The Hackers Brief from Cyber Wyoming is sponsored by First Federal Bank & Trust. Be aware of the latest scams in Sheridan, Wyoming and the rest of the nation.
Zelle pay email scam
In the 1/10/22 Hacker’s Brief, we printed a Zelle Fraud Alert from Scambusters.org. Scams impersonating Zelle are prominent right now. A Sheridan citizen reported on imitating Zelle saying “your transaction request has been accepted…” The subject line is “Update: $414.98 debited from your account via Zelle success.” The email was from email@example.com spoofed as “BILL FROM ZELLE.” Do not call the phone number in the email.
More Norton impersonation scams reported
A Laramie citizen reported another fake subscription invoice impersonating the popular antivirus software, Norton. The email was from firstname.lastname@example.org spoofed as “All Well” with the subject line of “if you cancel this order #SDG476CU.” CyberWyoming Note: Remember the tip a Sheridan citizen provided from last week and check with the real Norton to see if the email is correct: https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/home/current/solutions/v71088498
Amazon email scam
Remember to closely examine the sender’s address on email. A Sheridan citizen reported an email from email@example.com spoofed as “Order Placed” with the subject line of “Thank you for shopping with us.” The email disguises itself as shipping and invoice notification for an Xbox. The Amazon coloring and branding looks very real.
Tis the season for tax scams
The IRS would like to remind you that tax season is prime time for phone scams. Criminals make aggressive calls posing as IRS agents in hopes of stealing taxpayer money or personal information. Remember that the IRS will NEVER call to demand immediate payment, threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law enforcement, demand that taxes be paid without giving a taxpayer the opportunity to question the appeal, or call unexpectedly about a tax refund. If you receive a suspicious phone call, record the number and hang up then report the call to the real authorities by calling 800-366-4484.
Social Security Administration mail scam
Scammers are using regular mail delivery to send fraudulent letters on Social Security Administration letterhead, advising the recipient to call a tool-free number to activate an increase in SSA benefits, such as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The SSA wants you to know that COLAs are automatic and do not require ANY kind of activation. To report a Social Security scam visit https://oig.ssa.gov/scam-awareness/report-the-scam.
FTC and scam refunds
The FTC advocates for victims of fraud and scams and sometimes they can even get some of the money back. If you discover you have been scammed, file a complaint with the FTC https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/ and with the FBI https://www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint. The list of refunds is also published online at https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/refunds. But beware of FTC and FBI imposters once you have filed a complaint!
Coaching department or apply knowledge scam
The FTC is on its third round of returning money to people who lost money to business coaching scams by companies called Coaching Department or Apply Knowledge. If you paid money to these companies but haven’t received a check contact the FTC at ftc.gov/refunds. Here is the full article with a phone number: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/12/ftc-sends-third-round-refunds-people-who-lost-money-business-coaching-scam
FTC – How to avoid buying fake COVID tests online
Fake and unauthorized at-home testing kits are showing up online to take advantage of the current shortages. When you buy an at-home testing kit, make sure it is authorized by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). If you don’t know the website, be sure to check out the seller first with website review agencies (and don’t forget using the Better Business Bureau’s site). Pay with your credit card because there are some protections there. Report your suspected scams to https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.
MS-ISAC Patch Now alert
The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) has published a patch now (update your software) alert for Apple, Polkit (formerly PolicyKit used for Unix and Linux systems), F5Networks BIG-IP, SonicWall SMA 100 Series (firewalls), WordPress’s AccessPress plugins and themes, and multiple Cisco products. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.
Please report scams you may experience to firstname.lastname@example.org to alert your friends and neighbors.
Other ways to report a scam:
• Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker: www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/reportscam
• File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint
• Report your scam to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/complaint
• Reported unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registration.
• Online at https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222, option 3
• Office of the Inspector General: www.oig.ssa.gov
The AARP Fraud Watch Network and Volunteers of America (VOA) created a new, free program to provide emotional support for people impacted by a scam or fraud, called ReST. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudsupport to learn more about the free program and register.