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International Fraud Week

topics 10.11.2011 No Comments
International Fraud Week
E-mail spam relayed by country in Q2/2007, sou...

International Fraud Week currently underway, and what better to celebrate this with some tips to help keep yourself safe!

First off if you do not currently have any anti-virus program installed on your computer please go here after reading this article and purchase Eset NoD 32. If you do have an anti-virus program check to make sure that it is updated and has been performing scans. If it has not done a scan in a while there is a good chance that a virus has gotten past your a/v program and you could be infected.

What is Phishing you may ask. Phishing is the art of “fishing information” from you that you would not knowingly give to a crook, such as you bank account number and password and these “phishing attacks” can come in many forms such as email, a website, or a phone call.

How does one get “phished”? There are many ways, but often times it is in the form of an email that you receive from your bank, credit card company, paypal, ebay or some other company that you know of. They ask you to verify some information to help protect your account or what not and then you have just given the crooks everything they need to know because that email did not contain a link to your bank but to their website that has been set up to resemble your banks.

How can you be sure of that the email is from your bank? Look at the top of your email, there often is something there that says header or advanced information and that there can show you if it originated from your bank. But that is not fool proof! I know that I personally have had an email account of mine (Hotmail accounts are not very secure) that was used to send emails out to various individuals in some sort of a scam. Here are farther ways to protect yourself from these attacks. If you are not sure of the email, then do not click any links in it, rather go to your banks website directly and log in there. Anything that was important enough for them to email to you would be readily available there or by calling your local branch.

Do not download attachments as there are numerous attacks that can be generated by any number of files that you may download. This does not mean not to open emails or pictures that your Aunt Suzy emailed to you, but if your Aunt Suzy does not usually send you an attachment, or a picture then be suspicious! When in doubt call or write back before opening or downloading.

If the email is offering you a job but you have to do this or that, do not fall for it. The old adage goes “If it’s too good to be true, then it is.” There are more scams created daily on the Internet than one could imagine, and no matter how much information is given to everyone about these scams, people still fall for them on a daily basis.

That is just a brief bit of information about how information can be “phished” from you on the Internet, now on to a few other ways. “Phishers” can also call you to have you verify information about your bank account, your Medicare insurance, or your tax return. Never verify information from anyone that calls you. Simply tell them that you will be more than happy to verify your account information, but now is not a good time and that you will call in when you have free time to do so. Now here is the part that will help catch them, possibly, Ask them for their phone number, extension, employee ID number etc.. Then call your bank and ask them if this was a valid call, and have them validate the information that you were given. If not then maybe that will be enough information for them to contact the authorities with and catch them.

Always check the address of the link that you are about to click on, most browsers will display the destination or the URL in the bottom of the browser, if it doesn’t match with what you know should be there, do not click on it.

Also, in the address bar of your browser you will see “http://”, if you need to use a name and password on that site or have to enter sensitive information that address should look like this “https://” the “s” meaning that it is secured.

When browsing the Internet, and you stumble upon a survey to fill out to get something for free, be leery of the information that you give out. I recommend having a “junk email” account, one that you use to sign up for offers, give-aways, register with a website, etc. This email account is not one that you will keep an address book full of contacts in, it is not one that you will use to email your friends, family or anyone for that matter.

If you feel that you may have already been the victim of an attack, the best things that you can do are: change your passwords immediately to all of your accounts everywhere, contact your banks, and credit card companies and inform them of your suspicions and ask that they monitor your accounts for fraud, contact the credit bureaus and have them flag you for possible fraud. Check with your insurance company, bank, employer, credit card company to find out if they provide you with any identity theft protection currently. I know that my insurance company has this included as a benefit in my plan.

Please feel free to link to this information and share it with everyone.

Chuq Jackels

Owner

Nu 2U PC

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