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.
A virus filled attachment
If you receive an email from “Accounts” using a servtronics.com email address saying “Please find enclosed attached credit note for your records,” do not download the attachment. It contains a virus. While servtronics may be a legitimate website, they definitely have an email compromised. Reported by a Laramie citizen.
Scambusters voice cloning alert
High-tech scammers have started using voice cloning to make their imposter calls sound more realistic than ever. They’re using the technology to imitate the voices of friends and relatives for distress calls like those used for grandparent scams or fake kidnap messages. Security experts have feared this development for some time and now there’s evidence crooks are using stolen voice clips from online videos and even telemarketing calls to mimic people supposedly caught up in some sort of emergency. Before, the crooks would only use very short statements when posing as someone else to avoid victims recognizing that the voice wasn’t genuine. Now, they’re able to string together longer statements. In the not-too-distant future, they’ll be able to use the technology to answer questions from suspicious call recipients. Scambusters Tips if you get a distressed call:
• Use another phone to call the individual or someone who should know where they are, to check on their location and safety.
• Have a secret family password that you can ask the supposed victim for, to check it’s really them.
•Ask other questions. At this stage, voice cloning is not advanced enough to respond immediately and there’s usually a time lag before the reply comes.
Weird text messages
Are you receiving texts that come from someone who seems to know you but you don’t know them, asking a question like “What time are we meeting?” Or they may refer to an incident, like an undelivered package, with a link to click. Your first instinct might be to reply or click. Don’t. In the first case, spammers are harvesting names and numbers of people who respond to messages. In the second, they’re phishing for personal account info. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
FTC grocery cost alert
With the cost of groceries, housing, and many other things rising, you might be looking for ways to cut costs. Remember that scams may target this desire. If the offer is too good to be true, it is probably fake and remember that the government won’t contact you out of the blue about grants or programs.
Fake invoices from genuine PayPal accounts are surging. Crooks open a free PayPal account and then fire off the invoices, knowing they stand a good chance of evading security software. If you don’t recognize the supposed order or don’t have a relationship with the sender, don’t pay. If you do owe them money, double check with their known contact information - but don’t click on links or use phone numbers provided in the invoice. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
FTC alert - watch for back to school shopping scams
Many people like the convenience of online school shopping, but what happens if something goes wrong with your order or the website turns out to be a scam? Before you drop items in your shopping cart, remember this advice: check refund and return policies, use a credit card for online purchases, save your receipts/confirmation emails, remember that if the shipper hasn’t shipped within the promised timeframe you can cancel your order for a full refund, and when on the website watch for pre-checked boxes that may get you to agree to something that puts you more at risk.
Con artists are targeting Medicare recipients by offering free COVID tests, which enable them to fraudulently bill Medicare for their services as well as stealing confidential information. In fact, you can already get free on-site tests at participating pharmacies. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
Watch for hijacked Facebook accounts
Hackers have been spotted posting on Facebook groups with topics from gardening to finding a good home for a recently deceased son’s PS5 are often scams. Watch for red flags like poor grammar, odd capitalization, and misspellings. You can research the post by copying part of a sentence and searching for it throughout all of Facebook and if it comes up in many odd Facebook groups, then it indicates it is a scam. Brought to you by scambusters.org.
MS-ISAC and CISA patch now alert
The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) or the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a patch now (update your software) alert for Apple (Safari, macOS Monterey, macOS Big Sur, iOS, and iPadOS), Adobe (Experience Manager, Bridge, InDesign, Photoshop, InCopy, Animate, and Illustrator), and Microsoft 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.