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.
Fake PayPal Text Reported by Laramie Citizen
If you receive a text saying “(PayPal.com) Your account has been limited. Log in and take the steps requested > http://erawanbikes.com/pay-pal-verify.php” a Laramie citizen wants you to know that it is fake. CyberWyoming Note: When we tried to look up erawanbikes.com to see if it was real and being impersonated, our antivirus software stopped us claiming it was a malicious site.
Amazon Doesn’t Send Invoices Through Gmail
A Sheridan citizen reported an Amazon impersonation email with the subject line of “Your order has been shipped” from a Gmail address spoofed as ‘Purchase Information’. The dead giveaways on the email were the reversal of the day and month, bold type, and odd capitalization. Do not call the number to cancel or modify the fake order.
The Hacker’s Brief is International
A concerned and interested citizen of Albania has started printing the scams seen in his community and reporting them to the CyberWyoming Alliance. These scams are similar to many seen in our community, including
• Dying widow scams that ask for help with charitable investments while quoting the Bible, usually from a Gmail address.
• Powerball lottery winner impersonation scam saying the new winner would like to donate to lucky people and charities.
• Help me get my money out of Russia (or Ukraine) scams. (These are usually money laundering scams or scams to get money from you to help ‘move the funds’.)
Avoid a Scammer’s Money Grab During Older Americans Month
Elderly Americans are a prime target for scammers. Because May is Older Americans Month, the FTC partnered to help older Americans recognize scams. Some of the biggest signs of an internet scam are wiring money, paying with gift cards or cryptocurrency, and mimicking the government agencies. These scams are targeted toward older Americans and recognizing these tactics is the best step towards keeping your money in your wallet.
If you think paying for Internet security is already expensive, how will you feel when you get an email saying you just paid $280 for antivirus protection supposedly called “geek squad”? There is a legit outfit called Geek Squad (operated by Best Buy) but it’s nothing to do with them. This email contains a phone number you’re presumably supposed to call if you dispute the charge. We all know what likely happens next -- you’ll be asked to provide personal banking details or other information. Just delete it. Brought to you by Scambusters.org.
Pig Butchering isn’t Just for Swine
According to Scambusters.org, a new scam called pig butchering starts as a romance scam on a dating website or via social media. The crook presents themselves as good-looking, wealthy, and they never ask for money. Instead the crook mentions profits & losses they are making in cryptocurrency trading, slipping in comments throughout the conversation. Eventually, the victim asks about the crook’s investment strategy and the crook leads the victim to a very convincing cryptocurrency website that even shows gains in the investment. But when the victim tries to make a withdrawal, they are given excuses.
If you’re an Instagram user, don’t be taken in by a new fake warning that you’ve violated copyright in one of your posts. The text or email says your account will be suspended unless you want to dispute it. A link in the message takes you to a realistic looking site where you’re asked to sign on and provide other personal information. Just don’t. Instagram doesn’t do this. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
The FTC Encourages You to Reject a Job or Money-Making Scam Offer
Unemployment scams include fake jobs, business opportunities, or business coaching. Job scams are when fraudsters post fake and once people apply for the job, the scammers require an application to steal your personal information, interview you, may require you to pay for a background check up front (to be reimbursed with your first paycheck), and may even send you a fake check to deposit. Fake business opportunities are often in the form of pyramid schemes where they ‘employ’ you to sell products, require you to buy the products, and recruit others to do the same. Unless you can convince others to sign up, you are left with expensive products that you may not be able to afford. Business coaching scams, where people pretend to be professionals that help with the success of a business, often require payments for training and consulting. It is always better to go to your local economic development agency like the SBDC, Wyoming Manufacturing Works, or the Wyoming Women’s Business Center, free programs that offer the same services in a proven format.
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.