Hacker’s brief

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

IRS Commissioner Not Contacting You: Although Charles Rettig is the current US Commissioner of the IRS, a Sheridan citizen wants you to know that Rettig is not contacting you about $87.5 million that will be delivered to your address via the USPS. Don’t give the scammers the personal information they request in the email. The subject line of the email is “Greetings” and the email is from dipwilliegreen@gmail.com, spoofed as the impersonated IRS Commissioner.

Investigate the Sender’s Email Address: Two very real looking Amazon order confirmation emails were reported by a Sheridan citizen. The coloring and branding is almost exactly what Amazon emails really look like, however, if you examine it closely, the emails were sent from Gmail addresses, not an Amazon customer service address. CyberWyoming Note: Remember never to click a link in an email. Instead, type in Amazon.com to access your account and check the order history.

Norton Antivirus Scams Reported Throughout Wyoming: Last week, two Norton Antivirus Scams were reported and since then several more have been reported. A Sheridan citizen found a great online resource that helps to tell if what you are seeing is real or fake. It is published by the real Norton. The webpage lists real Norton domains (email addresses) and describes when Norton will and will not contact you.

Weather.com Redirect: A Florida citizen who enjoys visiting Wyoming and Wyoming history reported a scam where he typed in weather.com on his browser and was redirected to a McAfee pop-up window claiming his subscription had expired. The renew subscription button didn’t go to McAfee or its resellers. CyberWyoming Note: If you find these pop-up windows annoying, search for a legitimate pop-up blocker and add it to your internet browser.

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Riot Games Impersonated in Employment Scam: If you know a budding young programmer who would love to work for a leading gaming company called Riot Games, talk to them about standard employment practices. Riot Games is being impersonated by scammers with a job scam. Scammers can impersonate legitimate companies with very convincing job offers and then require training, fees for background checks, or equipment to be purchased up front with the promise of reimbursement once the hiring paperwork is complete. Legitimate job offers never require up front investments.

Student Loan Repayments Extended Until May: Please remind any students in your friends and family network that there are multiple scams involving student loan repayments. Before the student in your family gives out his/her Federal Student Aid ID, check with the official website at studentaid.gov.

Cost of Crypto: Scambuster’s sent a warning about the looming danger of cryptocurrency scams in 2022. A new report from market-watchers Chainalysis says crypto crooks stole a total of $7 billion worldwide in 2021, almost double the figure for the prior year. Get proper financial advice before dabbling in crypto.


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FTC New Crypto Payment Scam Alert: If you receive a call from someone pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility company that directs you to withdraw money from your bank account and then go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM to buy cryptocurrency be very wary. The scammer provides you a QR code with their address embedded in it and once you purchase the cryptocurrency and scan the QR code, the money is transferred to them. No one from the government, law enforcement, or a utility will tell you to pay them in cryptocurrency.

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 Oracle, Google’s Chrome browser, Zoho Desktop Central, and Zoho Desktop Central MSP 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.