A Scam Featuring BBB Credentials

As a note to folks in business, a rash of scams involving e-mails that purport to be from the Better Business bureau is making the rounds.

Here's a note from the Denver Bureau describing the fraudulent e-mail.

If you receive a note from the BBB that seems fishy, call your local bureau instead of clicking on the links in the note.

Elderly Folks Alleged to have been Victimized

A sad story in Illinois where two women are accused of stealing the identities of elderly patients at the hospital where one of them women worked.

As a reminder, "Friendly Fraud," the type where the victim knew the fraudster is extremely difficult to prevent and detect.

Out of pocket costs to victims of "friendly fraud" is around 6 times the out of pocket cost for other types of fraud, according to research published this year.

Mom always said don't talk to strangers

And don't you know it, that sage advice applies to the digital world as well.

A recent version of an old scam recently crossed my desk on Twitter. When doing a Retweet of someone else's post (like we did with the SocialMedia411 Facebook scam), a stranger saw my Retweet, used the @USER_Name function to get my attention, and only included a link that was shortened using one of the URL shorteners that you see regularly on Twitter (Bit.ly, TinyUrl, etc). Because it was a shortened URL, there was no way to tell where the link was going.

As it turns out, the link was to a site claiming I won a prize if I filled out some information.

Behind the link, of course, was malware for my computer, and if I would have filled out the info, I would have simply given personal information to thieves.

So, going back to Mom's advice, don't talk to strangers online, especially if all they've done is sent you a link.

-Posted by Mike

Possible Yahoo Breach Involving 450,000 Passwords

According to the Washington Post, Yahoo is investigating a possible security breach exposing 450,000 passwords. 

Right now, it is thought that a group calling themselves D33D Company is behind the attack. 

As always, PrivacyGuard recommends using smart password tips. 

Posted by Katie

Tax ID Theft Still a Problem

In February, we released the findings of our annual survey about consumer's attitudes toward tax preparation and ID theftWe found that roughly half of consumers don't know how the IRS will contact them. 

The dangers associated with this just become more apparent. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the IRS is estimating that more than 1.3 Million tax returns were related to ID Theft

As a reminder, the IRS won't initiate contact via e-mail

Obama Utility Scam

A new, unusual scam has been reported. People are going door to door acting as representatives of Obama, and pledging to help pay your utility bill. Of course in order to register in this program (scam), the representatives are asking victims for personal information- including Social Security Numbers.

Many people are buying into this scam under such pretenses that maybe Obama would offer to pay utility bills in order to gain support for the upcoming election.

Do not be fooled! The President doesn’t have a program running to pay your utility bills.

As always, this is a standard tip from PrivacyGuard:

Do not give out personal information like your Social Security Number to just anyone!

Posted by Katie

Being Caught Oversharing

Over-sharing on social media sites is nothing new.

From MySpace surveys that were engineered by thieves to find out personally identifiable information (many surveys included mother's maiden name, or the first address you lived at, etc... all of which are questions that can be used to validate a person's identity for a credit report), to telling thieves when you're going to be away from your home.

On Twitter, a new user name is punishing folks who post pictures of their debit cards online.

We'd obviously never condone such an action (either posting pics of your personal information online, or aggregating this information).

But, at least they're bringing more awareness to over-sharing.