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Latest Scams to be Aware

New, fast emerging digital threats, that steal our money and Identities, can fool even the most tech savvy among us. Learn what to look out for so you can identify and protect yourself from these emerging threats.
 
  • The ScamSmishing
 
What is It? - When someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message.
 
How to Protect Yourself – In general, you don’t want to reply to text messages from people you don’t know.  Don’t click on links you get on your phone unless you know the person they’re coming from. Never install apps from text messages. If you have any doubt about the safety of a text message, don’t even open it.
 
  • The ScamShimmer Scams
 
What is It? –A data pickpocketing technique, in which a “shimmer”, a paper-thin, card-size shim containing an embedded microchip and flash storage is inserted into the “dip and wait” card slot of a number of POS terminals, where it resides unseen to intercept data off your credit or debit card’s EMV chip.
 
How to Protect Yourself - Don’t proceed with a transaction if your card encounters resistance when it is inserted. Use the contactless tap-and-go feature on your credit or debit card if it has one. Better yet, use contactless mobile services such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. Use ATMs in banks rather than more vulnerable standalones. Remember to cover the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN.
 
  • The ScamFacebook ‘LIKE’ Farming
 
What is It? - A technique in which scammers create an eye-catching post designed to get many likes and shares. Posts often give people emotional reasons to click, like, and share. As more people like and share the post, it appears in more news feeds, giving the post a much wider audience. But when the scammer collects enough likes and shares, they will edit the post and add something malicious.
 
How to Protect Yourself - Use your good judgement. If a post sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a post tugs at your heartstrings and isn’t about someone you know personally, be wary about the truthfulness of its contents. Don’t click “like” on every post in your feed, be sure you only “like” posts and articles that are legitimate.
 
  • The ScamTech Support Fraud
 
What is It? – Your computer freezes and you get an ominous pop-up telling you to immediately call a number for help.  When you call, a “technician” informs you that your computer has a virus and your files are at risk.  You let him get on your computer and from there he can do a number of things like install malware.
 
How to Protect Yourself – Don’t click on any pop-up.  Instead, turn off your computer and then restart it to see whether the issue is resolved.  If your computer is in real need of repair, go to a reputable walk-in technician.  Lastly, never give remote access to your device to anyone you don’t know and trust.
 
  • The ScamWhite Label Ticket Scam
 
What is It? - A third-party web domain, often masquerading as an official box office, that sells the ticket inventory of and uses the technology from another, larger site. Additionally, these sites tack on absurd hidden fees, often only revealing them after you’ve entered your credit card information.
 
How to Protect Yourself - Whenever possible, purchase from the venue directly. If you can’t do that, buy online from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system and always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Make sure your event requires a ticket. Some events are free and do not require a ticket. Know the refund and guarantee policies. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
 
  • The Scam –  Ransomware
 
What is It? -  A form of malicious software that, once it's taken over your computer, threatens you with harm, usually by denying you access to your data. Then the attacker demands a ransom from you, promising to restore access to the data upon payment.
 
How to Protect Yourself - In addition to keeping Windows up-to-date with the latest security enhancements, installing antivirus software can prevent malware from infecting your computer. Make sure that stays updated as well. Be wary of suspicious emails and pop-ups. Avoid clicking links inside dubious emails. Look carefully at the email address of the sender to see if it is coming from a legitimate address. Also, look for obvious typos and grammatical errors in the body. Hover over hyperlinks (without clicking on them) inside emails to see whether they direct you to suspicious web pages.
 
  • The Scam –  Online Charity Scam

 
What is It? – A person or organization that asks for a charitable donation under false pretenses and uses those donations for profit.
 
How to Protect Yourself - Don't click links in unsolicited emails. Scammers often send out spam emails eliciting money. The emails will claim to be from legitimate charities but the links lead to scam-related donation sites. If you think an email is suspicious, don't visit any of the links in it and definitely don't open up any attachments. Scammers will take advantage of tragedies and register domain names that sound like legitimate causes. The best way to donate to a charity is by going directly to the charity's home page and proceeding from there. Research any suspicious website to see who owns it. If in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau. It has established a website called Give.org that vets charities to help determine the legitimacy of a charity.

Be alert and don’t share your information with anyone you don’t know. If you have any suspicion at all, report it to the authorities.