Beware of fraudulent emails, emails and phone calls

In the last few days I have received two separate text messages that appear to come from both Amazon and Venmo. It said the account was locked due to “multiple unsuccessful attempts to log into the account”. Each had a link to a webpage where you could “restore your account”, but in both cases it was a scam. Had I clicked on those links and provided my login information, the thief could have accessed my account.

Messages about lockouts or security issues are often fraudulent, so I’m quick to be suspicious. In these cases, the weblinks did not end with “” or “”, which clearly led them to fraudulent sites. However, having carefully examined the links, it was clear.In some cases, a link may contain the name of a legitimate organization, but end up with a different name. There are still ways to trick users by spoofing web addresses or typing the name of a site without using the real address. you usually do. For example, if you get a message that your Amazon account is locked, log into and see what happens. It may not have been locked and the message was a scam. If it’s locked, you’ll see a message when you try to log in. As long as you’re 100% sure you’re going to the correct site (check the URL to make sure), you should be fine. recovery process.

phone scam

You don’t need a computer or smartphone to get scammed. There are also calls that claim to be Costco, Marriott, Hilton, or other reputable companies, and usually offer “free vacations” and other enticements. These days I just hang up, but sometimes I ask people on the phone about their actual relationship with the company. They try to make you think they work for the company, but usually they say no. In these cases, they are usually trying to sell you something of little or no value. I don’t even know if I own a . Legitimate extended warranty companies are less likely to engage in telemarketing and will not claim to know your warranty has expired. , please contact yourself.

Also, get sick of calls claiming to be from the IRS, Social Security, Medicare, Microsoft, Apple, or other seemingly legitimate entities. There are several people who claim to do so. The IRS never calls. If they think you owe money, they will send you a letter. These “Microsoft” calls often tell you that your computer is infected with a virus and when you engage them ask permission to install software on your computer to “fix” the problem. There are cases. They may also ask you for money. Paying or not, just allowing them access to your device puts you at risk.

Fake Microsoft calls aren’t the only computer virus scams. Just this month, a 70-year-old man from Rochester, Minnesota was scammed out of his $18,000.according to report A pop-up message appeared on his computer from KTTC TV, saying, “Warning of the presence of a virus, and a phone number for help.” He called the number and was instructed to send his $15,000 to an address in New York, then to an address in California where he was told to send a gift card worth $3,000.

Tired of Support search results

Also, pay attention to the companies you find in your web searches. A few years ago I had a paper jam in my HP printer, so I googled HP support and found a convincing web page. I called the number and was told to click on a link so they could install software to analyze the problem. Feeling suspicious, I checked the URL of the page I arrived at, and found that it was not HP. A friend of mine recently had a similar experience with “Apple”, only to allow him to install software on his computer, credit his card to access his account and charge hundreds of dollars It’s decided. It worked in the end. She disputed the credit with her card company, obtained her new card number, and removed her remote access program from her PC.

In my friend’s case, the scammer tried to get her to buy an Apple gift card and provide her number, which is also a very common scam. Even IRS scams sometimes ask for gift cards.

There are support organizations that legally require you to install software so that they can diagnose and possibly fix problems remotely, but you should never do this unless you are 100% sure it is justified It is not.

Online Advertising and Bad Amazon Merchants

Some may expect Facebook and other social media companies to vette advertisers carefully, but sleazy advertisers get by. I know someone who bought her Facebook ad for “Bombas” socks at a very high price, and it was literally way too expensive to be true. Those who responded to the advertisement would, if anything, get cheap counterfeit socks.

There are even merchants who sell through Amazon who can scam you. tech radar There is talk of terabyte microSD memory cards being sold on Amazon for far cheaper than the official cards. Some people don’t realize that Amazon isn’t just an e-tailer, it’s a platform for third-party merchants around the world. When you order something (especially if it’s very attractively priced), it’s a good idea to read reviews and try it thoroughly before the 30-day return period ends so you can return it if you don’t. Recommended. Works as advertised. Amazon will waive return shipping charges if the item is defective or if the “website description is inaccurate”.

Pay for what you get for free

I recently needed to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, so I googled “get an EIN number”. The first few hits (all sponsored links) pointed to commercial activity. Some even had the IRS as part of the web address. But when I scrolled down, I found one ending with This is of course his actual IRS site. On the IRS site it took him about 3 minutes to apply for an EIN and he got a new number in no time. We are not saying that these commercial sites are conducting criminal activity. In fact, it may help you get your EIN number. But nothing is easier than a free official government site. If you come across a site that claims to help you fill out forms, get loans, licenses, or anything else from the government, check the government site itself first. reduce the risk of being victimized by

many other types of fraud

The FBI has a page with other types of lists. common fraud and crime Including adoption fraud, business investment fraud, charity and disaster fraud, and more. Also, be sick of scammers trying to take advantage of big events like the Silicon Valley Bank collapse. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone trying to use .

Larry Magid is a technology journalist and Internet safety activist. Beware of fraudulent emails, emails and phone calls

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