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Cyber fraud detection and prevention:

Recently, we have seen an up-tick in cyber fraud/ theft by deception crimes. These crimes range from anti-virus scams, “your computer has been hacked scams” to foreign “need money to get out of jail” scams. They are wide in variety and can come from various sources to include the internet, text message and phone calls.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are some basic steps to prevent you or a loved one from being scammed out of thousands of dollars and we are going to be briefly discussing those here today. I encourage everyone to watch and share this video to prevent you or a loved one from losing what you’ve worked too hard to gain.

Things to know:

Never share your personal information with ANY person over the internet or phone unless you can verify they are who they say they are. This includes social security numbers, DOB, address, loved one’s name, place of employment, etc..

Be aware of who you are talking to on the internet. Anyone can pretend to be anyone via a phone or behind a monitor.

The social security office WILL NEVER contact you via phone. If you receive a phone call and the caller states they are with the social security office, hang up immediately. THIS IS A SCAM.

 

Online Security:

Often times when surfing the internet, a pop up will appear stating that your computer has been infected with a trojan virus or software. While yes this can happen, more often than not, this is a scam. If you happen to click on this pop-up and it asks you for credit card information or personal information, close out immediately. This is a scam often used to infect your computer or allow remote access to your computer from a person in a different location. Once they remote in to your computer, your personal information becomes susceptible to scammers and thieves. If you are unsure what to do, or are unsure if your computer is actually infected, contact your local Police Department for assistance. Remember, never, ever enter any personal or financial information.

I encourage you to purchase an anti-virus software from a reliable source. This will not only prevent your computer from being infected, but will stop scams before they start. If you have questions on what to purchase or where to purchase I encourage you to visit this website:

https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-antivirus-protection

 

 

Strong Passwords:

When creating a password, make it difficult to guess. Do not use the same password for different sites and be creative. For example, password123 is not secure and can be easily guessed. Passwords that include characters, numbers, capital and lower case letters are much more difficult to guess, further securing your personal information. Remember, never share your passwords.

Phone Scams:

I’m sure that most people have received the scam call at some point in their lives. These scams can include people calling to offer you medical insurance, computer protection, financial assistance, etc.. We have also investigated scams of people calling from what appears to be a jail facility, stating that a loved one was arrested and needs bond money to get out. I strongly encourage you that if you were to receive this phone call, call your family members and verify if any of your family members are in jail. More often then not, this is a scam. Most jail calls will immediately identify that it is a correctional facility calling.

We have also heard of the scams of “princes” or “princesses” calling from another country requesting that you send them a large amount of money and in return they will send you double, if not triple what you sent them. This is a scam.

These scammers are creative and will often tug on your heart strings to get what they want. If you receive a call or message via the internet requesting money in any sort, it is most likely a scam.

Gift Cards:

Often times, scammers will request you send them money via gift cards (apple, itunes, etc..). This is done because gift cards cannot be tracked. Once you send the money via gift card, it is gone forever and cannot be returned. If you are ever asked for money via gift cards, immediately hang up the phone or close the internet browser you are utilizing.

 

If you are ever confronted with an unusual situation, contact your local police department for advice. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do not ever share your personal or financial information with any subjects you do not know. Utilize strong passwords and protect yourself.

I cannot stress this enough, if you are ever in doubt, contact your local PD for information. The IRS will never contact you via phone to obtain payment. If you take away anything from this, these scammers will try and tug at your heart strings to receive what they want. They will lie to you about loved ones, lie to you about your security both physical and financial and threaten you.

 

 

 

 

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