Monday, November 26, 2018

1-800-SCAM

By Mary Kennedy                                             

There are so many annoying scams going around these days, I thought I'd alert you to a few I've encountered this month. You probably have already heard of them, but it never hurts to review them!

FAKE MSN ALERT In this scam, you receive a phone call, purportedly (and falsely) from MSN. The caller alerts you that someone has gained access to your account, is scrolling through all your files and has even gotten ahold of your bank account numbers. The caller says (dramatically!) that the hacker is "withdrawing money from your account right now!" Well, it would be scary if true. Of course, not a word of this is true and the scammer wants you to give them your credit card info so THEY can start withdrawing money from your account. Solution? Just hang up.

HOLDING YOUR COMPUTER HOSTAGE FOR BITCOIN PAYMENT.  This is so silly I can't believe anyone falls for it, but apparently they do. You receive an e-mail telling you that the hacker 1) has all your passwords 2) "knows" your browsing history (and hints that it's something disgraceful that you wouldn't want revealed and 3) orders you to make a bitcoin payment to them or they'll reveal your "dirty secret" to the world. Pretty laughable. If anyone saw my browsing history, they'd know that I'm fond of recipes, book reviews and cat photos! Nothing shocking there. Solution? Ignore the e-mail. And by the way, I wouldn't know how to pay in bitcoin even if I wanted to.
                                                                              

NIGERIANS MESSAGING YOU ON FACEBOOK, PRETENDING TO BE HOLDING MONEY FOR YOU. Again, it's hard to believe anyone falls for this but it's been going around a long time, so someone must be forking over money to these crooks. Someone messages you and pretends they are holding a large amount of money. It's always unclear why a perfect stranger would be "holding" hundreds of thousands of dollars for you, but again, there must be some people who fall victim to this silly scam. The scammer asks that you wire them a few thousand dollars as a "handling fee" and they will immediately wire a huge amount of money to your bank account. Solution? Ignore the message, delete and block.
                                                                         

Hope none of these scams have gotten to you, but forewarned is forearmed and now you know what to do!

Mary Kennedy
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