previously considered “safe.” For example, an attacker may be able to infect your cell phone with a virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program., steal your phone or wireless service, or access the data on your device. Not only do these activities have implications for your personal information, but they could also have serious consequences if you store corporate information on the device.

What types of electronics are vulnerable?

Any piece of electronic equipment that uses some kind of computerized component is vulnerable to software imperfections and vulnerabilities. The risks increase if the device is connected to the internet or a network that an attacker may be able to access. Remember that a wireless connection also introduces these risks.  The outside connection provides a way for an attacker to send information to or extract information from your device.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Remember physical security. Having physical access to a device makes it easier for an attacker to extract or corrupt information. Do not leave your device unattended in public or easily accessible areas.
  • Keep software up to date. If the vendor releases updates for the software operating your device, install them as soon as possible. Installing them will prevent attackers from being able to take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities.
  • Use strong passwords. Choose devices that allow you to protect your information with passwords. Select passwords that will be difficult for thieves to guess, and use different passwords for different programs and devices.  Do not choose options that allow your computer to remember your passwords.
  • Disable remote connectivity. Some mobile devices are equipped with wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, that can be used to connect to other devices or computers. You should disable these features when they are not in use.
  • Encrypt files. If you are storing personal or corporate information, see if your device offers the option to encrypt the files. By encrypting files, you ensure that unauthorized people can’t view data even if they can physically access it. When you use encryption, it is important to remember your passwords and passphrases; if you forget or lose them, you may lose your data.
  • Be cautious of public Wi-Fi networks. Follow these recommendations when connecting to any public wireless hotspot—like on an airplane or in an airport, hotel, train/bus station, or café:
    • Confirm the name of the network and exact login procedures with appropriate staff to ensure that the network is legitimate.
    • Do not conduct sensitive activities, such as online shopping, banking, or sensitive work, using a public wireless network.
    • Only use sites that begin with “https://” when online shopping or banking. Using your mobile network connection is generally more secure than using a public wireless network.
Dealing with Cyberbullies2021-05-31T19:12:33-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is cyberbullyingCyberbullying Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyber harassment are also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, as the digital universe has expanded and technology has advanced. Cyberbullying is when someone bullies or harasses others on the internet and other digital spaces, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, a victims' personal information (Doxing), or pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behavior and an intent to emotional harm. Victims of cyberbullying may experience lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and various negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, depressed, or PTSD.?


Answer:

Cyberbullying is using technology to harass, or bully, someone else. Bullies used to be restricted to methods such as physical intimidation, postal mail, or the telephone, but computers, cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices offer bullies forums such as email, instant messaging, web pages, and digital photos.

Forms of cyberbullying can range in severity from cruel or embarrassing rumors to threats, harassment, or stalking. It can affect any age group; however, teenagers and young adults are common victims, and cyberbullying is a growing problem in schools.

Why has cyberbullying become such a problem?

The relative anonymity of the internet is appealing for bullies because it enhances intimidation and makes tracing the activity more difficult. Some bullies also find it easier to be more vicious because there is no personal contact. The internet and email can also increase the visibility of the activity. Information or pictures posted online or forwarded in mass emails can reach a larger audience faster than more traditional methods, causing more damage to the victims. A large amount of personal information is available online, so bullies may be able to arbitrarily choose their victims.

Cyberbullying may also indicate a tendency toward more serious behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams.. While bullying has always been an unfortunate reality, most bullies grow out of it. Cyberbullying has not existed long enough to have solid research, but there is evidence that it may be an early warning for violent behavior.

How can you protect yourself or your children?

  • Teach your children good online habits. Explain the risks of technology, and teach children how to be responsible online. Reduce their risk of becoming cyberbullies by setting guidelines for and monitoring their use of the internet and other electronic media (cell phones, tablets, etc.).
  • Keep lines of communication open. Regularly talk to your children about their online activities so that they feel comfortable telling you if they are being victimized.
  • Watch for warning signs. If you notice changes in your child’s behavior, try to identify the cause as soon as possible. If cyberbullying is involved, acting early can limit the damage.
  • Limit availability of personal information. Limiting the number of people who have access to contact information or details about interests, habits, or employment reduces exposure to bullies that you or your child do not know. This may limit the risk of becoming a victim and may make it easier to identify the bully if you or your child are victimized.
  • Avoid escalating the situation. Responding with hostility is likely to provoke a bully and escalate the situation. Depending on the circumstances, consider ignoring the issue. Often, bullies thrive on the reaction of their victims. Other options include subtle actions. For example, you may be able to blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• the messages on social networking sites or stop unwanted emails by changing the email address. If you continue to get messages at the new email address, you may have a stronger case for legal action.
  • Document the activity. Keep a record of any online activity (emails, web pages, instant messages, etc.), including relevant dates and times. In addition to archiving an electronic version, consider printing a copy.
  • Report cyberbullying to the appropriate authoritiesIf you or your child are being harassed or threatened, report the activity. Many schools have instituted anti-bullying programs, so school officials may have established policies for dealing with activity that involves students. If necessary, contact your local law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies have different policies, but your local police department or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud.) branch are good starting points.

Additional information

The following organizations offer additional information about this topic:

Death Threat Hoax?2021-04-26T09:12:24-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Death Threat Hoax

The FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. has warned consumers about death threats being made through emails that state “I will be short. I’ve got an order to kill you.”

The email then demands money or bitcoin as a payout from the email recipients. Other versions of the scam could state that a “hitman has been hired to kill” them. This scam is very aggressive and threatening in nature to convince people that they have to pay or else.

 

Debt Collection Scam?2021-04-26T22:36:39-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Debt Collection Scam

Answer:

Most debt collectors will contact you to collect on legitimate debts you owe. But there are scammers who pose as debt collectors to get you to pay for debts you don’t owe or that have already been paid. Do not give any personal financial information until you can verify the debt. You can use this sample letter  to request more information.

Learn more here.

Debt Elimination Fraud?2021-04-26T09:19:05-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Debt Elimination FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

  • Know who you are doing business with — do your research.
  • Obtain the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or company.
  • Research the individual or company to ensure they are authentic.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Ensure you understand all the terms and conditions of any agreement.
  • Be wary of businesses that operate from P.O. boxes or mail drops.
  • Ask for names of other customers of the individual or company and contact them.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
DHL / UPS / FedEx Fraud?2021-04-26T09:18:47-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid DHL / UPS FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

  • Beware of individuals using the DHL or UPS logo in any email communication.
  • Be suspicious when payment is requested by money transfer before the goods will be delivered.
  • Remember that DHL and UPS do not generally get involved in directly collecting payment from customers.
  • Fees associated with DHL or UPS transactions are only for shipping costs and never for other costs associated with online transactions.
  • Contact DHL or UPS to confirm the authenticity of email communications received.
Escrow Services Fraud?2021-04-26T09:18:03-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Escrow Services FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

  • Always type in the website address yourself rather than clicking on a link provided.
  • A legitimate website will be unique and will not duplicate the work of other companies.
  • Be cautious when a site requests payment to an “agent”, instead of a corporate entity.
  • Be leery of escrow sites that only accept wire transfers or e-currency.
  • Be watchful of spelling errors, grammar problems, or inconsistent information.
  • Beware of sites that have escrow fees that are unreasonably low.
Evaluating Your Web Browser’s Security Settings2021-05-31T19:16:34-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Why are security settings for web browsers important?


Answer:

Your web browser is your primary connection to the rest of the internet, and multiple applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. may rely on your browser, or elements within your browser, to function. This makes the security settings within your browser even more important. Many web applications try to enhance your browsing experience by enabling different types of functionality, but this functionality might be unnecessary and may leave you susceptible to being attacked. The safest policy is to disable the majority of those features unless you decide they are necessary. If you determine that a site is trustworthy, you can choose to enable the functionality temporarily and then disable it once you are finished visiting the site.

Where can you find the settings?

Each web browser is different, so you may have to look around. For example, in Internet Explorer, you can find them by clicking Tools on your menu bar, selecting Internet Options…, choosing the Security tab, and clicking the Custom Level… button. However, in Firefox, you click Tools on the menu bar and select Options…. Click the ContentPrivacy, and Security tabs to explore the basic security options. Browsers have different security options and configurations, so familiarize yourself with the menu options, check the help feature, or refer to the vendor’s web site.

While every application has settings that are selected by default, you may discover that your browser also has predefined security levels that you can select. For example, Internet Explorer offers custom settings that allow you to select a particular level of security; features are enabled or disabled based on your selection. Even with these guides, it is helpful to have an understanding of what the different terms mean so that you can evaluate the features to determine which settings are appropriate for you.

How do you know what your settings should be?

Ideally, you would set your security for the highest level possible. However, restricting certain features may limit some web pages from loading or functioning properly. The best approach is to adopt the highest level of security and only enable features when you require their functionality.

What do the different terms mean?

Different browsers use different terms, but here are some terms and options you may find:

  • Zones – Your browser may give you the option of putting websites into different segments, or zones, and allow you to define different security restrictions for each zone.For example, most browsers identify the following zones:
    • Internet – This is the general zone for all public websites. When you browse the internet, the settings for this zone are automatically applied to the sites you visit. To give you the best protection as you browse, you should set the security to the highest level; at the very least, you should maintain a medium level.
    • Local intranet – If you are in an office setting that has its own intranet, this zone contains those internal pages. Because the web content is maintained on an internal web server, it is usually safe to have less restrictive settings for these pages. However, some viruses have tapped into this zone, so be aware of what sites are listed and what privileges they are being given.
    • Trusted sites – If you believe that certain sites are designed with security in mind, and you feel that content from the site can be trusted not to contain malicious materials, you can add them to your trusted sites and apply settings accordingly. You may also require that only sites that implement Secure Sockets Layer (SSLSSL Secure Socket Layer (SSL) - SSL technology secretly encodes information that is sent over the Internet between your computer and the bank, helping to ensure that the information remains confidential.) can be active in this zone. This permits you to verify that the site you are visiting is the site that it claims to be. This is an optional zone but may be useful if you personally maintain multiple websites or if your organization has multiple sites. Even if you trust them, avoid applying low-security levels to external sites—if they are attacked, you might also become a victim.
    • Restricted sites – If there are particular sites you think might not be safe, you can identify them and define heightened security settings. Because the security settings may not be enough to protect you, the best precaution is to avoid navigating to any sites that make you question whether or not they’re safe.
  • JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages, in software, and apps — every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at — displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc. — you can bet that JavaScript is probably involved. It is the third layer of the layer cake of standard web technologies, the other two are HTML and CSS. – Some websites rely on web scripts such as JavaScript to achieve a certain appearance or functionality, but these scripts may be used in attacks.
  • Java and ActiveX controls – These programs are used to develop or execute active content that provides some functionality, but they may put you at risk.
  • Plug-ins – Sometimes browsers require the installation of additional software known as plug-ins to provide additional functionality. Like Java and ActiveX controls, plug-ins may be used in an attack, so before installing them, make sure that they are necessary and that the site you have to download them from is trustworthy.

You may also find options that allow you to take the following security measures:

  • Manage cookies – You can disable, restrict, or allow cookies as appropriate. Generally, it is best to disable cookies and then enable them if you visit a site you trust that requires them.
  • BlockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• pop-up windows – Although turning this feature on could restrict the functionality of certain websites, it will also minimize the number of pop-up adsPop-up Ads Pop-up ads (also known as pop-ups) - Unsolicited advertising that appears as a "pop-up" window on a computer screen. Sometimes these can be created to look like a financial institution's request for personal information. you receive, some of which may be malicious.
Fake Bank Apps?2021-04-26T09:12:41-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Fake Bank AppsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing.

Scammers will spoof the apps of big banks in order to separate you from your money. A recent survey by Avast, a multi-national cybersecurity firm, found that one in three worldwide users mistakenly believed that a fake mobile banking app was the real thing, putting their financial data at risk. Thieves use the big customer base of major banks to try to get past the secure app stores and collect personal information.

FAQs Organized2021-04-26T01:38:42-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How Are Our FAQs Organized?

Answer:

Our FAQs are ordered in groups based upon topics:

  1. Basics
  2. Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. Related
  3. Victims’ Issues
  4. Victim Recovery & Support
  5. Psychology of ScamsPsychology Of Scams Psychology Of Scams is the study of the psychological or emotional effects of scams or financial fraud on victims of these crimes. It helps victims to better understand the impact of scams on them personally or on others. To find the SCARS articles on the Psychology of Scams, use the search option to enter the term and find them.
  6. Scam Types
  7. Spotting & Avoiding Scams
  8. CybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Related
  9. Reporting Scams & Enforcement
  10. About SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.
Fortnite Scam?2021-04-26T09:10:22-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Fortnite Scam

 
Fortnite: Battle Royale has more than 125 million players worldwide, and that tremendous pull extends to hackers and scammers too. Players and parents should pay attention as Fortnite creator Epic Games is warning gamers about the most common Fornite scam involving “free V-bucks.” Scammers offer free or discounted v-bucks, the in-game currency, to help players elevate their game. What can result in identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources., downloading malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. on a device or having your money stolen.

 

Friendly Fraud?2021-04-27T10:44:58-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is Friendly FraudFriendly fraud Friendly fraud is a type of first party fraud. Friendly fraud can take many forms, but typically involves an actual consumer obtaining goods or services from a merchant, then claiming they did not make the purchase, did not receive the goods, or only received a fraction of items, in order to keep the goods or services without paying for them.

Answer:

Friendly fraud occurs when a customer makes a purchase with the intent of disputing that purchase for financial gain. Friendly fraud is very challenging to detect, but there are methodologies and processes that can help you understand your disputes and proactively mitigate a portion of friendly fraud.

Gift Card Scams?2021-04-26T09:10:03-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Gift Card ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

 
The BBB is warning people about emails offering help to check their gift card balances. If you receive one of these emails, do not click open or click links within. Scammers use these emails websites in order to get your card number and PIN in order to drain your account. The BBB offers the following tips to avoid gift card balance scams:
 
Go to the retailer’s website: If you need to check a gift card balance, go to the site listed on the back of the card itself. If there is none, go to the website of the company and look for a link to the gift card page.
 
Use gift cards right away: A good way to avoid scams and other issues is to simply use gift cards soon after you receive them.
 
Examine the gift card before buying: Before purchasing a gift card, be sure to give it a thorough look to make sure the PIN isn’t exposed, or the packaging hasn’t been tampered with.
 
Register your gift card with the retailers: If the retailer allows the option to register your gift card, take full advantage. registering your gift card makes it easier to keep track of any misuse occurring, that way you can report it sooner and potentially end up saving the money that is stored.

 

Good Security Habits2021-06-02T05:33:55-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How can I minimize the access others have to my information?


Answer:

It may be easy to identify people who could gain physical access to your devices—family members, roommates, coworkers, people nearby, and others. Identifying the people who have the capability to gain remote access to your devices is not as simple—as long as your device is connected to the internet, you are at risk for someone accessing your information. However, you can significantly reduce your risk by developing habits that make it more difficult.

  • Improve password security. Passwords are one of the most vulnerable cyber defenses. Improve your password security by doing the following
    • Create a strong password. Use a strong password that is unique for each device or account. Longer passwords are more secure. An option to help you create a long password is using a passphrase—four or more random words grouped together and used as a password. To create strong passwords, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) suggests using simple, long, and memorable passwords or passphrases.
    • Consider using a password manager. Password manager applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. manage different accounts and passwords while having added benefits, including identifying weak or repeated passwords. There are many different options, so start by looking for an application that has a large install base (e.g., 1 million plus) and an overall positive review. Properly using one of these password managers may help improve your overall password security.
    • Use multi-factor authentication, if available. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a more secure method of authorizing access. It requires two out of the following three types of credentials: something you know (e.g., a password or personal identification number [PIN]), something you have (e.g., a token or ID card), and something you are (e.g., a biometric fingerprint). Because one of the required credentials requires physical presence, this step makes it more difficult for a threat actor to compromise your device.
    • Use security questions properly. For accounts that ask you to set up one or more password reset questions, use private information about yourself that only you would know. Answers that can be found on your social media or facts everyone knows about you can make it easier for someone to guess your password.
    • Create unique accounts for each user per device. Set up individual accounts that allow only the access and permissions needed by each user. When you need to grant daily use accounts administrative permissions, do so only temporarily. This precaution reduces the impact of poor choices, such as clicking on phishing emails or visiting malicious websites.
  • Choose secure networks. Use internet connections you trust, such as your home service or Long-Term Evolution connection through your wireless carrier. Public networks are not very secure, which makes it easy for others to intercept your data. If you choose to connect to open networks, consider using antivirus and firewall software on your device or using a Virtual Private Network service, which allows you to connect to the internet securely by keeping your exchanges private. When setting up your home wireless network, use Wi-Fi Protected Accessed 3 (WPA3) encryption. All other wireless encryption methods are outdated and more vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Keep all of your personal electronic device software current. Manufacturers issue updates as they discover vulnerabilities in their products. Automatic updates make this easier for many devices—including computers, phones, tablets, and other smart devices—but you may need to manually update other devices. Only apply updates from manufacturer websites and built-in application stores—third-party sites and applications are unreliable and can result in an infected device. When shopping for new connected devices, consider the brand’s consistency in providing regular support updates.
  • Be suspicious of unexpected emails. Phishing emails are currently one of the most prevalent risks to the average user. The goal of a phishing email is to gain information about you, steal money from you, or install malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. on your device. Be suspicious of all unexpected emails.
Government Impersonator Scams2021-06-10T09:06:15-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Government Impersonator ScamGovernment Impersonator Scam In Government Impersonator Scam, Scammers often disguise themselves as people working for the government and might pretend to offer help. But, are really after your money or personal information. Real government agencies will never call without prior written contact.?


Answer:

Scammers often disguise themselves as people working for the government and might pretend to offer help. But, really, they’re after your money or personal information.

Government imposters may call to “verify your Social Security number,” or say your Social Security number or Medicare benefits have been “suspended” due to a mix-up. Scammers may say your tax returns must be done differently because of a name change — and they need your Social Security number to fix it. For recently married people, or someone going through gender reassignment and a name change, the excuses scammers use might make sense. But wait right there. Scammers are just phishing for personal information they can use to steal your identity or take your money.

So how do you spot it and stop it? Here’s what to know:

Scammers call, email, or text you for money or information. But the government won’t. Anyone who calls, emails, or texts, asking for money or personal information and claims to be from the government is a scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer.. Hang up and don’t respond to messages.

Scammers tell you how to pay — usually by wiring money, cryptocurrency, or gift card. Nobody legit will ever tell you to pay in any of those ways. If they call, hang up the phone. If they email, text, or message you, don’t click on any links. It’s a scam.

Even if your caller ID says it’s from the government, it could be a scam. Caller ID can be faked. Even if it shows the government agency’s real phone number, or even if it says something like “Social Security Administration,” it could be anyone calling from anywhere in the world. Don’t trust it.

If you spot a government imposterImposter An impersonator is someone who imitates or copies the behavior or actions of another. There are many reasons for impersonating someone, such as: part of a criminal act such as identity theft, online impersonation scam, or other fraud. This is usually where the criminal is trying to assume the identity of another, in order to commit fraud, such as accessing confidential information or to gain property not belonging to them. Also known as social engineering and impostors., tell the FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and www.Anyscam.com, or if from another country then contact your national police

Grandparent Scam?2021-04-26T09:09:39-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Grandparent ScamGrandparent Scam Grandparent/Family Emergency Scam - Scammers sometimes prey on grandparents by claiming their family members are in jail or in trouble and need money quickly. They use stolen personal information such as family member names and hometowns to seem more convincing.

 
This scam has been around and has seen an increase in activity of late. Depending on who answers the phone call, the person on the other line will say, “Hi, Grandpa” or “Hi, Grandma” pretending to be the grandson or granddaughter of the older victim. The scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. then tells them a story that ends with, “I need money right away to… (insert issue here—pay my traffic ticket, post bail, pay for an ambulance).”
 
All of this is said without providing too many details. If pushed, the scammers will say things like “please don’t tell Mom or Dad” or “My nose is broken, so I may sound strange.” Victims can end up wiring money to the scammers as a result. Read more here about other senior scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost..

 

Guidelines for Publishing Your Information Online2021-06-01T21:04:50-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Why is it important to remember that the internet is public?


Answer:

The internet is an accessible, popular resource for communicating with others and conducting research. You may have a sense of anonymity while online but should remember that you are not anonymous, and it is just as easy for people to find information about you as it is for you to find information about them.

Many people have become so familiar and comfortable with the internet that they adopt practices that make them vulnerable. For example, although people are typically wary of sharing personal information with strangers they meet on the street, they may not hesitate to post that same information online. Once it is online, it can be accessed by a world of strangers, and you have no idea what they might do with that information.

What guidelines can you follow when publishing information on the internet?

  • View the internet as a novel, not a diary. Make sure you are comfortable with anyone seeing the information you put on blogs, social networking sites, and personal websites—write it with the expectation that it is available for public consumption and that people you have never met will find your page. Although some sites use passwords or other security restrictions to protect the information, these methods are not used for most websites. If you want the information to be private or restricted to a small, select group of people, the internet is not the best forum.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post. Do not post information that could make you vulnerable, such as your address, phone number, email, or information about your schedule or routine. Supplying your email address may increase the amount of spam you receive. Providing details about your hobbies, your job, your family and friends, or your past may give attackers enough information to perform a successful social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." attack.
  • Realize that you cannot take it back. Once you publish something online, it is available to other people and to search engines. You can change or remove information after something has been published, but it is possible that someone has already seen the original version. Even if you try to remove the page(s) from the internet, someone may have saved a copy of the page or used excerpts in another source. Some search engines “cache” copies of web pages; these cached copies may be available after a web page has been deleted or altered. Some web browsers may also maintain a cache of the web pages a user has visited, so the original version may be stored in a temporary file on the user’s computer. Think about these implications before publishing information—once something is out there, you cannot guarantee that you can completely remove it.

As a general practice, let common sense guide your decisions about what to post online. Before you publish something on the internet, determine what value it provides and consider the implications of having the information available to the public. Identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. is an increasing problem, and the more information an attacker can gather about you, the easier it is to pretend to be you.

Home Improvement Scams?2021-04-26T09:09:22-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Home Improvement ScamsHome Improvement Scams In this con, door-to-door solicitors offer quick, low-cost repairs and then either take payments without returning, do shoddy work or “find” issues that dramatically raise the price.

 
Another common seasonal scam centers around home improvement. As the weather gets nicer, homeowners often look to improve their homes.
 
The Better Business Bureau says in 2017, there were nearly 350 home improvement scams reported to BBB Scam Tracker across the U.S., resulting in more than $600,000 lost. Some scammers go door-to-door, offering to do improvement projects.
 
They may take a deposit, and then never complete the work If you’re not sure the salesman is legit, you can ask for a card and get back to them once you have been able to research the company by visiting the BBB website. These scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. can also happen after major national disasters — hail storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides, and fires, among other things.

 

Home Network Security2021-06-02T05:50:34-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is Home Network Security and why should I care?


Answer:

Home network security refers to the protection of a network that connects devices—such as routers, computers, smartphones, and Wi-Fi-enabled baby monitors and cameras—to each other and to the internet within a home.

Many home users share two common misconceptions about the security of their networks:

  1. Their home network is too small to be at risk of a cyberattack.
  2. Their devices are “secure enough” right out of the box.

Most attacks are not personal in nature and can occur on any type of network—big or small, home or business. If a network connects to the internet, it is inherently more vulnerable and susceptible to outside threats.

How do I improve the security of my home network?

By following some of the simple but effective mitigation techniques below, you can significantly reduce the attack surface of your home network and make it more difficult for a malicious cyber actor to launch a successful attack.

  • Update your software regularly. Regular software updates are one of the most effective steps you can take to improve the overall cybersecurity posture of your home networks and systems. Besides adding new features and functionality, software updates often include critical patches and security fixes for newly discovered threats and vulnerabilities. Most modern software applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. will automatically check for newly released updates. If automated updates are not available, consider purchasing a software program that identifies and centrally manages all installed software updates.
  • Remove unnecessary services and software. Disable all unnecessary services to reduce the attack surface of your network and devices, including your router. Unused or unwanted services and software can create security holes on a device’s system, which could lead to an increased attack surface of your network environment. This is especially true with new computer systems on which vendors will often pre-install a large number of trial software and applications—referred to as “bloatware”—that users may not find useful. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security AgencyCybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a standalone United States federal agency, an operational component under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight. Its activities are a continuation of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). CISA was established on November 16, 2018 when President Donald Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018. (CISACybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a standalone United States federal agency, an operational component under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight. Its activities are a continuation of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). CISA was established on November 16, 2018 when President Donald Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018.) recommends that you research and remove any software or services that are not being used regularly.
  • Adjust factory-default configurations on software and hardware. Many software and hardware products come “out of the box” with overly permissive factory-default configurations intended to make them user-friendly and reduce the troubleshooting time for customer service. Unfortunately, these default configurations are not geared towards security. Leaving them enabled after the installation may create more avenues for an attacker to exploit. Users should take steps to harden the default configuration parameters to reduce vulnerabilities and protect against intrusions.
  • Change default log-in passwords and usernames. Most network devices are pre-configured with default administrator passwords to simplify setup. These default credentials are not secure—they may be readily available on the internet, or may even be physically labeled on the device itself. Leaving these unchanged creates opportunities for malicious cyber actors to gain unauthorized access to information, install malicious software, and cause other problems.
  • Use strong and unique passwords. Choose strong passwords to help secure your devices. Additionally, do not use the same password with multiple accounts. This way, if one of your accounts is compromised, the attacker will not be able to breach any other of your accounts.
  • Run up-to-date antivirus software. A reputable antivirus software application is an important protective measure against known malicious threats. It can automatically detect, quarantine, and remove various types of malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts., such as viruses, worms, and ransomwareRansomware Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that threatens to publish the victim's personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. While some simple ransomware may lock the system so that it is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. It encrypts the victim's files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them. In a properly implemented cryptoviral extortion attack, recovering the files without the decryption key is an intractable problem – and difficult to trace digital currencies such as paysafecard or Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are used for the ransoms, making tracing and prosecuting the perpetrators difficult. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan virus disguised as a legitimate file that the user is tricked into downloading or opening when it arrives as an email attachment. However, one high-profile example, the WannaCry worm, traveled automatically between computers without user interaction.. Many antivirus solutions are extremely easy to install and intuitive to use. CISA recommends that all computers and mobile devices on your home network run antivirus software. Additionally, be sure to enable automatic virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. definition updates to ensure maximum protection against the latest threats. Note: because detection relies on signatures—known patterns that can identify code as malware—even the best antivirus will not provide adequate protection against new and advanced threats, such as zero-day exploits and polymorphic viruses.
  • Install a network firewall. Install a firewall at the boundary of your home network to defend against external threats. A firewall can blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• malicious traffic from entering your home network and alert you to potentially dangerous activity. When properly configured, it can also serve as a barrier for internal threats, preventing unwanted or malicious software from reaching out to the internet. Most wireless routers come with a configurable, built-in network firewall that includes additional features—such as access controls, web-filtering, and denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.-of-service (DoSDoS A denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurs when legitimate users are unable to access information systems, devices, or other network resources due to the actions of a malicious cyber threat actor. Services affected may include email, websites, online accounts (e.g., banking), or other services that rely on the affected computer or network. A denial-of-service condition is accomplished by flooding the targeted host or network with traffic until the target cannot respond or simply crashes, preventing access for legitimate users. DoS attacks can cost an organization both time and money while their resources and services are inaccessible.) defense—that you can tailor to fit your networking environment. Keep in mind that some firewall features, including the firewall itself, may be turned off by default. Ensuring that your firewall is on and all the settings are properly configured will strengthen the network security of your network. Note: your internet service provider (ISP) may be able to help you determine whether your firewall has the most appropriate settings for your particular equipment and environment.
  • Install firewalls on network devices. In addition to a network firewall, consider installing a firewall on all computers connected to your network. Often referred to as host- or software-based, these firewalls inspect and filter a computer’s inbound and outbound network traffic based on a predetermined policy or set of rules. Most modern Windows and Linux operating systems come with a built-in, customizable, and feature-rich firewall. Additionally, most vendors bundle their antivirus software with additional security features such as parental controls, email protection, and malicious website blockingBlocking Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots •••.
  • Regularly back up your data. Make and store—using either external media or a cloud-based service—regular backup copies of all valuable information residing on your device. Consider using a third-party backup application, which can simplify and automate the process. Be sure to encrypt your backup to protect the confidentiality and integrity of your information. Data backups are crucial to minimizing the impact if that data is lost, corrupted, infected, or stolen.
  • Increase wireless security. Follow the steps below to increase the security of your wireless router. Note: consult your router’s instruction manual or contact your ISP for specific instructions on how to change a particular setting on your device.
    • Use the strongest encryption protocol available. CISA recommends using the Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) Personal Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Temporary Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), which is currently the most secure router configuration available for home use. It incorporates AES and is capable of using cryptographic keys of 128, 192, and 256 bits. This standard has been approved by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
    • Change the router’s default administrator password. Change your router’s administrator password to help protect it from an attack using default credentials.
    • Change the default service set identifier (SSID). Sometimes referred to as the “network name,” an SSID is a unique name that identifies a particular wireless local area network (WLAN). All wireless devices on a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) must use the same SSID to communicate with each other. Because the device’s default SSID typically identifies the manufacturer or the actual device, an attacker can use this to identify the device and exploit any of its known vulnerabilities. Make your SSID unique and not tied to your identity or location, which would make it easier for the attacker to identify your home network.
    • Disable Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). WPS provides simplified mechanisms for a wireless device to join a Wi-Fi network without the need to enter the wireless network password. However, a design flaw in the WPS specification for PIN authentication significantly reduces the time required for a cyberattacker to brute forceBrute-force attack Brute-force attack: A hacking method to find passwords or encryption keys by trying every possible combination of characters until the correct one is found. an entire PIN, because it informs them when the first half of the eight-digit PIN is correct. Many routers lack a proper lockout policy after a certain number of failed attempts to guess the PIN, making a brute-force attackBrute-force attack Brute-force attack: A hacking method to find passwords or encryption keys by trying every possible combination of characters until the correct one is found. much more likely to occur.
    • Reduce wireless signal strength. Your Wi-Fi signal frequently propagates beyond the perimeters of your home. This extended emission allows eavesdropping by intruders outside your network perimeter. Therefore, carefully consider antenna placement, antenna type, and transmission power levels. By experimenting with your router placement and signal strength levels, you can decrease the transmitting coverage of your Wi-Fi network, thus reducing this risk of compromise. Note: while this reduces your risk, a motivated attacker may still be able to intercept a signal that has limited coverage.
    • Turn the network off when not in use. While it may be impractical to turn the Wi-Fi signal off and on frequently, consider disabling it during travel or extended periods when you will not need to be online. Additionally, many routers offer the option to configure a wireless schedule that will automatically disable the Wi-Fi at specified times. When your Wi-Fi is disabled, you prevent outside attackers from being able to exploit your home network.
    • Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) when not needed. UPnP is a handy feature that allows networked devices to seamlessly discover and establish communication with each other on the network. However, though the UPnP feature eases initial network configuration, it is also a security risk. Recent large-scale network attacks prove that malware within your network can use UPnP to bypass your router’s firewall, allow attackers to take control of your devices remotely, and spread malware to other devices. You should therefore disable UPnP unless you have a specific need for it.
    • Upgrade firmware. Check your router manufacturer’s website to ensure you are running the latest firmware version. Firmware updates enhance product performance, fix flaws, and address security vulnerabilities. Note: some routers have the option to turn on automatic updates.
    • Disable remote management. Most routers offer the option to view and modify their settings over the internet. Turn this feature off to guard against unauthorized individuals accessing and changing your router’s configuration.
    • Monitor for unknown device connections. Use your router manufacturer’s website to monitor for unauthorized devices joining or attempting to join your network. Also, see the manufacturer’s website for tips on how to prevent unauthorized devices from connecting to your network.
  • Mitigate Email Threats. Phishing emails continue to be one of the most common initial attack vectors employed by for malware delivery and credential harvesting. Attacking the human element—considered the weakest component in every network—continues to be extremely effective. To infect a system, the attacker simply has to persuade a user to click on a link or open an attachment. The good news is that there are many indicators that you can use to quickly identify a phishing email. The best defense against these attacks is to become an educated and cautious user and familiarize yourself with the most common elements of a phishing attack.
How To Avoid Spam Email?2021-04-26T09:15:20-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Spam Email

  • Don’t open spam. Delete it unread.
  • Never respond to spam as this will confirm to the sender that it is a “live” email address.
  • Have a primary and secondary email address – one for people you know and one for all other purposes.
  • Avoid giving out your email address unless you know how it will be used.
  • Never purchase anything advertised through an unsolicited email.
How To Spot A Scam?2021-04-26T09:13:26-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Spot A Scam

How Can I Tell If Something Might Be A Scam?

It’S Probably A Scam If Someone:

  • Makes an offer that sounds too good to be true;
  • Promises that you can win money, make money, or borrow money easily;
  • Asks for money to enter a contest, win a sweepstake or lottery, or claim a prize;
  • Refuses to send you written information before you agree to buy or donate;
  • Refuses to give you a physical address;
  • Refuses to give you the details of the offer before you make any payment;
  • Requests your bank account or credit card number when you are not making a purchase with that account;
  • Uses scare tactics or pressure to act immediately;
  • Insists that you wire money or have a courier pick up your payment;
  • Refuses to stop calling after you’ve asked not to be called again;
  • Contacts you to ask for personal information the company already has.
  • Gives you a check or money order and asks you to send some of the money somewhere.
How To Avoid Identity Theft2021-04-26T09:17:46-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Identity TheftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources.

  • Ensure websites are secure prior to submitting your credit card number.
  • Do your homework to ensure the business or website is legitimate.
  • Attempt to obtain a physical address, rather than a P.O. box or maildrop.
  • Never throw away credit card or bank statements in usable form.
  • Be aware of missed bills which could indicate your account has been taken over.
  • Be cautious of scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. requiring you to provide your personal information.
  • Never give your credit card number over the phone unless you make the call.
  • Monitor your credit statements monthly for any fraudulent activity.
  • Report unauthorized transactions to your bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
  • Review a copy of your credit report at least once a year.
Instagram Fake Ads?2021-04-26T09:09:06-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Instagram Fake Ads

 
It can be difficult to tell what’s real or not on social media these days—including advertisements. Scammers often post fake ads to get you to buy one product only to send you a cheap knockoff. Instagram has offered some tips if you think you have come across a suspicious ad:
 
You can learn more about an account if you go to their profile, tap the menu and then select “About This Account.”
 
There, you can see the date the account joined Instagram, the country where the account is located, accounts with shared followers, and username changes. Within “About this Account,” you can also see all ads that the business is currently running.
 
People can report an account, an ad, or a post that they feel is misleading. To report an ad, click the “…” on the top right of the ad and click Report Ad. Follow the on-screen instructions and select “It’s a scam or it’s misleading.”
 
You can always go back and visit your own ad interactions, including all ads you have clicked on in Stories and Feed, from the past 90 days within your Settings.

 

Internet Extortion Scams?2021-04-26T09:17:30-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Internet Extortion

  • Security needs to be multi-layered so that numerous obstacles will be in the way of the intruder.
  • Ensure security is installed at every possible entry point.
  • Identify all machines connected to the Internet and assess the defense that’s engaged.
  • Identify whether your servers are utilizing any ports that have been known to represent insecurities.
  • Ensure you are utilizing the most up-to-date patches for your software.
Investment Fraud?2021-04-26T09:17:12-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Investment FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

  • If the “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Beware of promises to make fast profits.
  • Do not invest in anything unless you understand the deal.
  • Don’t assume a company is legitimate based on “appearance” of the website.
  • Be leery when responding to investment offers received through unsolicited email.
  • Be wary of investments that offer high returns at little or no risk.
  • Independently verify the terms of any investment that you intend to make.
  • Research the parties involved and the nature of the investment.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
IRS (U.S. Tax) Scam?2021-04-26T09:08:46-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more. (U.S. Tax) Scam

 
Whether you have received your tax refund check by now, are waiting on an extension from the Internal Revenue Service or are just starting to prepare your taxes, be on alert for scammers.
 
The IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry are warning taxpayers to be on the lookout for scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. as “a surge of new, sophisticated email phishing scams” are being reported.
 
The holidays and tax season present great opportunities for scam artists to steal valuable information through fake emails the IRS states.
 
They want consumers to watch out for email schemes that try to fool you into thinking they’re from the IRS or partners in the tax community.
 
In 2018, the IRS noted a 60% increase in bogus email schemes that seek to steal money or tax data.
 
The tax season can also see threatening scam calls from fake IRS agents. These fake agents usually demand money from victims or state that they will be arrested. The IRS has stated publicly that the summer is when the calls usually increase.
 
The calls can also be recorded messages left on your voicemail that leave the impression that if you do not call back, the IRS will issue a warrant for your arrest. It’s important to note that the IRS does not ever call or leave urgent messages asking you to call them back.
 
Taxpayers can forward these email schemes to phishing@irs.gov—then hit delete.

 

Jury Duty Scams?2021-04-26T09:08:09-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Jury Duty ScamsJury Duty Scams Callers pose as local law enforcement, claiming they have a warrant for your arrest because you missed jury duty. They may instruct you to pay a fine by wiring money or using gift cards.

 
Another new spoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. phone call scam has popped up and involves scammers posing as judicial officials or police and calling people to let them know they failed to report for jury duty and owe a fine.
 
Scammers can spoof law enforcement phone numbers or names so people receiving the call may think that the call is legitimate.
 
The FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. in Atlanta has received numerous complaints about the scam from people in and around the Savannah, Georgia area.

 

Keeping Children Safe Online2021-05-31T08:30:58-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What unique risks are associated with children?


Answer:

When a child is using your computer, normal safeguards and security practices may not be sufficient. Children present additional challenges because of their natural characteristics: innocence, curiosity, desire for independence, and fear of punishment. You need to consider these characteristics when determining how to protect your data and the child.

You may think that because the child is only playing a game, or researching a term paper, or typing a homework assignment, they can’t cause any harm. But what if, when saving their paper, the child deletes a necessary program file? Or what if they unintentionally visit a malicious web page that infects your computer with a virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program.? These are just two possible scenarios. Mistakes happen, but children may not realize what they’ve done or may not tell you what happened because they’re afraid of getting punished.

Online predators present another significant threat, particularly to children. Because the nature of the internet is so anonymous, it is easy for people to misrepresent themselves and manipulate or trick other users. Adults often fall victim to these ploys, and children, who are usually much more open and trusting, are even easier targets. Another growing problem is cyberbullyingCyberbullying Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyber harassment are also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, as the digital universe has expanded and technology has advanced. Cyberbullying is when someone bullies or harasses others on the internet and other digital spaces, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, a victims' personal information (Doxing), or pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behavior and an intent to emotional harm. Victims of cyberbullying may experience lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and various negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, depressed, or PTSD.. These threats are even greater if a child has access to email or instant messaging programs, visits chat rooms, and/or uses social networking sites.

What can you do?

  • Be involved – Consider activities you can work on together, whether it be playing a game, researching a topic you had been talking about (e.g., family vacation spots, a particular hobby, a historical figure), or putting together a family newsletter. This will allow you to supervise your child’s online activities while teaching them good computer habits.
  • Keep your computer in an open area – If your computer is in a high-traffic area, you will be able to easily monitor the computer activity. Not only does this accessibility deter children from doing something they know they’re not allowed to do, it also gives you the opportunity to intervene if you notice a behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. that could have negative consequences.
  • Set rules and warn about dangers – Make sure your child knows the boundaries of what they are allowed to do on the computer. These boundaries should be appropriate for the child’s age, knowledge, and maturity, but they may include rules about how long they are allowed to be on the computer, what sites they are allowed to visit, what software programs they can use, and what tasks or activities they are allowed to do. You should also talk to children about the dangers of the internet so that they recognize suspicious behavior or activity. Discuss the risks of sharing certain types of information (e.g., that they’re home alone) and the benefits to only communicating and sharing information with people they know. The goal isn’t to scare them, it’s to make them more aware. Make sure to include the topic of cyberbullying in these discussions.
  • Monitor computer activity – Be aware of what your child is doing on the computer, including which websites they are visiting. If they are using email, instant messaging, or chat rooms, try to get a sense of who they are corresponding with and whether they actually know them.
  • Keep lines of communication open – Let your child know that they can approach you with any questions or concerns about behaviors or problems they may have encountered on the computer.
  • Consider partitioning your computer into separate accounts – Most operating systems give you the option of creating a different user account for each user. If you’re worried that your child may accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files, you can give them a separate account and decrease the amount of access and number of privileges they have. If you don’t have separate accounts, you need to be especially careful about your security settings. In addition to limiting functionality within your browser, avoid letting your browser remember passwords and other personal information. Also, it is always important to keep your virus definitions up to date.
  • Consider implementing parental controls – You may be able to set some parental controls within your browser. For example, Internet Explorer allows you to restrict or allow certain websites to be viewed on your computer, and you can protect these settings with a password. To find those options, click Tools on your menu bar, select Internet Options, choose the Content tab, and click the Enable… button under Content Advisor.

There are other resources you can use to control and/or monitor your child’s online activity. Some ISPs offer services designed to protect children online. Contact your ISP to see if any of these services are available. There are also special software programs you can install on your computer. Different programs offer different features and capabilities, so you can find one that best suits your needs.

Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams2021-06-18T11:32:59-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Lottery and Sweepstakes ScamSweepstakes Scam These scams involve someone claiming you won a prize. However, they say you must pay a fee or provide sensitive banking information in order to get it. They keep the money, and you get nothing for it.?


Answer:

Prize scammers try to get your money or personal information through fake lotteries, sweepstakes, or other contests. Many claim that you’ve won a prize but must pay a fee to collect it. Others require you to provide personal information to enter a “contest.” These scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. may reach you by postal mail, email, phone call, robocall, or text message.

Lottery Scams?2021-04-26T09:16:55-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Lottery ScamsLottery Scams These scams involve someone claiming you won a prize. However, they say you must pay a fee or provide sensitive banking information in order to get it. They keep the money, and you get nothing for it.

  • If the lottery winnings appear too good to be true, they probably are.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or contest.
  • Be cautious if you receive a telephone call stating you are the winner in a lottery.
  • Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of your prize.
  • Be wary of demands to send additional money to be eligible for future winnings.
  • It is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via mail or phone.
Mexico Collect Call Scam2021-06-18T12:28:33-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Mexican Collect Call Scam?


Answer:

Operators say you have a collect call from a family member in Mexico, sometimes even providing the family member’s name. You accept the call, but it’s from a stranger who offers no information about family members. You end up being billed regardless.

Nanny/Care Giver Scam2021-06-18T12:27:10-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Nanny/Care Giver Scam?


Answer:

Sometimes scammers post fake job listings for nannies or caregivers. They offer a job but ask you to buy supplies or other equipment upfront. They may send you a post-dated check and ask you to purchase gift cards or transfer money to a vendor. The check inevitably bounces.

Netflix Scam?2021-04-26T09:07:32-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Netflix Scam

 
The popular streaming service is the target of an email phishing scamEmail Phishing Scam Scammers often use email "phishing" to hook unsuspecting fraud victims. Treat all unsolicited email and spam as suspicious: Do not open or reply. To avoid loading malicious software onto your computer or device, never click a link – even from a trusted source – unless you've verified its authenticity. Be especially wary of emails asking for emergency funds or help from friends, family and colleagues. Their email accounts may have been hacked. Scammers will also pretend to be government agencies in scam emails. featuring the subject line “payment declined,” which may get your attention if you are a subscriber. The email wants you to click on a link to update your credit card information.
 
If you see this don’t click on the link because it can be dangerous malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.. Visit your Netflix account by typing the address in yourself to check your account as a safer means of verifying your account status.
 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov) issued a warning to consumers about emails being sent requesting updated payment info.
 
Netflix has stated that customers can get more info to protect themselves against phishing scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. and other malicious activity at netflix.com/security or by contacting its customer service department directly.
 
The FTC also said consumers can report phishing scams at ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by forwarding them to the agency’s spam@uce.gov address and to reportphishing@apwg.org, which is used by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a coalition of internet service providers, security vendors, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies. In addition, the FTC recommends alerting Netflix, by forwarding the message to phishing@netflix.com.

 

Nigerian Letter Or “419” Email Scams?2021-04-26T09:16:40-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Nigerian Letter Or “419419 An advance fee scam or fraud (419 scam) is a form of fraud and is one of the most common types of online confidence tricks. The scam typically involves promising the victim a significant share of a large sum of money, in return for a small up-front payment, which the fraudster claims will be used to obtain the large sum. If a victim makes the payment, the fraudster either invents a series of further fees for the victim or simply disappears. The 419 comes from the Nigerian law against this type of scam.” Email ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

  • If the “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not reply to emails asking for personal banking information.
  • Be wary of individuals representing themselves as foreign government officials.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Beware when asked to assist in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
  • Do not believe the promise of large sums of money for your cooperation.
  • Guard your account information carefully.
  • Be cautious when additional fees are requested to further the transaction.
No Roof Scam?2021-04-26T08:59:49-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A No Roof Scam

Answer:

With summer upon us, thunder, hurricanes, and hailstorms can wreak havoc. If you recently suffered damage to your roof from weather events, be wary of people coming to your door offering their repair services as these storms can bring out the worst in people. These scammers will make false promises to people needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs. Many times they will ask for payment before they start working or the job is completed. The BBB has partnered with cities on a campaign called the “No Roof Scam” to help consumers spot roofing contractor fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim..

One Ring Call Phone Scam / Wangiri Scam2021-06-18T12:38:53-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A One Ring/Wangiri ScamWangiri Scam Also called a One Ring Scam - When your phone rings only once, late at night, you may be tempted to call back. But the call may be from a foreign country with an area code that looks deceptively like it's in the U.S. If you dial back, international calling fees may wind up on your bill. Such cons are also known by the Japanese term "Wangiri."?


Answer:

When your phone rings only once, late at night, you may be tempted to call back. But the call may be from a foreign country with an area code that looks deceptively like it’s in the U.S. If you dial back, international calling fees may wind up on your bill. Such cons are also known by the Japanese term “Wangiri.”

Patrick Dempsey Scam?2021-04-26T09:07:12-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Patrick Dempsey Scam

Answer: 

This scam is anything but McDreamy, as the popular Grey’s Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey has publicly stated that he has an online impersonator on the loose. The scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. is asking his fans and others through social media to send money to him for his Maine-based nonprofit. The scam has been going on for a while as fraudsters keep setting up fake accounts to send messages hoping to find victims that will send them money.
Phishing Scam?2021-04-26T09:01:55-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Phishing ScamPhishing scam Scammers often use email "phishing" to hook unsuspecting fraud victims. Treat all unsolicited email and spam as suspicious: Do not open or reply. To avoid loading malicious software onto your computer or device, never click a link – even from a trusted source – unless you've verified its authenticity. Be especially wary of emails asking for emergency funds or help from friends, family and colleagues. Their email accounts may have been hacked. Scammers will also pretend to be government agencies in scam emails.?

Answer:

“Phishing” is a type of identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. where criminals use email, websites, web forms, and even fake advertisements to try to bait you into giving your information away. You are asked to disclose confidential financial and personal information, like passwords, credit card numbers, Access Codes, or your National Identification card number. The most familiar type of phishing scam is an email threatening serious consequences if you do not log in and take action immediately.

Never respond to emails, open attachments, or click on suspicious links from unknown senders or even reputable institutions that ask for personal or financial information.

Always remember that no legitimate company will ever send you unsolicited emails asking for confidential information, such as your password, PIN, Access Code, credit card, and account numbers. No real business will ask you to validate or restore your account access through email or pop-up windows. The only time any business website or platform will ever ask for anything is when you register or feed to confirm your identity after requesting account changes.

If you have entered personal information after clicking on a link or suspect fraudulent behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams., please change your passwords immediately, and notify the organization you have an account with that has been compromised.

Recognize it:

Some emails look authentic, featuring corporate logos and layouts similar to the ones used by institutions for legitimate communication. Because these emails can look so official, unsuspecting recipients may reply to them, resulting in financial losses, identity theft, and other fraudulent activity.

You should never respond to or action any email that:

  • Requires you to enter personal information directly into the email or submit that information online
  • Threatens to close or suspend your accounts if you do not provide or verify personal information
  • Claims that your account has been compromised or that there has been fraudulent activity on your account and requests you to enter, validate, or verify your account information
  • States that there are unauthorized charges on your account and requests your account information
  • Claims that the Bank has lost important security information and needs you to update your information online
  • Asks you to enter your card number, password, Access Code, or account numbers into an email, pop-up window, form, or non-secure webpage
  • Asks you to confirm, validate, verify, or refresh your account, credit card, or financial information

Preventative Measures:

  • Be suspicious of all unsolicited or unexpected emails you receive, even if they appear to originate from a trusted source like Scotiabank.
  • Never click on a link in an email or pop-up window to go to a site. Type or cut and paste the URL into a new Web browser window.
  • Type in the Web address yourself or search using Google to ensure you are transacting with the real company. You can also bookmark the URL to save time.
  • Never call a number appearing on an email you suspect is fraudulent. In a new twist, phishing scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. use a phony telephone number in the email. When you call, a person or an automated response asks for your personal and/or account information.
  • If you do have a relationship with the company mentioned in the email, call the company using a phone number from a reputable source like your statement or the phone book.
  • Stay current. Read and follow Safe Computing Practices on a regular basis.
Phone Porting Scams??2021-04-26T09:06:58-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Phone PortingPorting A scammer gets your name and phone number, then gathers other identifiable information that can be used for identity theft. Pretending to be you, they then contact your mobile provider to report your phone as stolen or lost, and ask for the number to be "ported" to another provider and device. They can use your number to gain access to your financial accounts and other services with two-factor authentication enabled. Scam

Answer:

The scam called “porting” involves criminals stealing your phone number and your phone service in order to get access to your bank account through confirmation text messages.
 
Scammers start by collecting your name, phone number and then gather any other information they can find about you such as your address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Then they contact your mobile carrier and state that your phone has been stolen and ask that the number be “ported” with another provider and device. Once your number has been ported to a new device, scammers can then start accessing your accounts that require additional authorization such as code texted to your phone.
Ponzi/Pyramid Schemes & Scams?2021-04-26T09:16:01-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid PonziPonzi A Ponzi Scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from legitimate business activity (e.g., product sales or successful investments), and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds. A Ponzi scheme can maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as new investors contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and still believe in the non-existent assets they are purported to own./Pyramid SchemesPyramid Schemes Pyramid schemes are scams that need a constant flow of new participants to keep them going. They are marketed as multi-level marketing programs or other types of legitimate businesses. They use new recruits’ "investments" to pay “profits” to those participating longer. Pyramid schemes collapse when they can't recruit enough new participants to pay earlier investors. These scams always fail—it’s mathematically guaranteed. & ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

  • If the “opportunity” appears too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Beware of promises to make fast profits.
  • Exercise diligence in selecting investments.
  • Be vigilant in researching with whom you choose to invest.
  • Make sure you fully understand the investment prior to investing.
  • Be wary when you are required to bring in subsequent investors.
  • Independently verify the legitimacy of any investment.
  • Beware of references given by the promoter.
Preventing and Responding to Identity Theft2021-06-02T05:25:37-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Is identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. just a problem for people who submit information online?


Answer:

You can be a victim of identity theft even if you never use a computer. Malicious people may be able to obtain personal information (such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, account numbers, and addresses) by stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone conversation, rummaging through your trash (a practice known as dumpster diving), or picking up a receipt at a restaurant that has your account number on it. If a thief has enough information, he or she may be able to impersonate you to purchase items, open new accounts, or apply for loans.

The internet has made it easier for thieves to obtain personal and financial data. Most companies and other institutions store information about their clients in databases; if a thief can access that database, he or she can obtain information about many people at once rather than focus on one person at a time. The internet has also made it easier for thieves to sell or trade the information, making it more difficult for law enforcement to identify and apprehend criminals.

How are victims of online identity theft chosen?

Identity theft is usually a crime of opportunity, so you may be victimized simply because your information is available. Thieves may target customers of certain companies for a variety of reasons; for example, a company database is easily accessible, the demographics of the customers are appealing, or there is a market for specific information. If your information is stored in a database that is compromised, you may become a victim of identity theft.

Are there ways to avoid being a victim?

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee that you will not be a victim of online identity theft. However, there are ways to minimize your risk:

  • Do business with reputable companies – Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established company. Some attackers may try to trick you by creating malicious websites that appear to be legitimate, so you should verify the legitimacy before supplying any information.
  • Take advantage of security features – Passwords and other security features add layers of protection if used appropriately.
  • Check privacy policies – Take precautions when providing information, and make sure to check published privacy policies to see how a company will use or distribute your information.  Many companies allow customers to request that their information not be shared with other companies; you should be able to locate the details in your account literature or by contacting the company directly.
  • Be careful what information you publicize – Attackers may be able to piece together information from a variety of sources. Avoid posting personal data in public forums.
  • Use and maintain anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software and a firewall – Protect yourself against viruses and TrojanTrojan Software that's hidden within apparently harmless data — or masquerades as a regular program — and when activated, can deliver such blows as corrupting data on your hard drive or sending files and account information to hackers. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not self-replicate and spread to other computers. horses that may steal or modify the data on your own computer and leave you vulnerable by using anti-virus software and a firewall.  Make sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.
  • Be aware of your account activity – Pay attention to your statements, and check your credit report yearly. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the main credit reporting companies once every twelve months. (See AnnualCreditReport.com for more information.)

How do you know if your identity has been stolen?

Companies have different policies for notifying customers when they discover that someone has accessed a customer database. However, you should be aware of changes in your normal account activity. The following are examples of changes that could indicate that someone has accessed your information:

  • unusual or unexplainable charges on your bills
  • phone calls or bills for accounts, products, or services that you do not have
  • failure to receive regular bills or mail
  • new, strange accounts appearing on your credit report
  • unexpected denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. of your credit card

What can you do if you suspect or know that your identity has been stolen?

Recovering from identity theft can be a long, stressful, and potentially costly process. Many credit card companies have adopted policies that try to minimize the amount of money you are liable for, but the implications can extend beyond your existing accounts. To minimize the extent of the damage, take action as soon as possible:

  • Start by visiting IdentityTheft.gov – This is a trusted, one-stop resource to help you report and recover from identity theft. Information provided here includes checklists, sample letters, and links to other resources.
  • Possible next steps in the process – You may need to contact credit reporting agencies or companies where you have accounts, file police or other official reports, and consider other information that may have been compromised.

Other sites that offer information and guidance for recovering from identity theft are:

Protecting Against Malicious Code2021-06-01T03:07:54-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is malicious code?


Answer:

Malicious code is unwanted files or programs that can cause harm to a computer or compromise data stored on a computer. Various classifications of malicious code include viruses, worms, and TrojanTrojan Software that's hidden within apparently harmless data — or masquerades as a regular program — and when activated, can deliver such blows as corrupting data on your hard drive or sending files and account information to hackers. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not self-replicate and spread to other computers. horses.

  • Viruses have the ability to damage or destroy files on a computer system and are spread by sharing already infected removable media, opening malicious email attachments, and visiting malicious web pages.
  • Worms are a type of virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. that self-propagates from computer to computer. Its functionality is to use all of your computer’s resources, which can cause your computer to stop responding.
  • Trojan Horses are computer programs that are hiding a virus or a potentially damaging program. It is not uncommon that free software contains a Trojan horseTrojan Horse Software that's hidden within apparently harmless data — or masquerades as a regular program — and when activated, can deliver such blows as corrupting data on your hard drive or sending files and account information to hackers. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not self-replicate and spread to other computers. making a user think they are using legitimate software, instead the program is performing malicious actions on your computer.
  • Malicious data files are non-executable files—such as a Microsoft Word document, an Adobe PDF, a ZIP file, or an image file—that exploit weaknesses in the software program used to open it. Attackers frequently use malicious data files to install malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts. on a victim’s system, commonly distributing the files via email, social media, and websites.

How can you protect yourself against malicious code?

Following these security practices can help you reduce the risks associated with malicious code:

  • Install and maintain antivirus software. Antivirus software recognizes malware and protects your computer against it. Installing antivirus software from a reputable vendor is an important step in preventing and detecting infections. Always visit vendor sites directly rather than clicking on advertisements or email links. Because attackers are continually creating new viruses and other forms of malicious code, it is important to keep your antivirus software up-to-date.
  • Use caution with links and attachments. Take appropriate precautions when using email and web browsers to reduce the risk of infection. Be wary of unsolicited email attachments and use caution when clicking on email links, even if they seem to come from people you know.
  • BlockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• pop-up advertisements. Pop-up blockers disable windows that could potentially contain malicious code. Most browsers have a free feature that can be enabled to block pop-up advertisements.
  • Use an account with limited permissions. When navigating the web, it’s a good security practice to use an account with limited permissions. If you do become infected, restricted permissions keep the malicious code from spreading and escalating to an administrative account.
  • Disable external media AutoRun and AutoPlay features. Disabling AutoRun and AutoPlay features prevents external media infected with malicious code from automatically running on your computer.
  • Change your passwords. If you believe your computer is infected, change your passwords. This includes any passwords for websites that may have been cached in your web browser. Create and use strong passwords, making them difficult for attackers to guess.
  • Keep software updated. Install software patches on your computer so attackers do not take advantage of known vulnerabilities. Consider enabling automatic updates, when available.
  • Back up data. Regularly back up your documents, photos, and important email messages to the cloud or to an external hard drive. In the event of an infection, your information will not be lost.
  • Install or enable a firewall. Firewalls can prevent some types of infection by blockingBlocking Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• malicious traffic before it enters your computer. Some operating systems include a firewall; if the operating system you are using includes one, enable it.
  • Use anti-spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection. tools. Spyware is a common virus source, but you can minimize infections by using a program that identifies and removes spyware. Most antivirus software includes an anti-spyware option; ensure you enable it.
  • Monitor accounts. Look for any unauthorized use of, or unusual activity on, your accounts—especially banking accounts. If you identify unauthorized or unusual activity, contact your account provider immediately.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi. Unsecured public Wi-Fi may allow an attacker to intercept your device’s network traffic and gain access to your personal information.

What do you need to know about antivirus software?

Antivirus software scans computer files and memory for patterns that indicate the possible presence of malicious code. You can perform antivirus scans automatically or manually.

  • Automatic scans – Most antivirus software can scan specific files or directories automatically. New virus information is added frequently, so it is a good idea to take advantage of this option.
  • Manual scans – If your antivirus software does not automatically scan new files, you should manually scan files and media you receive from an outside source before opening them, including email attachments, web downloads, CDs, DVDs, and USBs.

Although anti-virus software can be a powerful tool in helping protect your computer, it can sometimes induce problems by interfering with the performance of your computer. Too much antivirus software can affect your computer’s performance and the software’s effectiveness.

  • Investigate your options in advance. Research available antivirus and anti-spyware software to determine the best choice for you. Consider the amount of malicious code the software recognizes and how frequently the virus definitions are updated. Also, check for known compatibility issues with other software you may be running on your computer.
  • Limit the number of programs you install. Packages that incorporate both antivirus and anti-spyware capabilities together are now available. If you decide to choose separate programs, you only need one antivirus program and one anti-spyware program. Installing more programs increases your risk for problems.

There are many antivirus software program vendors, and deciding which one to choose can be confusing. Antivirus software programs all typically perform the same type of functions, so your decision may be based on recommendations, features, availability, or price. Regardless of which package you choose, installing any antivirus software will increase your level of protection.

How do you recover if you become a victim of malicious code?

Using antivirus software is the best way to defend your computer against malicious code. If you think your computer is infected, run your antivirus software program. Ideally, your antivirus program will identify any malicious code on your computer and quarantine them so they no longer affect your system. You should also consider these additional steps:

  • Minimize the damage. If you are at work and have access to an information technology (IT) department, contact them immediately. The sooner they can investigate and “clean” your computer, the less likely it is to cause additional damage to your computer—and other computers on the network. If you are on a home computer or laptop, disconnect your computer from the internet; this will prevent the attacker from accessing your system.
  • Remove the malicious code. If you have antivirus software installed on your computer, update the software and perform a manual scan of your entire system. If you do not have antivirus software, you can purchase it online or in a computer store. If the software cannot locate and remove the infection, you may need to reinstall your operating system, usually with a system restore disk. Note that reinstalling or restoring the operating system typically erases all of your files and any additional software that you have installed on your computer. After reinstalling the operating system and any other software, install all of the appropriate patches to fix known vulnerabilities.

Threats to your computer will continue to evolve. Although you cannot eliminate every hazard, by using caution, installing and using antivirus software, and following other simple security practices, you can significantly reduce your risk and strengthen your protection against malicious code.

Protecting Your Privacy2021-05-31T08:22:12-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How do you know if your privacy is being protected?


Answer:

  • Privacy policy – Before submitting your name, email address, or other personal information on a website, look for the site’s privacy policy. This policy should state how the information will be used and whether or not the information will be distributed to other organizations. Companies sometimes share information with partner vendors who offer related products or may offer options to subscribe to particular mailing lists. Look for indications that you are being added to mailing lists by default—failing to deselect those options may lead to unwanted spam. If you cannot find a privacy policy on a website, consider contacting the company to inquire about the policy before you submit personal information, or find an alternate site. Privacy policies sometimes change, so you may want to review them periodically.
  • Evidence that your information is being encrypted – To prevent attackers from stealing your personal information, online submissions should be encrypted so that it can only be read by the appropriate recipient. Many sites use Secure Sockets Layer (SSLSSL Secure Socket Layer (SSL) - SSL technology secretly encodes information that is sent over the Internet between your computer and the bank, helping to ensure that the information remains confidential.) or Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS). A lock icon in the bottom right corner of the window indicates that your information will be encrypted. Some sites also indicate whether the data is encrypted when it is stored. If data is encrypted in transit but stored non-securely, an attacker who is able to break into the vendor’s system could access your personal information.

What additional steps can you take to protect your privacy?

  • Do business with credible companiesBefore supplying any information online, consider the answers to the following questions: Do you trust the business? Is it an established organization with a credible reputation? Does the information on the site suggest that there is a concern for the privacy of user information? Is legitimate contact information provided? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, avoid doing business online with these companies.
  • Do not use your primary email address in online submissions. Submitting your email address could result in spam. If you do not want your primary email account flooded with unwanted messages, consider opening an additional email account for use online. Make sure to log in to the account on a regular basis in case the vendor sends information about changes to policies.
  • Avoid submitting credit card information online. Some companies offer a phone number you can use to provide your credit card information. Although this does not guarantee that the information will not be compromised, it eliminates the possibility that attackers will be able to hijack it during the submission process.
  • Devote one credit card to online purchasesTo minimize the potential damage of an attacker gaining access to your credit card information, consider opening a credit card account for use only online. Keep a minimum credit line on the account to limit the amount of charges an attacker can accumulate.
  • Avoid using debit cards for online purchases. Credit cards usually offer some protection against identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. and may limit the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying. Debit cards, however, do not offer that protection. Because the charges are immediately deducted from your account, an attacker who obtains your account information may empty your bank account before you even realize it.
  • Take advantage of options to limit exposure of private information. Default options on certain websites may be chosen for convenience, not for security. For example, avoid allowing a website to remember your password. If your password is stored, your profile and any account information you have provided on that site is readily available if an attacker gains access to your computer. Also, evaluate your settings on websites used for social networking. The nature of those sites is to share information, but you can restrict access to limit who can see what.
Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware2021-05-31T19:19:24-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection.?


Answer:

Despite its name, the term “spyware” doesn’t refer to something used by undercover operatives, but rather by the advertising industry. In fact, spyware is also known as “adware.” It refers to a category of software that, when installed on your computer, may send you pop-up adsPop-up Ads Pop-up ads (also known as pop-ups) - Unsolicited advertising that appears as a "pop-up" window on a computer screen. Sometimes these can be created to look like a financial institution's request for personal information., redirect your browser to certain websites, or monitor the websites that you visit. Some extreme, invasive versions of spyware may track exactly what keys you type. Attackers may also use spyware for malicious purposes.

Because of the extra processing, spyware may cause your computer to become slow or sluggish. There are also privacy implications:

  • What information is being gathered?
  • Who is receiving it?
  • How is it being used?

How do you know if there is spyware on your computer?

The following symptoms may indicate that spyware is installed on your computer:

  • you are subjected to endless pop-up windows
  • you are redirected to websites other than the one you typed into your browser
  • new, unexpected toolbars appear in your web browser
  • new, unexpected icons appear in the task tray at the bottom of your screen
  • your browser’s home page suddenly changed
  • the search engine your browser opens when you click “search” has been changed
  • certain keys fail to work in your browser (e.g., the tab key doesn’t work when you are moving to the next field within a form)
  • random Windows error messages begin to appear
  • your computer suddenly seems very slow when opening programs or processing tasks (saving files, etc.)

How can you prevent spyware from installing on your computer?

To avoid unintentionally installing it yourself, follow these good security practices:

  • Don’t click on links within pop-up windows – Because pop-up windows are often a product of spyware, clicking on the window may install spyware software on your computer. To close the pop-up window, click on the “X” icon in the title bar instead of a “close” link within the window.
  • Choose “no” when asked unexpected questions – Be wary of unexpected dialog boxes asking whether you want to run a particular program or perform another type of task. Always select “no” or “cancel,” or close the dialog box by clicking the “X” icon in the title bar.
  • Be wary of free downloadable software – There are many sites that offer customized toolbars or other features that appeal to users. Don’t download programs from sites you don’t trust, and realize that you may be exposing your computer to spyware by downloading some of these programs.
  • Don’t follow email links claiming to offer anti-spyware software – Like email viruses, the links may serve the opposite purpose and actually install the spyware it claims to be eliminating.

As an additional good security practice, especially if you are concerned that you might have spyware on your machine and want to minimize the impact, consider taking the following action:

  • Adjust your browser preferences to limit pop-up windows and cookies – Pop-up windows are often generated by some kind of scripting or active content. Adjusting the settings within your browser to reduce or prevent scripting or active content may reduce the number of pop-up windows that appear. Some browsers offer a specific option to blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• or limit pop-up windows. Certain types of cookies are sometimes considered spyware because they reveal what web pages you have visited. You can adjust your privacy settings to only allow cookies for the website you are visiting.

How do you remove spyware?

  • Run a full scan on your computer with your anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software – Some anti-virus software will find and remove spyware, but it may not find the spyware when it is monitoring your computer in real-time. Set your anti-virus software to prompt you to run a full scan periodically.
  • Run a legitimate product specifically designed to remove spyware – Many vendors offer products that will scan your computer for spyware and remove any spyware software. Popular products include Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware, Microsoft’s Window Defender, Webroot’s SpySweeper, and Spybot Search and Destroy.
  • Make sure that your anti-virus and anti-spyware software are compatible – Take a phased approach to install the software to ensure that you don’t unintentionally introduce problems.
Reducing Spam2021-05-31T08:13:08-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is spam?


Answer:

Spam is the electronic version of “junk mail.” The term spam refers to unsolicited, often unwanted, email messages. Spam does not necessarily contain viruses—valid messages from legitimate sources could fall into this category.

How can you reduce the amount of spam?

  • Be careful about releasing your email address. Think twice before you respond to any request for your email address, on the web, verbally, or on paper. Spammers can harvest any email address posted on a website. If you give your email address to a company, that information is often entered into a database so that customer information and preferences can be tracked. If these email databases are sold to or shared with other companies, you can receive email that you didn’t request.
  • Check privacy policies. Before submitting your email address online, look for a privacy policy. Most reputable sites will have a link to their privacy policy from any form where you’re asked to submit personal data. You should read this policy before submitting your email address or any other personal information so that you know what the owners of the site plan to do with the information.
  • Be aware of options selected by default. When you sign up for some online accounts or services, there may be a section that provides you with the option to receive email about other products and services. Sometimes there are options selected by default, so if you do not deselect them, you could begin to receive email from those lists as well.
  • Use filters or spam tagging. Many email programs offer filtering capabilities that allow you to blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• certain addresses or to allow only email from addresses on your contact list. Many internet service providers (ISPs) also offer spam tagging services that allow the user the option to review suspected spam messages before they are deleted. Spam tagging can be useful in conjunction with filtering capabilities provided by many email programs.
  • Report messages as spam. Most email clients offer an option to report a message as spam or junk. If your email client has that option, take advantage of it. Reporting messages as spam or junk helps to train the mail filter so that the messages aren’t delivered to your inbox. However, check your junk or spam folders occasionally to look for legitimate messages that were incorrectly classified as spam.
  • Don’t follow links in spam messages. Some spam relies on generators that try variations of email addresses at certain domains. If you click a link within an email message or reply to a certain address, you are just confirming that your email address is valid. Unwanted messages that offer an “unsubscribe” option are particularly tempting, but this is often just a method for collecting valid addresses that are then targeted for other spam.
  • Disable the automatic downloading of graphics in HTML mail. Many spammers send HTML mail with a linked graphic file that is then used to track who opens the mail message. When your mail client downloads the graphic from their web server, the spammers know you’ve opened the message. Disabling HTML mail entirely and viewing messages in plain text also prevents this problem.
  • Consider opening an additional email account. Many domains offer free email accounts. If you frequently submit your email address (for online shopping, signing up for services, or including it on something like a comment card), you may want to have a secondary email account to protect your primary email account from any spam that could be generated. You could also use this secondary account when posting to public mailing lists, social networking sites, blogs, and web forums. If the account start to fill up with spam, you can get rid of it and open a different one.
  • Use privacy settings on social networking sites. Social networking sites typically allow you to choose who has access to see your email address. Consider hiding your email account or changing the settings so that only a small group of people that you trust are able to see your address.  Know that when you use applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. on these sites, you may be granting permission for them to access your personal information. So, be cautious about which applications you choose to use.
  • Don’t spam other people. Be a responsible and considerate user. Some people consider email forwards a type of spam, so be selective with the messages you redistribute. Don’t forward every message to everyone in your address book, and if recipients ask that you not forward messages to them, respect their requests.
Rental Car Scams2021-06-18T11:35:57-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Rental Car ScamRental Car Scam Scammers are posing as rental car companies, setting up their own websites, and advertising fake customer service phone numbers, all to convince travelers they’re legit. Then, they’re asking people to pre-pay for the rental — with a gift card or prepaid debit card.?


Answer:

Scammers are posing as rental car companies, setting up their own websites, and advertising fake customer service phone numbers, all to convince travelers they’re legit. Then, they’re asking people to pre-pay for the rental — with a gift card or prepaid debit card. To avoid rental car scammers driving off with your money:

  • Research the rental car company by searching for the name of the company and words like “scam,” “complaint,” or “review” to check if other people have had a bad experience.
  • Verify deals with the company directly. If you need customer support, look for contact info on the company’s official website. Don’t use a search engine result. Scammers can pay to place sponsored ads in search results, so they show up at the top or in the sponsored ad section.
  • Pay with a credit card if possible, and never pay with a gift card or prepaid debit card. You can dispute credit card charges, but gift cards and prepaid debit cards can disappear like cash. Once you give the number and PIN to a scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer., the money is gone.
REPORT CYBER INCIDENTS TO CISA2021-06-02T00:41:37-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How to report cyber-incidents to DHSDepartment of Homeland Security The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department (under the President) responsible for public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cybersecurity, and disaster prevention and management./CISACybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a standalone United States federal agency, an operational component under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight. Its activities are a continuation of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). CISA was established on November 16, 2018 when President Donald Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018.


Answer:

The growing number of serious attacks on essential cyber networks is one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces. An important way to protect yourself and others from cybersecurity incidents is to watch for them and report any that you find.

DHS has a mission to protect the Nation’s cybersecurity and has organizations dedicated to collecting and reporting on cyber incidents, phishing, malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts., and other vulnerabilities.

Click here to begin the reporting process!

When you see something, say something
Reporting Scammers?2021-04-26T09:02:37-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is The Way To Report Scammers

Answer:

It is essential that law enforcement knows about scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. & scammers, even though there is nothing (in most cases) that they can do immediately – eventually the data does accumulate and can result in an arrest.

Always report scams involving money lost or where you received money to:

  1. Local Police – if needed ask them to take an “informational” police report – say you need it for your insurance – get a police report number – make sure you identify any you sent money to in your own country
  2. U.S. State Police CybercrimesCybercrimes Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks. Unit (if you live in the U.S. or the Cybercrimes Unit in your own country – most countries have them now) – they will take the matter more seriously and provide you with more help than local police
  3. Your National Police or FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. www.IC3.gov & FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov www.FTC.gov/complaint or ReportFraud.FTC.gov
  4. The SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.|CDN™ Cybercriminal Data Network – Worldwide Reporting Network on www.Anyscam.com
  5. Also, report it to the social media platform – sometimes it will take more than one report, but this helps disrupt their connection to their current victims

This helps your government understand the problem, and allows law enforcement to add scammers on watch lists worldwide. Your reports are essential even if the police cannot take action!

Please be sure to report all scammers on www.Anyscam.com

Reshipping Fraud & Scams?2021-04-26T09:15:41-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Reshipping FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. & ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.

  • Be cautious if you are asked to ship packages to an “overseas home office.”
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
  • Be leery if the individual states that his country will not allow direct business shipments from the United States.
  • Be wary if the “ship to” address is yours but the name on the package is not.
  • Never provide your personal information to strangers in a chatroom.
  • Don’t accept packages that you didn’t order.
  • If you receive packages that you didn’t order, either refuse them upon delivery or contact the company where the package is from.
Scams & Race?2021-04-26T09:02:54-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Are All Scammers African

Answer:

We recognize that all victims, regardless of skin color share the same color of pain from being scammed and we are here to help them all, regardless of: race, nationality, origin, religion, gender, or politics

  • Scammers are NOT all African – they come from almost every country on Earth. There are Latin American scammers, American scammers, Chinese scammers, Russian scammers, Jamaican scammers, Iranians, North Korean, etc. It just turns out that West Africans are more prolific than most so more people encounter them online. But if you receive scam phone calls – these are more likely Indian or Pakistani.
  • African scammers rarely use stolen photos of African Americans or other African Descendants in their scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.. We think this is because of their belief that most people around the world are racist against them. We also think they believe that if a victim sees an African descended face, they would believe immediately it was a scam.
  • Additionally, African scammers use few Asian faces, but this is mostly because it is harder for them to find useable faces to steal – not so much from a racial perspective.
  • African scammers will sometimes use their real face – sometimes their real identities – to engage in several different kinds of scams. These include fake marriage scams to lure a victim to their country and extort money from them when they have physical control of them. Or when they drain the money from a victim they may reveal themselves claiming they really did fall in love – this is just another ploy to get even more money from the victim.
  • We are especially sensitive to African American and African descendants living outside of Africa that are scammed because the African scammers are especially brutal towards them for many culturally biased reasons.
  • When we display REAL SCAMMERS – they are what they are. If from Africa they will be African; if from India they will be Indian; if from Asia, European, American, Latina American, Philippines, etc. The same goes for any country. Scammers in some regions are predominantly one race – it just is what it is.

To learn more about us please visit www.AgainstScams.org

SCARS Recovery Programs?2021-04-26T09:03:45-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Scam Victim Recovery Program

Answer:

Relationship ScamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? Victims experient an intense emotional traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. resulting from the deep connection they form with the fake relationship and then having it ripped away. This trauma is very similar to the loss of a real loved one.

It can result in grief and profound trauma. A person can go through the stages of grief but trauma does not just go away, and most victims need support to recover from this trauma.

Unfortunately, victims often gravitate to the wrong kind of help in the form of amateur ant-scam hate groups online or they allow their own angerAnger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability. to take control. This often turns into semi-permanent denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality. or rageRage Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability..

For those victims that are more in control of their emotions, but still experiencing deep emotional distress SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. offers its Scam Victims’ Recovery Program.

The program consists of:

  • Learning and education to provide an understanding of how and why this happened, and how to avoid it in the future.
  • Peer to peer supportPeer support Peer support occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, reflective listening (reflecting content and/or feelings), or in a support group. Peer support is also used to refer to initiatives where colleagues, members of self-help organizations and others meet, in person or online, to give each other connection and support on a reciprocal basis. Peer support is distinct from other forms of social support in that the source of support is a peer, a person who is similar in fundamental ways to the recipient of the support; their relationship is one of equality. A peer is in a position to offer support by virtue of relevant experience: he or she has "been there, done that" and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. Trained peer support workers such as SCARS Volunteers receive special training and may be required to obtain Continuing Education Units, similar to clinical staff. Some other trained peer support workers may also be law-enforcement personnel and firefighters as well as emergency medical responders. groups moderated by SCARS
  • Referal advise for additional services that each victim may need, such as: mental healthMental health Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". According to WHO, mental health includes "subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines "mental health". counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. or therapy, legal or financial support
  • Law enforcement reporting advice & support

See our 3 Steps for New Victims to learn more

Securing the Internet of Things2021-06-02T05:43:17-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is The Internet of Things?


Answer:

The Internet of Things refers to any object or device that sends and receives data automatically through the Internet. This rapidly expanding set of “things” includes tags (also known as labels or chips that automatically track objects), sensors, and devices that interact with people and share information machine to machine.

Why Should We Care?

Cars, appliances, wearables, lighting, healthcare, and home security all contain sensing devices that can talk to other machines and triggerTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. additional actions. Examples include devices that direct your car to an open spot in a parking lot; mechanisms that control energy use in your home; control systems that deliver water and power to your workplace; and other tools that track your eating, sleeping, and exercise habits.

This technology provides a level of convenience to our lives, but it requires that we share more information than ever. The security of this information, and the security of these devices, is not always guaranteed.

What Are the Risks?

Though many security and resilienceResilience Is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Psychological resilience is the ability to mentally or emotionally cope with a crisis or to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Resilience exists when the person uses "mental processes and behaviors in promoting personal assets and protecting self from the potential negative effects of stressors". In simpler terms, psychological resilience exists in people who develop psychological and behavioral capabilities that allow them to remain calm during crises/chaos and to move on from the incident without long-term negative consequences. In popular accounts, psychological resilience is sometimes likened to a "psychological immune system". risks are not new, the scale of interconnectedness created by the Internet of Things increases the consequences of known risks and creates new ones. Attackers take advantage of this scale to infect large segments of devices at a time, allowing them access to the data on those devices or to, as part of a botnet, attack other computers or devices for malicious intent.

How Do I Improve the Security of Internet-Enabled Devices?

Without a doubt, the Internet of Things makes our lives easier and has many benefits; but we can only reap these benefits if our Internet-enabled devices are secure and trusted. The following are important steps you should consider to make your Internet of Things more secure.

Evaluate your security settings. Most devices offer a variety of features that you can tailor to meet your needs and requirements. Enabling certain features to increase convenience or functionality may leave you more vulnerable to being attacked. It is important to examine the settings, particularly security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk. If you install a patchPatch A software program update that corrects known bugs or problems, or adds new features to a software program already installed on your computer. or a new version of the software, or if you become aware of something that might affect your device, reevaluate your settings to make sure they are still appropriate.

Ensure you have up-to-date software. When manufacturers become aware of vulnerabilities in their products, they often issue patches to fix the problem. Patches are software updates that fix a particular issue or vulnerability within your device’s software. Make sure to apply relevant patches as soon as possible to protect your devices.

Connect carefully. Once your device is connected to the Internet, it’s also connected to millions of other computers, which could allow attackers access to your device. Consider whether continuous connectivity to the Internet is needed.

Use strong passwords. Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only barrier between you and your personal information. Some Internet-enabled devices are configured with default passwords to simplify setup. These default passwords are easily found online, so they don’t provide any protection. Choose strong passwords to help secure your device.

Additional Information

The following organizations offer additional information about this topic:

Securing Wireless Networks2021-06-02T05:38:45-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A


Answer:

In today’s connected world, almost everyone has at least one internet-connected device. With the number of these devices on the rise, it is important to implement a security strategy to minimize their potential for exploitation. Internet-connected devices may be used by nefarious entities to collect personal information, steal identities, compromise financial data, and silently listen to—or watch—users. Taking a few precautions in the configuration and use of your devices can help prevent this type of activity.

What are the risks to your wireless network?

Whether it’s a home or business network, the risks to an unsecured wireless network are the same. Some of the risks include:

Piggybacking

If you fail to secure your wireless network, anyone with a wireless-enabled computer in range of your access point can use your connection. The typical indoor broadcast range of an access point is 150–300 feet. Outdoors, this range may extend as far as 1,000 feet. So, if your neighborhood is closely settled, or if you live in an apartment or condominium, failure to secure your wireless network could open your internet connection to many unintended users. These users may be able to conduct illegal activity, monitor and capture your web traffic, or steal personal files.

Wardriving

Wardriving is a specific kind of piggybacking. The broadcast range of a wireless access point can make internet connections available outside your home, even as far away as your street. Savvy computer users know this, and some have made a hobby out of driving through cities and neighborhoods with a wireless-equipped computer—sometimes with a powerful antenna—searching for unsecured wireless networks. This practice is known as “wardriving.”

Evil Twin Attacks

In an evil twin attack, an adversary gathers information about a public network access point, then sets up their system to impersonate it. The adversary uses a broadcast signal stronger than the one generated by the legitimate access point; then, unsuspecting users connect using the stronger signal. Because the victim is connecting to the internet through the attacker’s system, it’s easy for the attacker to use specialized tools to read any data the victim sends over the internet. This data may include credit card numbers, username and password combinations, and other personal information. Always confirm the name and password of a public Wi-Fi hotspot prior to use. This will ensure you are connecting to a trusted access point.

Wireless Sniffing

Many public access points are not secured and the traffic they carry is not encrypted. This can put your sensitive communications or transactions at risk. Because your connection is being transmitted “in the clear,” malicious actors could use sniffing tools to obtain sensitive information such as passwords or credit card numbers. Ensure that all the access points you connect to use at least WPA2 encryption.

Unauthorized Computer Access

An unsecured public wireless network combined with unsecured file-sharing could allow a malicious user to access any directories and files you have unintentionally made available for sharing. Ensure that when you connect your devices to public networks, you deny sharing files and folders. Only allow sharing on recognized home networks and only while it is necessary to share items. When not needed, ensure that file sharing is disabled. This will help prevent an unknown attacker from accessing your device’s files.

Shoulder Surfing

In public areas malicious actors can simply glance over your shoulder as you type. By simply watching you, they can steal sensitive or personal information. Screen protectors that prevent shoulder-surfers from seeing your device screen can be purchased for little money. For smaller devices, such as phones, be cognizant of your surroundings while viewing sensitive information or entering passwords.

Theft of Mobile Devices

Not all attackers rely on gaining access to your data via wireless means. By physically stealing your device, attackers could have unrestricted access to all of its data, as well as any connected cloud accounts. Taking measures to protect your devices from loss or theft is important, but should the worst happen, a little preparation may protect the data inside. Most mobile devices, including laptop computers, now have the ability to fully encrypt their stored data—making devices useless to attackers who cannot provide the proper password or personal identification number (PIN). In addition to encrypting device content, it is also advisable to configure your device’s applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. to request login information before allowing access to any cloud-based information. Last, individually encrypt or password-protect files that contain personal or sensitive information. This will afford yet another layer of protection in the event an attacker is able to gain access to your device.

What can you do to minimize the risks to your wireless network?

  • Change default passwords. Most network devices, including wireless access points, are pre-configured with default administrator passwords to simplify setup. These default passwords are easily available to obtain online, and so provide only marginal protection. Changing default passwords makes it harder for attackers to access a device. Use and periodic changing of complex passwords is your first line of defense in protecting your device.
  • Restrict access. Only allow authorized users to access your network. Each piece of hardware connected to a network has a media access control (MAC) address. You can restrict access to your network by filtering these MAC addresses. Consult your user documentation for specific information about enabling these features. You can also utilize the “guest” account, which is a widely used feature on many wireless routers. This feature allows you to grant wireless access to guests on a separate wireless channel with a separate password, while maintaining the privacy of your primary credentials.
  • Encrypt the data on your network. Encrypting your wireless data prevents anyone who might be able to access your network from viewing it. There are several encryption protocols available to provide this protection. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), WPA2, and WPA3 encrypt information being transmitted between wireless routers and wireless devices. WPA3 is currently the strongest encryption. WPA and WPA2 are still available; however, it is advisable to use equipment that specifically supports WPA3, as using the other protocols could leave your network open to exploitation.
  • Protect your Service Set Identifier (SSID). To prevent outsiders from easily accessing your network, avoid publicizing your SSID. All Wi-Fi routers allow users to protect their device’s SSID, which makes it more difficult for attackers to find a network. At the very least, change your SSID to something unique. Leaving it as the manufacturer’s default could allow a potential attacker to identify the type of router and possibly exploit any known vulnerabilities.
  • Install a firewall. Consider installing a firewall directly on your wireless devices (a host-based firewall), as well as on your home network (a router- or modem-based firewall). Attackers who can directly tap into your wireless network may be able to circumvent your network firewall—a host-based firewall will add a layer of protection to the data on your computer.
  • Maintain antivirus software. Install antivirus software and keep your virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. definitions up to date. Many antivirus programs also have additional features that detect or protect against spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection. and adware.
  • Use file sharing with caution. File sharing between devices should be disabled when not needed. You should always choose to only allow file sharing over home or work networks, never on public networks. You may want to consider creating a dedicated directory for file sharing and restrict access to all other directories. In addition, you should password protect anything you share. Never open an entire hard drive for file sharing.
  • Keep your access point software patched and up to date. The manufacturer of your wireless access point will periodically release updates to and patches for a device’s software and firmware. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s website regularly for any updates or patches for your device.
  • Check your internet provider’s or router manufacturer’s wireless security options. Your internet service provider and router manufacturer may provide information or resources to assist in securing your wireless network. Check the customer support area of their websites for specific suggestions or instructions.
  • Connect using a Virtual Private Network (VPNVPN A VPN (also known as a proxy) is an app or connection method that keeps your internet connection private, whether you're connecting to unsafe public Wi-Fi or your network at home. Having a layer of security that blocks people from watching you browse helps keep you safe online, no matter where you connect from. Virtual private networks protect you by creating an encrypted "tunnel" that all of your device's data travels through on its way to the internet via a proxy server or service. Encryption turns words and data, like text files, into a secret code. If someone tries to read encrypted data without the password, they'll see random gibberish.). Many companies and organizations have a VPN. VPNs allow employees to connect securely to their network when away from the office. VPNs encrypt connections at the sending and receiving ends and keep out traffic that is not properly encrypted. If a VPN is available to you, make sure you log onto it any time you need to use a public wireless access point.
Stalkerware2021-06-08T16:56:14-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is StalkerwareStalkerware Stalkerware apps can track your browsing history so if you suspect that stalkerware has been installed on your device DO NOT USE IT to research support services such as advocacy, shelter, court information or emergency services.


Answer:

Stalkerware appsApps Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. can track your browsing history so if you suspect that stalkerware has been installed on your device DO NOT USE IT to research support services such as advocacy, shelter, court information or emergency services. Please note that anything you view may be revealed to the person monitoring you. Consider the following steps for safety:

  • Notify someone you trust by word of mouth that you suspect stalkerware is on your device.
  • If you are planning to connect with an advocate or support services, it may be best to use a public computer or a device that is not compromised by stalkerware.
  • Working with a domestic violence advocate can be helpful for survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com who are being stalked. Advocates can help you form a safety plan, provide you with resources and provide you with resources and support.
  • If you feel that it is safe, consider contacting local law enforcement if you have concerns about your safety
Staying Safe on Social Networking Sites2021-05-31T08:20:33-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What are social networking sites?


Answer:

Social networking sites, sometimes referred to as “friend-of-a-friend” sites, build upon the concept of traditional social networks where you are connected to new people through people you already know. The purpose of some networking sites may be purely social, allowing users to establish friendships or romantic relationships, while others may focus on establishing business connections.

Although the features of social networking sites differ, they all allow you to provide information about yourself and offer some type of communication mechanism (forums, chat rooms, email, instant messages) that enables you to connect with other users. On some sites, you can browse for people based on certain criteria, while other sites require that you be “introduced” to new people through a connection you share. Many of the sites have communities or subgroups that may be based on a particular interest.

What security implications do these sites present?

Social networking sites rely on connections and communication, so they encourage you to provide a certain amount of personal information. When deciding how much information to reveal, people may not exercise the same amount of caution as they would when meeting someone in person because

  • the internet provides a sense of anonymity
  • the lack of physical interaction provides a false sense of security
  • they tailor the information for their friends to read, forgetting that others may see it
  • they want to offer insights to impress potential friends or associates

While the majority of people using these sites do not pose a threat, malicious people may be drawn to them because of the accessibility and amount of personal information that’s available. The more information malicious people have about you, the easier it is for them to take advantage of you. Predators may form relationships online and then convince unsuspecting individuals to meet them in person. That could lead to a dangerous situation. The personal information can also be used to conduct a social engineeringSocial Engineering Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. It is used as a type of confidence trick for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or system access, it differs from a traditional "con" in that it is often one of many steps in a more complex fraud scheme. It has also been defined as "any act that influences a person to take any action that may or may not be in their best interests." attack. Using information that you provide about your location, hobbies, interests, and friends, a malicious person could impersonate a trusted friend or convince you that they have the authority to access other personal or financial data.

Additionally, because of the popularity of these sites, attackers may use them to distribute malicious code. Sites that offer applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing. developed by third parties are particularly susceptible. Attackers may be able to create customized applications that appear to be innocent while infecting your computer or sharing your information without your knowledge.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Limit the amount of personal information you post – Do not post information that would make you vulnerable, such as your address or information about your schedule or routine. If your connections post information about you, make sure the combined information is not more than you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. Also be considerate when posting information, including photos, about your connections.
  • Remember that the internet is a public resource – Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing. This includes information and photos in your profile and in blogs and other forums. Also, once you post information online, you can’t retract it. Even if you remove the information from a site, saved or cached versions may still exist on other people’s machines.
  • Be wary of strangers – The internet makes it easy for people to misrepresent their identities and motives. Consider limiting the people who are allowed to contact you on these sites. If you interact with people you do not know, be cautious about the amount of information you reveal or agreeing to meet them in person.
  • Be skeptical – Don’t believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information about various topics, including their own identities. This is not necessarily done with malicious intent; it could be unintentional, an exaggeration, or a joke. Take appropriate precautions, though, and try to verify the authenticity of any information before taking any action.
  • Evaluate your settings – Take advantage of a site’s privacy settings. The default settings for some sites may allow anyone to see your profile, but you can customize your settings to restrict access to only certain people. There is still a risk that private information could be exposed despite these restrictions, so don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want the public to see. Sites may change their options periodically, so review your security and privacy settings regularly to make sure that your choices are still appropriate.
  • Be wary of third-party applications – Third-party applications may provide entertainment or functionality, but use caution when deciding which applications to enable. Avoid applications that seem suspicious, and modify your settings to limit the amount of information the applications can access.
  • Use strong passwords – Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed. If your password is compromised, someone else may be able to access your account and pretend to be you.
  • Check privacy policies – Some sites may share information such as email addresses or user preferences with other companies. This may lead to an increase in spam. Also, try to locate the policy for handling referrals to make sure that you do not unintentionally sign your friends up for spam. Some sites will continue to send email messages to anyone you refer until they join.
  • Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date – Install software updates so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.
  • Use and maintain anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software – Anti-virus software helps protect your computer against known viruses, so you may be able to detect and remove the virus before it can do any damage. Because attackers are continually writing new viruses, it is important to keep your definitions up to date.

Children are especially susceptible to the threats that social networking sites present. Although many of these sites have age restrictions, children may misrepresent their ages so that they can join. By teaching children about Internet safety, being aware of their online habits, and guiding them to appropriate sites, parents can make sure that the children become safe and responsible users.

Supplementing Passwords2021-06-01T11:46:39-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: Why aren’t passwords sufficient?


Answer:

Passwords are a good first layer of protection, but attackers can guess or intercept passwords. Additional security measures can protect you even if an attacker does obtain your password. You can strengthen that first layer of protection by avoiding passwords based on personal information; using the longest password or passphrase possible (8–64 characters), and not sharing your passwords with anyone else.

What additional levels of security are available?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA), simultaneously using multiple pieces of information to verify your identity, is becoming more common. (MFA is sometimes referred to as two-factor authentication.) Even if an attacker obtains your password, they may not be able to access your account if it’s protected by MFA. The theory behind this approach is similar to requiring two or more forms of identification or two keys to open a safe deposit box. You should turn on MFA where it’s available. Authentication categories include something you knowsomething you have, and something you are.

  • Something you know – This includes passwords or pre-established answers to questions. (See tips below for setting up good answers to these “secret questions.”)
  • Something you have – This could be a small physical token such as a smart card, a special key fob, or a USB drive. You might use this token in conjunction with a password to log into an account. However, software-based tokens are also common. These software-based tokens can generate a single-use login personal identification number (PIN). Other variations include SMS messages, phone calls, or emails sent to the user with a verification PIN. These token PINs can often be used only once and are voided immediately after use. So, even if an attacker intercepts the exchange, the attacker will not be able to use the information again to access your account.
  • Something you are – Biometric identification can include scanning of eyes (retinas or irises) or fingerprints, other facial recognition, voice recognition, or authentication through signatures or keystroke movements. A common example of biometric identification is the fingerprint scanner used to sign-in users on many modern smartphones.

Another form of verification is the use of personal web certificates. Unlike certificates used to identify websites, personal web certificates are used to identify individual users. A website using personal web certificates relies on these certificates and the authentication process of the corresponding public/private keys to verify that you are who you claim to be.  Because information identifying you is embedded within the certificate, an additional password is unnecessary. However, you should have a password to protect your private key so that attackers cannot gain access to your key and represent themselves as you. This process is similar to MFA, but it differs—the password protecting your private key is used to decrypt the information on your computer and is never sent over the network.

What other measures keep your passwords secure?

Information technology (IT) security professionals and administrators should implement the following security measures to help further protect passwords:

  • “Salt and hash” passwords. Salting is the addition of unique, random characters to the password before it is hashed. The salt value should be no less than 32 bits in length. Hashing is the process of scrambling a password using a set algorithm.
  • Use strong authentication recovery mechanisms. Weak authentication recovery mechanisms can be misused to allow an attacker to gain unauthorized access to an affected system. Strong mechanisms prevent unauthorized access to an account or reset the user’s password.
  • Implement an account lockout policy. Account lockout should initiate after a pre-defined number of failed attempts.
  • Set accounts to automatically disable. Accounts should be disabled after being inactive for a pre-defined amount of time.

What if you lose your password or certificate?

Perhaps you’ve forgotten your password or you’ve reformatted your computer and lost your personal web certificate. Most organizations have procedures for giving you access to your information in these situations. For the best security, keep information on your account up to date. This includes alternate email addresses or phone numbers that can help verify your identity if you forget your password.

In the case of certificates, you may need to request that the organization issue you a new one. In the case of passwords, you may just need a reminder. No matter what happened, the organization needs a way to verify your identity. To do this, many organizations rely on secret questions.

When you open a new account (e.g., email, credit card), some organizations will prompt you to provide them with the answer to a question. They may ask you this question if you forget your password or request information about your account over the phone. If your answer matches the answer they have on file, they will assume that they are actually communicating with you. In theory, secret questions and answers can protect your information. However, common secret questions ask for a mother’s maiden name, social security number, date of birth, or pet’s name. Because so much personal information is now available online or through other public sources, attackers may be able to discover the answers to these questions.

Treat the secret question as an additional password—when establishing the answer, don’t supply real information. Choose your answer as you would choose any other good password, store it in a secure location (e.g., in a password manager), and don’t share it with other people.

While additional security practices offer you more protection than a password alone, they should not be considered completely effective. Increasing the level of security only makes it more difficult for attackers to access your information. Be aware of MFA and other security practices when choosing a bank, credit card company, or other organization that will have access to your personal information. Don’t be afraid to ask what kind of security practices the organization uses.

Swatting Calls?2021-04-26T09:03:21-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Swatting Call

Answer:

A “Swatting Call” is where someone calls the local police emergency number (911) and reports a violent crime either at your home or office.

The caller might claim that there are multiple people dead or that there is a bomb or some other obvious reason for the police to show up in force – send their SWAT Teams in. Typically, when the police arrive they are not very careful about damage and the traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. on the recipients can be significant, especially if this is in the middle of the night.

The objective of the scam call is to include trauma, embarrassment, and destruction from the fake call on whoever is the target.

Tabnapping2021-06-10T19:11:03-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is Tabnapping?


Answer:

Tabnapping is a type of phishing scamPhishing scam Scammers often use email "phishing" to hook unsuspecting fraud victims. Treat all unsolicited email and spam as suspicious: Do not open or reply. To avoid loading malicious software onto your computer or device, never click a link – even from a trusted source – unless you've verified its authenticity. Be especially wary of emails asking for emergency funds or help from friends, family and colleagues. Their email accounts may have been hacked. Scammers will also pretend to be government agencies in scam emails. that fraudsters use to get people’s personal information.

Tabnapping targets people who keep multiple tabs open in their browser, often for long periods of time. The fraudsters then use JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages, in software, and apps — every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at — displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc. — you can bet that JavaScript is probably involved. It is the third layer of the layer cake of standard web technologies, the other two are HTML and CSS. to change the contents and label of an open, but not active, tab to resemble the log-in screen of a bank, email provider or online shopping store.

When a user clicks back onto the tab to find the fake log-in screen, they assume that they have been logged out and re-enter their user information and password to log back in. When they enter these details, the personal information provided is sent straight to the fraudsters.

Fraudsters can then use this personal information to commit fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim..

The url in the browser’s address bar is not necessarily altered by tabnappers, so checking the URL is the legitimate URL of the service provider is not a sufficient precautionary measure.

The fraudsters may even put an additional message on the fake log-in screen, saying that the session has timed out and the user needs to re-enter their log-in details. This is a message that appears on legitimate websites, particularly on banks, increasing the likelihood that the user thinks the log-in screen is trustworthy.

How Can Tabnapping Be Prevented?

  • Ensure anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. and anti-spywareSpyware A type of malware installed on computers or cellphones to track your actions and/or collect information without your knowledge. Some spyware can change computer settings for pharming redirection. software is up-to-date on your computer and make sure your browser’s filter is switched on and up-to-date. These measures should blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• malicious sites and legitimate sites that are infected with a phishing attack code.
  • If you’re unsure about whether or not a log-in screen is legitimate, close the tab down, open a new one and type in the legitimate URL of the website you want to log-in to.
  • Follow identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. crime prevention advice to stay alert to unrecognizable transactions in your name.
Tax Prep Scams?2021-04-26T09:05:50-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Tax Prep Scam

Answer:

Not only are U.S. taxpayers the targets of scammers this tax season, so are the tax professionals that prepare tax returns. Tax fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. is big business for fraudsters that can steal the tax preparer’s information and turn around and sell it on the dark webDark Web This is a sub-level of the internet that normal search engines and everyday browsers cannot access. It’s an encrypted network that contains websites – both legal and illegal – that remain hidden from plain sight. for money.
 
This year scammers are sending a lot more phishing emails in an attempt to gain access to the accountant’s computer. By doing so, the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. can get access to that tax professional’s client list and computer IP addressGeolocation Geolocation is the utilization of a device IP address, along with other device signals, to determine geographical location. An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as 192.0.2.1 that is connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. An IP Address can be used to locate a physical computer's location. to file fake tax returns on their behalf. Once submitted, the scammer will have the refund check sent to an address that they can pick up the check.

Text

Tech Support Scams/Fraud?2021-04-26T09:05:36-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Tech Support FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

Answer:

In 2017 there were 11,000 complaints related to tech support fraud that resulted in claimed losses of nearly $15 million—an 86% increase in losses from 2016. These tech support scamsTech Support Scams Phone scammers may masquerade as tech support employees for a major company in order to take your money or install a virus on your computer. They may call from what seem to be legitimate company numbers using caller ID spoofing. have prompted the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) to warn consumers about criminals claiming to provide the customer, security, or technical support as a cover in an effort to defraud individuals.
 
The scam can take place through a phishing email, phone call, pop-up ad or even a locked screen on your device with a phone number to call to fix. The IC3 offers several tips and guidance on how to handle situations like this and reminds people that legitimate customer, security, or tech support companies will not initiate unsolicited contact with individuals.
Telephone Scams2021-06-16T16:34:00-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Telephone Scam?


Answer:

Telephone scammers try to steal your money or personal information. ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls, or text messages. Callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them.

Third Party Receiver Of Funds Fraud?2021-04-26T09:14:56-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Avoid Third Party Receiver Of Funds FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

  • Do not agree to accept and wire payments for auctions or purchases that you did not post.
  • Be leery if the individual states that his country it makes receiving these type of funds difficult.
  • Be cautious when the job posting claims “no experience necessary”.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
Ticket Scams?2021-04-26T09:05:13-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Ticket Scam

Answer:

Looking for tickets to a concert or for that upcoming football game? If so, beware of ticket scamsTicket Scams Ticket selling scams happen when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money. The scammer usually sells fake tickets, or you pay for a ticket, but never receive it. They are common when tickets for popular concerts, plays, and sporting events sell out.. The prevalence of online ticket sellers and resellers has created plenty of ticket scam opportunities that you need to be wary of when you go to buy your tickets.

The BBB Scam Tracker reported more than 300 ticket scams reported last year with the most common scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. center around reselling fake or non-existent tickets posted on online classifieds and price gouging.

If possible, try to purchase from the venue or pause to verify the source of where you are buying the tickets. Discounted prices may be too good to be true. You can look up sellers on The National Association of Ticket Brokers to confirm the site is a verified reseller.

Also, make sure to the site is a secured site or used a protected payment option in credit cards versus cash, debit cards, or wire transactions, so you have a better chance at getting your money back if scammed.

U.S. Medicare Card Scam2021-04-26T09:07:50-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: U.S. Medicare Card ScamMedicare Card Scam With the rollout of new Medicare cards, scammers may pose as Medicare representatives who say they need payment or personal info before the cards can be issued. They may also ask for the number on your new Medicare card in order to activate it.

The Federal Government mailed out new Medicare cards that now have an 11-digit identification number instead of an enrollee’s Social Security number to help protect seniors from identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources.. About 59 million people will receive the cards with a requirement from Congress that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards by April 2019.

Because of the update, scammers are taking to the phones to try trick people into giving them their new 11-digit identification number so they can take over their identity. According to an Allianz survey, the elder financial abuse victims average loss was $36,000.

 

U.S. Secretary of State Scam?2021-04-26T09:06:42-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A U.S. Secretary of State Scam

Answer:

This scam starts when you receive an email claiming to be from former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who says you’re owed a payment he knows about because of an investigation by the FBIFBI FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes, including financial fraud. and CIA.
 
The scam reportedly states that you will receive an ATM card with more than 1 million dollars on it, but first you have to send $320 along with personal information to receive it.
 
The Federal Trade Commission (FTCFTC The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government whose principal mission is the enforcement of civil (non-criminal) U.S. antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection. The FTC can also act as a clearinghouse for criminal reports sent to other agencies for investigation and prosecution. To learn more visit www.FTC.gov or to report fraud visit ReportFraud.FTC.gov) says this is false, warning Americans to not fall for this—or anytime you’re told you have won a prize, owe money, or may go to jail.
U.S. Tax Arrest Scams?2021-04-26T09:06:06-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A U.S. Tax Arrest Scam

Answer:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more.) recently warned the public about “sophisticated phone scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.” targeting taxpayers by claiming to be IRS employees.
 
The scammers demand that the victims owe money to the IRS and to pay them promptly or be arrested, deported, or have their driver’s license suspended. Sometimes, the caller becomes aggressive, warning people that a Sheriff or local law enforcement will show up at their door if they don’t pay immediately.
 
The IRS warning also reminded consumers that the IRS would never call to demand immediate payment over the phone, threaten to bring in local police, ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone, or require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes.
Understanding Anti-Virus Software2021-05-31T08:10:45-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What does anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software do?


Answer:

Although details may vary between packages, anti-virus software scans files or your computer’s memory for certain patterns that may indicate the presence of malicious software (i.e., malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.). Anti-virus software (sometimes more broadly referred to as anti-malware software) looks for patterns based on the signatures or definitions of known malware. Anti-virus vendors find new and updated malware daily, so it is important that you have the latest updates installed on your computer.

Once you have installed an anti-virus package, you should scan your entire computer periodically.

  • Automatic scans – Most anti-virus software can be configured to automatically scan specific files or directories in real time and prompt you at set intervals to perform complete scans.
  • Manual scans – If your anti-virus software does not automatically scan new files, you should manually scan files and media you receive from an outside source before opening them. This process includes:
    • Saving and scanning email attachments or web downloads rather than opening them directly from the source.
    • Scanning media, including CDs and DVDs, for malware before opening files.

How will the software respond when it finds malware?

Sometimes the software will produce a dialog box alerting you that it has found malware and ask whether you want it to “clean” the file (to remove the malware). In other cases, the software may attempt to remove the malware without asking you first. When you select an anti-virus package, familiarize yourself with its features so you know what to expect.

Which software should you use?

There are many vendors who produce anti-virus software, and deciding which one to choose can be confusing. Anti-virus software typically performs the same types of functions, so your decision may be driven by recommendations, particular features, availability, or price. Regardless of which package you choose, installing any anti-virus software will increase your level of protection.

How do you get the current malware information?

This process may differ depending on what product you choose, so find out what your anti-virus software requires. Many anti-virus packages include an option to automatically receive updated malware definitions. Because new information is added frequently, it is a good idea to take advantage of this option. Resist believing alarmist emails claiming that the “worst virus in history” or the “most dangerous malware ever” has been detected and will destroy your computer’s hard drive. These emails are usually hoaxes. You can confirm malware information through your anti-virus vendor or through resources offered by other anti-virus vendors.

While installing anti-virus software is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your computer, it has its limitations. Because it relies on signatures, anti-virus software can only detect malware that has known characteristics. It is important to keep these signatures up-to-date. You will still be susceptible to malware that circulates before the anti-virus vendors add their signatures, so continue to take other safety precautions as well.

Understanding Bluetooth Technology2021-06-02T06:02:42-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is Bluetooth?


Answer:

Bluetooth technology allows devices to communicate with each other without cables or wires. Bluetooth relies on short-range radio frequency, and any device that incorporates the technology can communicate as long as it is within the required distance. The technology is often used to allow two different types of devices to communicate with each other. It is an electronics “standard,” which means that manufacturers that want to include this feature have to incorporate specific requirements into their electronic devices. These specifications ensure that the devices can recognize and interact with other devices that use Bluetooth technology.

Many personal electronic devices (PEDs) use Bluetooth technology. For example, you may be able to operate your computer with a wireless keyboard or use a wireless headset to talk on your mobile phone.

What are some security concerns?

Depending upon how it is configured, Bluetooth technology can be fairly secure. You can take advantage of its use of key authentication and encryption. Unfortunately, many Bluetooth devices rely on short numeric personal identification numbers (PINs) instead of more secure passwords or passphrases.

If someone can “discover” your Bluetooth device, he or she may be able to send you unsolicited messages or abuse your Bluetooth service, which could cause you to be charged extra fees. Worse, an attacker may be able to find a way to access or corrupt your data. One example of this type of activity is “bluesnarfing,” which refers to attackers using a Bluetooth connection to steal information off of your Bluetooth device. Also, viruses or other malicious code can take advantage of Bluetooth technology to infect other devices. If you are infected, your data may be corrupted, compromised, stolen, or lost. You should also be aware of attempts to convince you to send information to someone you do not trust over a Bluetooth connection.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Disable Bluetooth when you are not using it. Unless you are actively transferring information from one device to another, disable the technology to prevent unauthorized people from accessing it.
  • Use Bluetooth in “hidden” mode. When Bluetooth is enabled, make sure it is “hidden,” not “discoverable.” The hidden mode prevents other Bluetooth devices from recognizing your device. This does not prevent you from using your Bluetooth devices together. You can “pair” devices so that they can find each other even if they are in hidden mode. Although the devices (for example, a mobile phone and a headset) will need to be in discoverable mode to initially locate each other, once they are “paired,” they will always recognize each other without needing to rediscover the connection.
  • Be careful where you use Bluetooth. Be aware of your environment when pairing devices or operating in discoverable mode. For example, if you are in a public wireless “hotspot,” there is a greater risk that someone else may be able to intercept the connection than if you are in your home or your car.
  • Evaluate your security settings. Most devices offer a variety of features that you can tailor to meet your needs and requirements. However, enabling certain features may leave you more vulnerable to being attacked, so disable any unnecessary features or Bluetooth connections. Examine your settings, particularly the security settings, and select options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk. Make sure that all of your Bluetooth connections are configured to require a secure connection.
  • Take advantage of security options. Learn what security options your Bluetooth device offers, and take advantage of features like authentication and encryption.
Understanding Denial-of-Service Attacks2021-06-02T06:09:55-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is a denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.-of-service attack?


Answer:

A denial-of-service (DoSDoS A denial-of-service (DoS) attack occurs when legitimate users are unable to access information systems, devices, or other network resources due to the actions of a malicious cyber threat actor. Services affected may include email, websites, online accounts (e.g., banking), or other services that rely on the affected computer or network. A denial-of-service condition is accomplished by flooding the targeted host or network with traffic until the target cannot respond or simply crashes, preventing access for legitimate users. DoS attacks can cost an organization both time and money while their resources and services are inaccessible.) attack occurs when legitimate users are unable to access information systems, devices, or other network resources due to the actions of a malicious cyber threat actor. Services affected may include email, websites, online accounts (e.g., banking), or other services that rely on the affected computer or network. A denial-of-service condition is accomplished by flooding the targeted host or network with traffic until the target cannot respond or simply crashes, preventing access for legitimate users. DoS attacks can cost an organization both time and money while their resources and services are inaccessible.

What are common denial-of-service attacks?

There are many different methods for carrying out a DoS attack. The most common method of attack occurs when an attacker floods a network server with traffic. In this type of DoS attack, the attacker sends several requests to the target server, overloading it with traffic. These service requests are illegitimate and have fabricated return addresses, which mislead the server when it tries to authenticate the requestor. As the junk requests are processed constantly, the server is overwhelmed, which causes a DoS condition to legitimate requestors.

  • In a Smurf Attack, the attacker sends Internet Control Message Protocol broadcast packets to a number of hosts with a spoofed source Internet Protocol (IP) address that belongs to the target machine. The recipients of these spoofed packets will then respond, and the targeted host will be flooded with those responses.
  • SYN flood occurs when an attacker sends a request to connect to the target server but does not complete the connection through what is known as a three-way handshake—a method used in a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/IP network to create a connection between a local host/client and server. The incomplete handshake leaves the connected port in an occupied status and unavailable for further requests. An attacker will continue to send requests, saturating all open ports, so that legitimate users cannot connect.

Individual networks may be affected by DoS attacks without being directly targeted. If the network’s internet service provider (ISP) or cloud service provider has been targeted and attacked, the network will also experience a loss of service.

What is a distributed denial-of-service attack?

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when multiple machines are operating together to attack one target. DDoS attackers often leverage the use of a botnet—a group of hijacked internet-connected devices to carry out large-scale attacks. Attackers take advantage of security vulnerabilities or device weaknesses to control numerous devices using command and control software. Once in control, an attacker can command their botnet to conduct DDoS on a target. In this case, the infected devices are also victims of the attack.

Botnets—made up of compromised devices—may also be rented out to other potential attackers. Often the botnet is made available to “attack-for-hire” services, which allow unskilled users to launch DDoS attacks.

DDoS allows for exponentially more requests to be sent to the target, therefore increasing the attack power. It also increases the difficulty of attribution, as the true source of the attack is harder to identify.

DDoS attacks have increased in magnitude as more and more devices come online through the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices often use default passwords and do not have sound security postures, making them vulnerable to compromise and exploitation. Infection of IoT devices often goes unnoticed by users, and an attacker could easily compromise hundreds of thousands of these devices to conduct a high-scale attack without the device owners’ knowledge.

How do you avoid being part of the problem?

While there is no way to completely avoid becoming a target of a DoS or DDoS attack, there are proactive steps administrators can take to reduce the effects of an attack on their network.

  • Enroll in a DoS protection service that detects abnormal traffic flows and redirects traffic away from your network. The DoS traffic is filtered out, and clean traffic is passed on to your network.
  • Create a disaster recovery plan to ensure successful and efficient communication, mitigation, and recovery in the event of an attack.

It is also important to take steps to strengthen the security posture of all of your internet-connected devices in order to prevent them from being compromised.

  • Install and maintain antivirus software.
  • Install a firewall and configure it to restrict traffic coming into and leaving your computer.
  • Evaluate security settings and follow good security practices in order to minimalize the access other people have to your information, as well as manage unwanted traffic.

How do you know if an attack is happening?

Symptoms of a DoS attack can resemble non-malicious availability issues, such as technical problems with a particular network or a system administrator performing maintenance. However, the following symptoms could indicate a DoS or DDoS attack:

  • Unusually slow network performance (opening files or accessing websites),
  • Unavailability of a particular website, or
  • An inability to access any website.

The best way to detect and identify a DoS attack would be via network traffic monitoring and analysis. Network traffic can be monitored via a firewall or intrusion detection system. An administrator may even set up rules that create an alert upon the detection of an anomalous traffic load and identify the source of the traffic or drops network packets that meet a certain criteria.

What do you do if you think you are experiencing an attack?

If you think you or your business is experiencing a DoS or DDoS attack, it is important to contact the appropriate technical professionals for assistance.

  • Contact your network administrator to confirm whether the service outage is due to maintenance or an in-house network issue. Network administrators can also monitor network traffic to confirm the presence of an attack, identify the source, and mitigate the situation by applying firewall rules and possibly rerouting traffic through a DoS protection service.
  • Contact your ISP to ask if there is an outage on their end or even if their network is the target of the attack and you are an indirect victim. They may be able to advise you on an appropriate course of action.

In the case of an attack, do not lose sight of the other hosts, assets, or services residing on your network. Many attackers conduct DoS or DDoS attacks to deflect attention away from their intended target and use the opportunity to conduct secondary attacks on other services within your network.

Understanding Digital Signatures2021-06-02T00:18:47-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is a digital signature?


Answer:

A digital signature—a type of electronic signature—is a mathematical algorithm routinely used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message (e.g., an email, a credit card transaction, or a digital document). Digital signatures create a virtual fingerprint that is unique to a person or entity and are used to identify users and protect the information in digital messages or documents. In emails, the email content itself becomes part of the digital signature. Digital signatures are significantly more secure than other forms of electronic signatures.

Why would you use a digital signature?

Digital signatures increase the transparency of online interactions and develop trust between customers, business partners, and vendors.

How do digital signatures work?

Familiarize yourself with the following terms to better understand how digital signatures work:

  • Hash function – A hash function (also called a “hash”) is a fixed-length string of numbers and letters generated from a mathematical algorithm and an arbitrarily sized file such as an email, document, picture, or other types of data. This generated string is unique to the file being hashed and is a one-way function— a computed hash cannot be reversed to find other files that may generate the same hash value. Some of the more popular hashing algorithms in use today are Secure Hash Algorithm-1 (SHA-1), the Secure Hashing Algorithm-2 family (SHA-2 and SHA-256), and Message Digest 5 (MD5).
  • Public key cryptographyCryptography Cryptography is an approach to protecting information or hiding its meaning by converting it into a secret code before sending it out over a public network - in other words, to Encrypt it. – Public-key cryptography (also known as asymmetric encryption) is a cryptographic method that uses a key pair system. One key, called the public key, encrypts the data. The other key, called the private key, decrypts the data. Public key cryptography can be used in several ways to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity. Public key cryptography can
    • Ensure integrity by creating a digital signature of the message using the sender’s private key. This is done by hashing the message and encrypting the hash value with their private key. By doing this, any changes to the message will result in a different hash value.
    • Ensure confidentiality by encrypting the entire message with the recipient’s public key. This means that only the recipient, who is in possession of the corresponding private key, can read the message.
    • Verify the user’s identity using the public key and checking it against a certificate authority.
  • Public key infrastructure (PKI) – PKI consists of the policies, standards, people, and systems that support the distribution of public keys and the identity validation of individuals or entities with digital certificates and a certificate authority.
  • Certificate authority (CA) – A CA is a trusted third party that validates a person’s identity and either generates a public/private key pair on their behalf or associates an existing public key provided by the person to that person. Once a CA validates someone’s identity, they issue a digital certificate that is digitally signed by the CA. The digital certificate can then be used to verify a person associated with a public key when requested.
  • Digital certificates – Digital certificates are analogous to driver licenses in that their purpose is to identify the holder of a certificate. Digital certificates contain the public key of the individual or organization and are digitally signed by a CA. Other information about the organization, individual, and CA can be included in the certificate as well.
  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)/OpenPGP – PGP/OpenPGP is an alternative to PKI. With PGP/OpenPGP, users “trust” other users by signing certificates of people with verifiable identities. The more interconnected these signatures are, the higher the likelihood of verifying a particular user on the internet. This concept is called the “Web of Trust.”

Digital signatures work by proving that a digital message or document was not modified—intentionally or unintentionally—from the time it was signed. Digital signatures do this by generating a unique hash of the message or document and encrypting it using the sender’s private key. The hash generated is unique to the message or document, and changing any part of it will completely change the hash.

Once completed, the message or digital document is digitally signed and sent to the recipient. The recipient then generates their own hash of the message or digital document and decrypts the sender’s hash (included in the original message) using the sender’s public key. The recipient compares the hash they generate against the sender’s decrypted hash; if they match, the message or digital document has not been modified and the sender is authenticated.

Why should you use PKI or PGP with digital signatures?

Using digital signatures in conjunction with PKI or PGP strengthens them and reduces the possible security issues connected to transmitting public keys by validating that the key belongs to the sender, and verifying the identity of the sender. The security of a digital signature is almost entirely dependent on how well the private key is protected. Without PGP or PKI, proving someone’s identity or revoking a compromised key is impossible; this could allow malicious actors to impersonate someone without any method of confirmation.

Through the use of a trusted third party, digital signatures can be used to identify and verify individuals and ensure the integrity of the message.

As paperless, online interactions are used more widely, digital signatures can help you secure and safeguard the integrity of your data. By understanding and using digital signatures, you can better protect your information, documents, and transactions.

Understanding Encryption2021-06-01T12:10:33-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What is encryption?


Answer:

In very basic terms, encryption is a way to send a message in code. The only person who can decode the message is the person with the correct key; to anyone else, the message looks like a random series of letters, numbers, and characters.

Encryption is especially important if you are trying to send sensitive information that other people should not be able to access. Because email messages are sent over the internet and might be intercepted by an attacker, it is important to add an additional layer of security to sensitive information.

How is it different from digital signatures?

Like digital signatures, public-key encryption utilizes software such as PGP, converts information with mathematical algorithms, and relies on public and private keys, but there are differences:

  • The purpose of encryption is confidentiality—concealing the content of the message by translating it into a code. The purpose of digital signatures is integrity and authenticity—verifying the sender of a message and indicating that the content has not been changed. Although encryption and digital signatures can be used independently, you can also sign an encrypted message.
  • When you sign a message, you use your private key, and anybody who has your public key can verify that the signature is valid. When you encrypt a message, you use the public key for the person you’re sending it to, and his or her private key is used to decrypt the message. Because people should keep their private keys confidential and should protect them with passwords, the intended recipient should be the only one who is able to view the information.

How does encryption work?

  1. Obtain the public key for the person you want to be able to read the information. If you get the key from a public keyring, contact the person directly to confirm that the series of letters and numbers associated with the key is the correct fingerprint.
  2. Encrypt the email message using their public key. Most email clients have a feature to easily perform this task.
  3. When the person receives the message, he or she will be able to decrypt it.
Understanding Firewalls for Home and Small Office Use2021-06-02T05:31:07-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Firewall


Answer:

When your computer is accessible through an internet connection or Wi-Fi network, it is susceptible to attack. However, you can restrict outside access to your computer—and the information on it—with a firewall.

What do firewalls do?

Firewalls provide protection against outside cyber attackers by shielding your computer or network from malicious or unnecessary network traffic. Firewalls can also prevent malicious software from accessing a computer or network via the internet. Firewalls can be configured to blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• data from certain locations (i.e., computer network addresses), applicationsApplications Applications or Apps An application (software), commonly referred to as an ‘app’ is a program on a computer, tablet, mobile phone or device. Apps are designed for specific tasks, including checking the weather, accessing the internet, looking at photos, playing media, mobile banking, etc. Many apps can access the internet if needed and can be downloaded (used) either for a price or for free. Apps are a major point of vulnerability on all devices. Some are designed to be malicious, such as logging keystrokes or activity, and others can even transport malware. Always be careful about any app you are thinking about installing., or ports while allowing relevant and necessary data through.

What type of firewall is best?

Categories of firewalls include hardware and software. While both have advantages and disadvantages, the decision to use a firewall is more important than deciding which type you use.

  • Hardware – Typically called network firewalls, these physical devices are positioned between your computer and the internet (or other network connection). Many vendors and some internet service providers (ISPs) offer integrated small office / home office routers that also include firewall features. Hardware-based firewalls are particularly useful for protecting multiple computers and controlling the network activity that attempts to pass through them. The advantage of hardware-based firewalls is that they provide an additional line of defense against attacks reaching desktop computing systems. The disadvantage is that they are separate devices that require trained professionals to support their configuration and maintenance.
  • Software – Most operating systems (OSs) include a built-in firewall feature that you should enable for added protection, even if you have an external firewall. Firewall software is also available separately from your local computer store, software vendor, or ISP. If you download firewall software from the internet, make sure it is from a reputable source (i.e., an established software vendor or service provider) and offered via a secure site. The advantage of software firewalls is their ability to control the specific network behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. of individual applications on a system. A significant disadvantage of a software firewall is that it is typically located on the same system that is being protected. Being located on the same system can hinder the firewall’s ability to detect and stop malicious activity. Another possible disadvantage of software firewalls is that—if you have a firewall for each computer on a network—you will need to update and manage each computer’s firewall individually.

How do you know what configuration settings to apply?

Most commercially available firewall products, both hardware and software-based, come preconfigured and ready to use. Since each firewall is different, you will need to read and understand the documentation that comes with it to determine whether the default firewall settings are sufficient for your needs. This is particularly concerning because the “default” configuration is typically less restrictive, which could make your firewall more susceptible to compromise. Alerts about current malicious activity (e.g., CISACybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a standalone United States federal agency, an operational component under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight. Its activities are a continuation of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). CISA was established on November 16, 2018 when President Donald Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018.’s Alerts) sometimes include information about restrictions you can implement through your firewall.

Though properly configured firewalls may effectively block some attacks, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Firewalls do not guarantee that your computer will not be attacked. Firewalls primarily help protect against malicious traffic, not against malicious programs (i.e., malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.), and may not protect you if you accidentally install or run malware on your computer. However, using a firewall in conjunction with other protective measures (e.g., antivirus software and safe computing practices) will strengthen your resistance to attacks.

Understanding Hidden Threats: Rootkits and Botnets2021-06-02T06:05:52-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What are Rootkits and Botnets?


Answer:

A rootkit is a piece of software that can be installed and hidden on your computer without your knowledge. It may be included in a larger software package or installed by an attacker who has been able to take advantage of a vulnerability on your computer or has convinced you to download it. Rootkits are not necessarily malicious, but they may hide malicious activities. Attackers may be able to access information, monitor your actions, modify programs, or perform other functions on your computer without being detected.

Botnet is a term derived from the idea of bot networks. In its most basic form, a bot is simply an automated computer program, or robot. In the context of botnets, bots refer to computers that are able to be controlled by one, or many, outside sources. An attacker usually gains control by infecting the computers with a virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. or other malicious code that gives the attacker access. Your computer may be part of a botnet even though it appears to be operating normally. Botnets are often used to conduct a range of activities, from distributing spam and viruses to conducting denialDenial Denial is a refusal or unwillingness to accept something or to accept reality. Refusal to admit the truth or reality of something, refusal to acknowledge something unpleasant; And as a term of Psychology: denial is a defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality.-of-service attacks.

Why are they considered threats?

The main problem with both rootkits and botnets is that they are hidden. Although botnets are not hidden the same way rootkits are, they may be undetected unless you are specifically looking for certain activity. If a rootkit has been installed, you may not be aware that your computer has been compromised, and traditional anti-virus software may not be able to detect the malicious programs. Attackers are also creating more sophisticated programs that update themselves so that they are even harder to detect.

Attackers can use rootkits and botnets to access and modify personal information, attack other computers, and commit other crimes, all while remaining undetected. By using multiple computers, attackers increase the range and impact of their crimes. Because each computer in a botnet can be programmed to execute the same command, an attacker can have each of them scanning multiple computers for vulnerabilities, monitoring online activity, or collecting the information entered in online forms.

What can you do to protect yourself?

If you practice good security habits, you may reduce the risk that your computer will be compromised:

  • Use and maintain anti-virus software – Anti-virus software recognizes and protects your computer against most known viruses, so you may be able to detect and remove the virus before it can do any damage. Because attackers are continually writing new viruses, it is important to keep your definitions up to date. Some anti-virus vendors also offer anti-rootkit software.
  • Install a firewall – Firewalls may be able to prevent some types of infection by blockingBlocking Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• malicious traffic before it can enter your computer and limiting the traffic you send. Some operating systems actually include a firewall, but you need to make sure it is enabled.
  • Use good passwords – Select passwords that will be difficult for attackers to guess, and use different passwords for different programs and devices. Do not choose options that allow your computer to remember your passwords.
  • Keep software up to date – Install software patches so that attackers can’t take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities (see Understanding Patches for more information). Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.
  • Follow good security practices – Take appropriate precautions when using email and web browsers to reduce the risk that your actions will triggerTRIGGERS A trigger is a stimulus that sets off a memory of a trauma or a specific portion of a traumatic experience. an infection (see other US-CERT security tips for more information).

Unfortunately, if there is a rootkit on your computer or an attacker is using your computer in a botnet, you may not know it. Even if you do discover that you are a victim, it is difficult for the average user to effectively recover. The attacker may have modified files on your computer, so simply removing the malicious files may not solve the problem, and you may not be able to safely trust a prior version of a file. If you believe that you are a victim, consider contacting a trained system administrator.

As an alternative, some vendors are developing products and tools that may remove a rootkit from your computer. If the software cannot locate and remove the infection, you may need to reinstall your operating system, usually with a system restore disk that is often supplied with a new computer. Note that reinstalling or restoring the operating system typically erases all of your files and any additional software that you have installed on your computer. Also, the infection may be located at such a deep level that it cannot be removed by simply reinstalling or restoring the operating system.

Understanding Patches and Software Updates2021-05-31T06:59:11-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Are Software or App Patches?


Answer:

Patches are software and operating system (OS) updates that address security vulnerabilities within a program or product. Software vendors may choose to release updates to fix performance bugs, as well as to provide enhanced security features.

How do you find out what software updates you need to install?

When software updates become available, vendors usually put them on their websites for users to download. Install updates as soon as possible to protect your computer, phone, or another digital device against attackers who would take advantage of system vulnerabilities. Attackers may target vulnerabilities for months or even years after updates are available.

Some software will automatically check for updates, and many vendors offer users the option to receive updates automatically. If automatic options are available, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security AgencyCybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a standalone United States federal agency, an operational component under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight. Its activities are a continuation of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). CISA was established on November 16, 2018 when President Donald Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018. (CISACybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is a standalone United States federal agency, an operational component under Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight. Its activities are a continuation of the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). CISA was established on November 16, 2018 when President Donald Trump signed into law the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018.) recommends that you take advantage of them. If they are not available, periodically check your vendor’s websites for updates.

Make sure that you only download software updates from trusted vendor websites. Do not trust a link in an email message—attackers have used email messages to direct users to websites hosting malicious files disguised as legitimate updates. Users should also be suspicious of email messages that claim to have a software update file attached—these attachments may contain malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts..

If possible, only apply automatic updates from trusted network locations (e.g., home, work). Avoid updating software (automatically or manually) while connected to untrusted networks (e.g., airport, hotel, coffee shop). If updates must be installed over an untrusted network, use a Virtual Private Network connection to a trusted network and apply updates.

What is the difference between manual and automatic updates?

Users can install updates manually or elect for their software programs to update automatically.

  • Manual updates require the user or administrator to visit the vendor’s website to download and install software files.
  • Automatic updates require user or administrator consent when installing or configuring the software. Once you consent to automatic updates, software updates are “pushed” (or installed) to your system automatically.

What is end-of-life software?

Sometimes vendors will discontinue support for a software program or issue software updates for it (also known as end-of-life [EOL] software). Continued use of EOL software poses a consequential risk to your system that can allow an attacker to exploit security vulnerabilities. The use of unsupported software can also cause software compatibility issues as well as decreased system performance and productivity.

CISA recommends that users and administrators retire all EOL products.

Best Practices for Software Updates

  • Enable automatic software updates whenever possible. This will ensure that software updates are installed as quickly as possible.
  • Do not use unsupported EOL software.
  • Always visit vendor sites directly rather than clicking on advertisements or email links.
  • Avoid software updates while using untrusted networks.

New vulnerabilities are continually emerging, but the best defense against attackers exploiting patched vulnerabilities is simple: keep your software up to date. This is the most effective measure you can take to protect your computer, phone, and other digital devices.

Using Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms Safely2021-06-01T21:10:30-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What are the differences between some of the tools used for real-time communication?


Answer:

  • Instant messaging (IM) – Commonly used for recreation, instant messaging is also becoming more widely used within corporations for communication between employees. IM, regardless of the specific software you choose, provides an interface for individuals to communicate one-on-one.
  • Chat rooms – Whether public or private, chat rooms are forums for particular groups of people to interact. Many chat rooms are based upon a shared characteristic; for example, there are chat rooms for people of particular age groups or interests. Although most IM clients support “chats” among multiple users, IM is traditionally one-to-one while chats are traditionally many-to-many.
  • Bots – A “chat robot,” or “bot,” is software that can interact with users through chat mechanisms, whether in IM or chat rooms. In some cases, users may be able to obtain current weather reports, stock status, or movie listings. In these instances, users are often aware that they are not interacting with an actual human. However, some users may be fooled by more sophisticated bots into thinking the responses they are receiving are from another person.

There are many software packages that incorporate one or more of these capabilities. A number of different technologies might be supported, including IM, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), or Jabber.

What are the dangers?

  • Identities can be elusive or ambiguous – Not only is it sometimes difficult to identify whether the “person” you are talking to is human, but human nature and behaviorBehavior   Behavior / Behavioral Actions Otherwise known as habits, behavior or behavioral actions are strategies to help prevent online exploitation that target behavior, such as social engineering of victims. Changing your behavior is the ONLY effective means to reduce or prevent scams. isn’t predictable. People may lie about their identity, accounts may be compromised, users may forget to log out, or an account may be shared by multiple people. All of these things make it difficult to know who you’re really talking to during a conversation.
  • Users are especially susceptible to certain types of attack – Trying to convince someone to run a program or click on a link is a common attack method, but it can be especially effective through IM and chat rooms. In a setting where a user feels comfortable with the “person” he or she is talking to, a malicious piece of software or an attacker has a better chance of convincing someone to fall into the trap.
  • You don’t know who else might be seeing the conversation – Online interactions are easily saved, and if you’re using a free commercial service the exchanges may be archived on a server. You have no control over what happens to those logs. You also don’t know if there’s someone looking over the shoulder of the person you’re talking to, or if an attacker might be “sniffing” your conversation.
  • The software you’re using may contain vulnerabilities – Like any other software, chat software may have vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit.
  • Default security settings may be inappropriate – The default security settings in chat software tend to be relatively permissive to make it more open and “usable,” and this can make you more susceptible to attacks.

How can you use these tools safely?

  • Evaluate your security settings – Check the default settings in your software and adjust them if they are too permissive. Make sure to disable automatic downloads. Some chat software offers the ability to limit interactions to only certain users, and you may want to take advantage of these restrictions.
  • Be conscious of what information you reveal – Be wary of revealing personal information unless you know who you are really talking to. You should also be careful about discussing anything you or your employer might consider sensitive business information over public IM or chat services (even if you are talking to someone you know in a one-to-one conversation).
  • Try to verify the identity of the person you are talking to, if it matters – In some forums and situations, the identity of the “person” you are talking to may not matter. However, if you need to have a degree of trust in that person, either because you are sharing certain types of information or being asked to take some action like following a link or running a program, make sure the “person” you are talking to is actually that person.
  • Don’t believe everything you read – The information or advice you receive in a chat room or by IM may be false or, worse, malicious. Try to verify the information or instructions from outside sources before taking any action.
  • Keep software up to date – This includes the chat software, your browser, your operating system, your mail client, and, especially, your anti-virusVirus A computer program that can replicate itself and spread from computer to computer or file to file. It comes to life only when you take a specific action, such as running a particular program. software.
Veterans Charity Scams?2021-04-26T09:04:32-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Are Veterans Charity ScamsCharity Scams Scammers call asking for charitable donations, often after large-scale disasters. They may make up phony charities or spoof a real charity to trick you out of your money.

Answer:

Fake charity scams are nothing new, and the Veterans Affairs Department and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service warns that veterans of the armed forces are particularly vulnerable.

The scammers reportedly offer pension buyouts to veterans or ask veterans to donate to a charity that sounds and looks real but isn’t.

The scammers take the donations or cash the pension checks.

The scammers will also take the donor’s personal information to create a new fake identity or commit more crimes under that person’s name.

According to an AARP survey, 16% of veterans have lost money to fraudsters, compared to 8% of non-veterans.

Voice Phishing2021-04-26T09:02:08-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is Voice Phishing

Answer: Another Way To Get Your Information

Voice phishing, or vishingVishing What is a vishing attack? Vishing is the social engineering approach that leverages voice communication. This technique can be combined with other forms of social engineering that entice a victim to call a certain number and divulge sensitive information. Advanced vishing attacks can take place completely over voice communications by exploiting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solutions and broadcasting services. VoIP easily allows caller identity (ID) to be spoofed, which can take advantage of the public’s misplaced trust in the security of phone services, especially landline services. Landline communication cannot be intercepted without physical access to the line; however, this trait is not beneficial when communicating directly with a malicious actor., is the use of telephony (often Voice over IP telephony) to conduct phishing attacks.

Landline telephone services have traditionally been trustworthy; terminated in physical locations known to the telephone company, and associated with a bill-payer. Now however, vishing fraudsters often use modern Voice over IP (VoIPVOIP Stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol is a way to make and receive phone calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone line.) features such as caller ID spoofingSpoofing Spoofing occurs when a caller maliciously transmits false caller ID information to increase the likelihood that you'll answer. Scammers often spoof local numbers, private companies, government agencies and other institutions. It can also apply to pretending to be an email address, or through other media. and automated systems (IVR) to impede detection by law enforcement agencies. Voice phishing is typically used to steal credit card numbers or other information used in identity theftIdentity Theft Identity theft is when someone uses another person's personal identifying information, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes. In both the U.K. and the United States it is the theft of personally identifiable information. Identity theft deliberately uses someone else's identity as a method to gain financial advantages or obtain credit and other benefits, and perhaps to cause other person's loss. The person whose identity has been stolen may suffer adverse consequences, especially if they are falsely held responsible for the perpetrator's actions. Personally identifiable information generally includes a person's name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, bank account or credit card numbers, PINs, electronic signatures, fingerprints, passwords, or any other information that can be used to access a person's financial resources. schemes from individuals.

Usually, voice phishing attacks are conducted using automated text-to-speech systems that direct a victim to call a number controlled by the attacker, however, some use live callers. Posing as an employee of a legitimate body such as the bank, police, telephone or internet provider, the fraudsterFraudster A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. attempts to obtain personal details and financial information regarding credit card, bank accounts (e.g. the PIN), as well as personal information of the victim. With the received information, the fraudster might be able to access and empty the account or commit identity fraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.. Some fraudsters may also try to persuade the victim to transfer money to another bank account or withdraw cash to be given to them directly.

Callers also often pose as law enforcement or as an Internal Revenue Service employee. Scammers often target immigrants and the elderly, who are coerced to wire hundreds to thousands of dollars in response to threats of arrest or deportation. Bank account data is not the only sensitive information being targeted. Fraudsters sometimes also try to obtain security credentials from consumers who use Microsoft or Apple products by spoofing the caller ID of Microsoft or Apple Inc..

Audio deepfakes have been used to commit fraud, by fooling people into thinking they are receiving instructions from a trusted individual.

What Are Biometrics?2021-05-06T12:54:44-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Are BiometricsBiometrics Physical Biometrics is the use of distinctive, measurable physiological characteristics to verify an individual’s identity. Physical biometrics includes techniques such as retinal scans, fingerprints and voice prints.


Answer:

Biometrics is a class of tools, techniques, and devices that use a computer user’s unique physical characteristics — such as fingerprints, voice, and retina — to identify that user.

What Evidence Matters When Reporting These Crimes?2021-04-26T04:31:45-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Evidence Matters When Reporting These Crimes?

Answer: Hard – Factual Evidence

Collect and Keep Evidence:

Even though you may not be asked to provide evidence when you first report the cybercrimeCybercrime Cybercrime is a crime related to technology, computers, and the Internet. Typical cybercrime are performed by a computer against a computer, or by a hacker using software to attack computers or networks., it is very important to keep any hard or factual evidence you may have related to your complaint. Keep items in a safe location in the event you are requested to provide them for investigative or prosecutive evidence. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Canceled checks
  • Certified or other mail receipts
  • Chatroom or newsgroup text – although these mostly lies – keep it anyway (but the police will not need it immediately)
  • Credit card receipts
  • Bank wire transfer documents
  • Any new accounts created
  • Money transfer documents
  • Envelopes (if you received items via FedEx, UPS or U.S. Mail)
  • Facsimiles (Faxes – yes they still exist)
  • Log files, if available, with date, time and time zone
  • Social media messages – although these mostly lies – keep it anyway (but the police will not need it immediately)
  • Money order receipts
  • Pamphlets or brochures (if any)
  • Phone bills
  • Printed or preferably electronic copies of emails (if printed, include full email header information)
    Printed or preferably electronic copies of web pages
    Wire receipts

Remember, the most important things are:

  • Who you sent money to?
  • Who you received money from?
What Is A Back-Door2021-05-06T12:47:53-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Back-Door


Answer:

A back door is a vulnerability intentionally left in the security of a computer system or its software by its designers. Typically left to allow unobserved access or to bypass security.

What Is A Relationship Scam2021-04-26T04:32:12-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Relationship ScamRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam?

Answer:

In the broadest sense, a Relationship Scam is one when there is a relationship between the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. (or group of scammers) and the victim. This means the scammer(s) are communicating directly with the victim, as opposed to a computer luring or trapping the victim to exploit them.

A Relationship Scam does not depend on just one type of medium or communication type, and in fact, can include email, phone, video & text chat, text messages, and online platforms – it can even be face to face.

Examples of Relationship ScamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? include:

  • Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost.
  • Lotto Scams
  • Tax, Social Security, or other Phone or Email Scams
  • Sextortion or other forms of Blackmail Scams
  • Recommended Investment ScamsInvestment Scams When a caller claims to have a promising investment opportunity that will help you get rich quick, it's likely a scam.
  • Grandparent Scams
  • Gift card Scams
  • Gambian-style Marriage Scams (these start as a romance scam and lead to a face to face scam)
  • Charity ScamsCharity Scams Scammers call asking for charitable donations, often after large-scale disasters. They may make up phony charities or spoof a real charity to trick you out of your money.
  • Police or Investigative Scams
  • Jury Duty ScamsJury Duty Scams Callers pose as local law enforcement, claiming they have a warrant for your arrest because you missed jury duty. They may instruct you to pay a fine by wiring money or using gift cards.
  • Other Financial FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim. & Scams
  • and more …

In all cases, a Relationship Scam will have the victim talking to the scammer(s) directly at some point by whatever means.

Phishing scams and also lead to a Relationship Scam if it is used to connect directly with the victim, instead of just stealing credentials (logging and passwords).

SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. provides support for Relationship Scam victims!

Scams Are Up 50% In 2020
What Is A Remote Access Scammer?2021-05-07T08:20:51-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Remote Access ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer.


Answer:

A remote Access Scammer is someone who connects with victims remotely for the purpose of remotely accessing their devices. Remote access scammers contact people either over the phone or online to gain access to their computers so they can potentially steal money. Some things to look out for are:

📱 Calls from people stating they’re from a well-known business
💻 Someone saying there’s something wrong with your device or internet connection
💾 A person using overly technical language
What Is A Romance Scam?2021-04-26T09:13:06-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A Romance Scam

  • Romance ScamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. are an international crime that usually involves a fake identity to fool a person into engaging in a massively manipulated romantic relationship.
  • Romance Scams do not happen because the victim was stupid, they happen because the scammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. socially engineered a set of conditions to trap the victim.
  • Romance Scams can happen to anyone since it is based upon triggering the victim’s own brain against them then sustaining the scam through spy-craft style manipulation.
  • Romance Scams don’t just happen to sad lovely people, they can happen to anyone, even people that are married – anyone can be scammed.
  • Romance Scams victims cannot simply get over it, they involve deep-seated traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. that can result in PTSD or other disorders and professional help may be required.
  • Romance Scams are a major challenge to law enforcement worldwide since it involves international treaties and extradition, and the host nations in Africa benefit from the influx of money.
  • Romance Scams began in the early 1990’s and have grown into an industry rivaling the illicitillicit Illicit means something that is not legally permitted or authorized under the law; unlicensed; unlawful. It can also mean disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons. drug industry, and they help support human trafficking and terrorism.
  • Romance Scams require a globally concerted effort both at the grassroots level to help educate others, and at the governmental level to improve laws and treaties to promote greater enforcement.
  • Romance Scams can be stopped with education and safe habits online, and the diligent efforts of people just like you!

Copyright © 2018 SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.

What Is A Scammer2021-04-26T04:32:19-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

Anti-ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: What Is A ScammerScammer A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer.

Answer:

A scammer or fraudsterFraudster A Scammer or Fraudster is someone that engages in deception to obtain money or achieve another objective. They are criminals that attempt to deceive a victim into sending more or performing some other activity that benefits the scammer. is anyone that engages in scamming or defrauding a victim. In other words a “conman or woman.”

Scammers work in thousands of different ways. They conduct scamsScams A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. in-person face-to-face or on the phone, by mail or email, or through other forms of online communications. Some appear to be companies or institutions or governments, some present themselves as fake individuals that they either invented or are impersonating.

A scammer’s greatest tool is social engineering that allows them to create lures that pull in a victim. They use a variety of manipulative techniques to hook or trap victims, and then maintain their control until they can get what they want. Not all scams are about money. Sometimes it is about getting information or getting a victim to do what the scammer wants (such as sextortion scams.) Relationship scamsRelationship Scam A Relationship Scam is a one-to-one criminal act that involves a trust relationship and uses deception & manipulation to get a victim to give to the criminal something of value, such as money! Click here to learn more: What Is A Relationship Scam? can cause the most profound traumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. in victims requiring significant support, counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling., or therapy.

Some scammers work alone, but in most of today’s large-scale scams, scammers are working in organizations or cartels – these can be a few individuals all the way up to 10,000 or more. Scammers are spread around the globe and work in almost every country. In fact, even some countries actively engage in scamming, such as Iran and North Korea.

Scammers Are Everywhere!
Wire Transfer Fraud?2021-04-26T09:13:48-04:00

Last Updated on by SCARS Editorial Team

ScamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. FAQ: How To Spot Wire Transfer FraudFraud In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain (money or other assets), or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or criminal law (e.g., a fraud perpetrator may be prosecuted and imprisoned by governmental authorities), or it may cause no loss of money, property, or legal right but still be an element of another civil or criminal wrong. The purpose of fraud may be monetary gain or other benefits, for example by obtaining a passport, travel document, or driver's license, or mortgage fraud, where the perpetrator may attempt to qualify for a mortgage by way of false statements. A fraud can also be a hoax, which is a distinct concept that involves deliberate deception without the intention of gain or of materially damaging or depriving a victim.

What Are The Warning Signs Of Wire Transfer Fraud?

Know How To Recognize The Warning Signs Of Wire Transfer Fraud:

  • Someone that you have never met in person is asking for money. This is the biggest red flag for fraud. If you’re in a long-distance relationship with someone you’ve never met in person, be wary of possible fraud, if they start asking for money. The reality is: fraudsters are professionals and they’ll do whatever it takes to get their hands on your cash. When it comes to that new love, overseas inheritance or investment opportunity, it’s worth the cost of the plane ticket to ensure it’s legit. If you can’t meet them in person, you should think twice before sending your money.
  • You receive an email that claims you’ve won a jackpot but you have to pay fees before you can receive the prize. The reality is: the fraudsters are the ones hitting the jackpot. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • You see an ad online for a great deal, but you’re required to transfer the money right away to receive the product. The reality is: the product doesn’t exist and they just want your money.
  • While many people use wire transfers to pay for luxury items, it’s worth checking the reputation of the seller, if you’re transferring a large sum.
  • You get a job as a mystery shopper but they send you a check for more than what you’re owed. You’re asked to send the excess funds back via wire transfer. The reality is: this is just a clever way to steal your cash, as the check is probably fake.
  • You receive an email from someone pretending to be your bank or other service provider saying you need to update your security info. The reality is: as soon as you click the link, you’re vulnerable to malwareMalware Short for "malicious software," this term means computer viruses and other types of programs that cybercriminals use to disrupt or access your computer, typically with the aim of gathering sensitive files and accounts.. Phishing emails that try to steal your information or get you to wire money will often contain a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. The email might not address you by name, and it comes from a suspicious and unrecognizable source. It will probably ask you to provide financial information or to verify it, but if you hover over a URL, you’ll see that it will take you to a suspicious and unknown website. Don’t click on any links within these emails; instead, just delete them and blockBlock Blocking is a technical action usually on social media or messaging platforms that restricts or bans another profile from seeing or communicating with your profile. To block someone on social media, you can usually go to their profile and select it from a list of options - often labeled or identified with three dots ••• the sender.
  • You receive an email or a phone call that claims the IRSIRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the revenue & tax service of the United States federal government responsible for collecting taxes and administering the Internal Revenue Code (the main body of federal statutory tax law.) It is part of the Department of the Treasury and led by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed to a five-year term by the President of the United States. The duties of the IRS include providing tax assistance to taxpayers; pursuing and resolving instances of erroneous or fraudulent tax filings; and overseeing various benefits programs. Visit www.IRS.gov to learn more. wants you to pay back taxes, and you need to transfer your money or you’ll be arrested. The reality is: the IRS will formally contact you by mail rather than by phone, and they won’t be asking for your payments by credit card or by wire transfer either.

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