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Fraudsters are relentless in their development of scams to outsmart the existing authentication controls put in place to protect account information. Here some of the recent scams:
FTC Consumer Complaint Notification Scam (5/20/2015)
The scam email appears to be from the FTC informing you there’s a complaint against your business, and wants you to click on a link. Here’s what one of the scam emails said:
“This notification has been automatically sent to you because we have received a consumer complaint, claiming that your company is violating the CCPA (Consumer Credit Protection Act). According to our policy, we have initiated a formal investigation before taking legal action. You can download the document containing the complaint and the plaintiff contact information, from…” followed by a link.
At first glance, it might look legitimate. It has the FTC seal, the email appears to come from an FTC email address, and the web address looks like it goes to an FTC site. But if you hover over the web address, you’ll see the link actually sends you somewhere else. If you get an email like this, don’t open it. And most important: don’t click on the links. Don’t open any attachments, either. If you do, you could install malware on your computer, causing your device to crash, or allowing a scammer to monitor and control your online activity, steal your personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. You can forward the phony email to firstname.lastname@example.org — but then delete it. Government imposters aren’t just impersonating the FTC. If you get an unexpected email that says it’s from the government and asks you to click on links, open attachments, or share personal information, don’t do it. Even if you think it’s legitimate, it’s best to look up the number and contact the agency directly to check it out.
Find more information at www.consumer.ftc.gov or www.onguardonline.gov.
Robo-call Debit Card Scam (4/03/2015)
Recently, customers of a Michigan bank have received hundreds of robo-calls stating that their debit cards have been compromised and are then asked to share private debit card information. Although this is not Isabella Bank, please remember that Isabella Bank or other financial institutions will NOT call you and ask for personal information. Do not respond to requests for personal information or card numbers if you did not initiate the contact.
Tips to Protect Your Computer from Intrusion (8/26/2014)
Check out our “Protect Yourself from Online Fraud” page for a list of additional resources for more information.
IRS Updates Phone Scams Warning (8/26/2014)
The IRS is again warning the public about phone scams that continue to claim victims all across the country. In these scams, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims. Callers fraudulently claim to be from the IRS and demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has received 90,000 complaints about these scams. TIGTA estimates that thieves have stolen an estimated $5 million from about 1,100 victims. To avoid becoming a victim of these scams, you should know:
Scammers may tell would-be victims that they owe money and that they must pay what they owe immediately. They may also tell them that they are entitled to a large refund. Other characteristics of these scams include:
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
The IRS encourages you to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. Visit the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov, to learn how to report tax fraud and for more information on what you can do to avoid becoming a victim.
Fraudulent Credit Card Charges (2/5/2014)
If you see a $9.84 charge on your credit card statement, you should give it a hard look, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning. The BBB says scammers are charging stolen credit card numbers for a small amount of money. Many recent victims were charged $9.84. The scammers believe many cardholders won't notice the relatively small charge, and the credit card companies won't aggressively investigate such a minor sum.
The BBB says that for the $9.84 scam, the source listed on the credit card bill is an unfamiliar website that turns out to be a generic landing page that claims to offer "Customer Support." Victims have reported calling the "customer support" site and receiving a verbal confirmation that the charge would be canceled. You should contact your credit card issuer to report the charges and request a new credit card.
Avoid ID Theft and Fraud in the New Health Insurance Marketplace (11/08/13)
Obamacare scams come in a variety of forms. Consumers have complained about con artists contacting them by phone, fax, email and even in person. A common version of the scams involves fraudsters claiming to be from the federal government and directing consumers to purchase insurance cards in order to be eligible for coverage under the ACA. Scammers intimidate consumers to give them their bank account or make a direct cash transfer by using words like “it is the law” or “the government now requires it.”
Most people don’t have to do anything. If you already have health insurance through your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, your school, the Veteran’s Administration, or some other program, you don’t have to sign up, get a new insurance card or make any changes.
Utility Scam (11/08/13)
The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) warns utility consumers of a growing telephone scam across the country. The scam involves telephone callers claiming to be from a utility company and then employing a variety of techniques to defraud customers.
US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) has received reports of Department of Homeland Security-themed ransomware (04/08/13)
US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) has received reports of Department of Homeland Security-themed ransomware. Users who are being targeted by the ransomware receive an email message claiming that use of their computer has been suspended and that the user must pay a fine to unblock it. The ransomware falsely claims to be from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Division.
Users who are infected with the malware should consult with a reputable security expert to assist in removing the malware, or perform a clean reinstallation of their OS after formatting their computer's hard drive.
US-CERT and DHS encourage users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventive measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns that attempt to frighten and deceive a recipient for the purpose of illegal gain.
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