Hacker’s brief

Information for this week’s Hacker’s Brief is provided by CyberWyoming Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit affiliate of CyberWyoming. 

Reply ASAP for Claims: A Sheridan citizen reported an email with the subject line of “GIFT” from Navarro Sandrine at s.navarro@ch-compiegneoyon.fr. The only words in the phishing email were “Donation. Reply ASAP for claims.” CyberWyoming Note: These are meant to pique your interest and get you to reply so the scammer can engage you in further conversations. Don’t take the bait.

Mr. Yan Family Scam: If you receive an email from weebteest39@mail.bg claiming to seek your assistance with an $18 million dollar investment fund, don’t reply. A Laramie citizen reported it as a scam.

McAfee Order Email Scam: A Laramie citizen reported a McAfee Security Deluxe order notice for $489.99 from Store_Invoice at kyahu9140@gmail.com with the subject line of “Order##Paid###.” The citizen pointed out that she didn’t use McAfee’s antivirus software and that the scammer had forgotten to proofread the invoice because the order was for McAfee’s product but also said “If you any need help regarding your Norton purchase…” Norton and McAfee are separate products.

Impersonating Amazon on the Phone: A Wyoming citizen reported two different phone calls impersonating Amazon. Both were to supposedly confirm orders for a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 11. The scammer tells you to press 1 if you didn’t order the item. CyberWyoming Note: Just hang up. Pressing 1 tells scammers that your phone number is active and can open you up to more calls like this. Also, report the phone number to the FTC at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/ or the do not call list athttps://www.donotcall.gov/report.html.

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McAfee Order Confarmation Scam: Yes, the scammers did misspell confirmation in the subject line of this email. A Sheridan citizen reported a scam renewal notice for McAfee Security Ultimate Plus, which is a product that doesn’t exist. The email was from advenikaurn358@gmail.com spoofed as Support Team.

Windows Defender is Free with the Windows Operating System: A Cheyenne citizen reported a very well branded (even had the Microsoft copyright symbol) scam email confirming the order for Windows Defender Advanced Threat protection for $399. (Windows Defender is antivirus software that comes with the Windows operating system and is not an extra charge.) This citizen is using a Mac and identified the email as fake because of that, several typos, and a strange greeting.

Paid to Drive Scam: If you receive an email offering to pay you $500/week to drive around with a car wrap advertising for a well-known product, it is a scam. The FTC has excellent documentation on these types of scams: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/12/wrapping-2020-more-car-wrap-scams. This scam wants a lot of personal information about you, and you are supposed to send it to claims.officerjames.holder@gmail.com. The email’s subject line is “Please respond only if interested” and it is from Bryan Anderson at bryan.anderson1470@gmail.com. Reported by a Sheridan citizen.

Phone Hacking Alert: With the spy program called Pegasus in the news recently that diverts incoming calls and texts, the best way to protect yourself is have a hard and unique password for your cell service account. In addition, check your cell phone’s call forwarding settings. If it is switched on and you didn’t set it, switch it off. Finally, you can also get an encryption application for your phone to jumble your data and voice messages. Top signs that your phone has been hacked: your battery needs charging more often, your phone is running really slowly or acting strangely, there are apps you didn’t install, background noise on every call, there is a drop in calls/texts you get but your data bill is higher, or you spot your name in a social media site and you didn’t post there indicating that the hacker got access to your online accounts from your phone.

FTC Advice – What to Do If You Think You Have Paid a Scammer: Act quickly by contacting the bank, gift card, wire transfer, or credit card company and notify them it was a fraudulent transaction. As them to reverse the transaction and give you your money back.

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FTC Advice – 4 Signs that It is a Scam: 1. Scammers often pretend to contact you on behalf of the government or a business you know and may even use a fake phone number that looks like it came from the organization. 2. Scammers often say that there is a problem, or you won a prize. 3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. 4. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.

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 Google’s Chrome Browser, VMware vCenter Server, Microsoft’s Edge browser, and SonicWall SMA 100 Series products. If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.

Please report scams to alert your friends and neighbors.

Other ways to report a scam:

Victim Support: The AARP Fraud Watch Network and Volunteers of America (VOA) created a new, free program to provide emotional support for people impacted by scam or fraud, called ReST. Visit aarp.org/fraudsupport to learn more about the free program and register.