This week’s Hacker’s Brief is provided by CyberWyoming Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit affiliate of CyberWyoming.
BCI bath & shower scam: A very believable fake product scam has been reported by a Laramie citizen. The email has pictures of before and after bathroom and shower systems. The email tries to convince consumers to remodel their bathroom and the email is very believable. The subject of the email is “Time to Remodel Your Bath & Shower?” and the email is from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obamacare insurance scam: Wyoming residents have been getting an email offering them free insurance quotes from what looks like Obamacare but if you look at the email sender it’s actually from email@example.com. The email offers lower monthly premiums and quotes within minutes, but the sender is really after your personal information.
Telephony phone plans: Similar emails are going around that are offering Wyoming VoIP plans. The business the scammer claims to work for is Telephony. Look for the line “…my agency MachTel offers unlimited calling business phone plans in Wyoming starting under $20/Month.” Also, be on the lookout for a similar email with the subject line “Free this afternoon?”
FDC hyperlink trainings: A Laramie resident has reported getting an email including dozens of links to “trainings” that a company called FDC Trainings offers. These links are most likely malware and will corrupt your computer or steal your data so stay away from them. The email is from firstname.lastname@example.org and the subject of the email is “Invitation to FDC training Programme June 2021.”
Select quote life insurance: An email from email@example.com offers a free life insurance quote but this is a scam. The emailer offers a $500,000 life insurance policy for under $19 a month which seems too good to be true because it is. Don’t click on the “get a free quote” button.
Student loan repayment program: An email claiming to help you qualify for student loan repayment is going out to Wyoming citizens. The email offers forgiveness programs, the ability to lower your high-interest rates and potentially cut your payments up to 80%. The email also claims to have been seen on MSNCB, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and even AOL, however, nowhere in the email do they tell you their company’s name so you can verify this.
CBD gummies scam: A Laramie resident is reporting receiving a fake CBD product offer. The email starts with the line “CBD the 100% Natural Way to Live Better.” Then the email wraps up by offering a find out more button with the line “Get the present you really want.” This is a fake product offer, so don’t order it.
TelaConnex VoIP solutions: An emailer claiming to work for a company called TelaConnex is offering citizens “unlimited calling, SMS and text support, voicemail to email, best in class apps and tons of free extras.” The email is from firstname.lastname@example.org, which clearly isn’t a company email address.
Luggage scam: An interesting story is being circulated to people from H.J.Bongartz@t- online.de. The emailer claims to be a man named Mr. Dennis Newman and he works at the Melbourne, Florida airport. Luckily, he has come across a package for you that has ten million dollars in it! All you have to do to get the money is provide your name, address, phone number, occupation, age, gender, marital status, driver’s license and the nearest airport. If you send him this information you will most likely get your identity stolen.
Harry’s marketing: This email wants you to redeem your trial of Harry’s razors. If you look closer, you will see that this email is sent by email@example.com and not anyone associated with Harry’s razors. If you have business with Harry’s razors, it is best to do it directly through their website and not through email.
Federal reserve phone scam: Officer Michael Brown with the Federal Reserve System is calling on a recorded call stating that your bank accounts will be suspended due to fraudulent activity and if this is ‘in error’ press 1. If you do not press 1, the call states that all your bank accounts will be blocked permanently. This is a scam reported by a Laramie citizen.
Phone scam “This is the legal department”: A Laramie citizen reported a recorded phone call saying “This is the legal department. You must set aside your work and press 9 because a legal action has been filed under your name.” Just hang up.
Tax scams: If you receive a text message from the IRS saying your tax return has been rejected, a refund message from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), or a 1099-G when you didn’t claim unemployment benefits, these could be tax scams. The IRS doesn’t ever send texts. The TAP does not notify taxpayers about refunds. And if you get a 1099-G and should not have received one, call the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, unemployment division.
Other tax scams seen this year include:
- Ghost tax preparers – Fake tax preparers who don’t sign the forms they return are a red flag.
- Transcript hooks – emails that claim to have a transcript of a conversation with the IRS.
- Requests to pay a fee to get a stimulus check.
- There is no Bureau of Tax Enforcement – this is a bogus agency made up by scammers.
- For others, check out the IRS’s website at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/dirty-dozen.
MS-ISAC Patch Now Alert: The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) has published a patch now (update your software) alert for Microsoft, Apple (macOS Big Sur, watchOS, iOS, Safari, and iPadOS) and Adobe (Connect, Creative Cloud Desktop App, and Framemaker) products. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) updated.
Report scams to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other ways to report a scam:
· Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker
· File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission
· Report your scam to the FBI
· Report unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registration or call 1 (888) 382-1222, and select Option 3
· Office of the Inspector General