Archive for the Category ◊ phishing scam ◊

Recent reports of a phishing scam where users are asked to put in their passwords were tricked, and the passwords were put up on the Internet for everyone to see.

This was originally thought it was only Microsoft’s Hotmail, but it seems to have stretched to Yahoo mail, Google Mail, Comcast, Earthlink and others.

The hackers tricked users into putting passwords into a bogus site, and stole the passwords, then published them on a website.

Here is the full article

If you think you have been scammed, I highly suggest you go in and change your passwords, especially if they are the same for other things that someone might be able to hack into.

Kids Website being used by Identity Thiefs
Friday, July 10th, 2009 | Author:

Neopets is a website for kids where they can adopt these “cyber-pets” which I guess is a cool thing if you are a kid. You take care of it and it grows and does stuff. Most of the kids are between 8 and 12 years old, but some are as young as 6. There are over 25 million users on this site!
Media giant Viacom (MTV) owns the site where hackers have taken advantage of kids to steal identities. They send the kids an an email or message telling them there is a secret site where they can get a magic paint brush to change their pet and not cost them points.
The kids go to the secret site and never get the magic paintbrush. The scam site works by getting mom and dads important information off the computer.
This is a good (or bad) example of Malware. This is the stuff I have mentioned in many of my blogs and on KGAL’s Tech Talk. This bad stuff gets loaded on the computer when the kids go to the infected “secret” web site.
This is another great example where parents have to be vigilant in watching what their kids do on the Internet. It is also a great case for having up to date Internet Security/Anti Virus software and making sure it is constantly being updated with the latest definitions.
You know if a huge money making company like Viacom and MTV are doing something free for kids, you can be assured that there is some marketing ploy behind the whole thing anyway.
As an old Sergeant used to say on Hill Street Blues, “Hey, let’s be careful out there!”
Beware of Phone Tech Support Scam
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 | Author:

A company called Support On Click is randomly calling phone numbers pretending to know you have problems on your computer, and offering to fix them. This is pretty crazy, read on!

A customer contacted us today with information that a call came to her house from a Tech Support agency. They had foreign accents and said they saw the error messages on her computer, and we ready to help her fix the problems.

Here is the catch, she was having problems, and getting error messages too!

Thankfully this customer was really sharp and leery of this whole thing. She started asking questions, and the answers did not stack up, and they were hard to understand, possibly Indian or Middle Eastern.

They said they were from New York and a company called Support on Click, and gave her a website. They wanted her to let them into her computer with remote access so they could fix her problem.

Thankfully she called us because this sounded like a scam. I did a little investigating and here is what I found:

I did a search in Google on the phone number and there are many people who have gotten unsolicited calls for support from these people. They all said about the same thing, it seemed very much like a scam and all mentioned foreign accents. When you start to type in Google – Support on click scam, it shows over 3 million people have searched for this term. Interesting, isn’t it?

I checked out the domain on the website to see who owned it, guess where it came back to? West Bengal, India. The website only has phone numbers and is very sparse on any info about the company.

Apparently a relative of hers also got a call, and he does not own a computer. So they are out there, calling randomly, probably using auto dialers. They are trying to trick people into letting them into their computer. Once in your computer, they can do just about anything they want and it is too late.

Don’t fall for this. If you have any questions on the validity of a call like this, feel free to contact us. Just avoid these kinds of solicitations as they are just trying to rip you off and who knows what.

Make sure you know who is working on your computer, and that you can trust them!

Parking Ticket, Phishing, Trojan Viruses, Oh My!
Sunday, March 15th, 2009 | Author:

You walk out of the store into the busy parking lot and on your windshield sits a little yellow jewel. A parking ticket! Money is not tight enough, now you have to deal with this stinking ticket.
When you get home, you look at it, and there is a website to take care of it. Being the budding geek that you are, you go online to take care of it. After all, you pay your bills, get airline tickets, and do your banking online. Paying a ticket will be a cinch.

However, you could be directed to a site that installs malware or viruses on your computer or worse yet, trick you into giving them your personal information.

In Grand Forks North Dakota, people received parking tickets, and when they went to the website, they got to a site that looked pretty real; it even had photos of cars parked badly. Once they got there, the site attempted to download Malware onto their computer.

This is touted as the first recorded instance of this kind of scam. It is a real world phishing scam, where they contact you in the real world, then get you to go to a website, which in turn, is trying to install crud on your computer. Normally, this type of scam has been limited to email or websites.

This particular scam was mainly trying to load malware on to the unsuspecting users computer. It is quite easy to take this one step further with not much work. The scammers could have the user put in their credit card info, social security, drivers’ license number, and who knows what. Poof! Identity info stolen.

So far this particular scam was very limited to that community, but it is something to be aware of.

Remember, whenever going to websites, look at the name before you type them in. If you are not sure, go to the site directly. For instance, if you got a ticket in Lebanon or Albany that was suspicious like this, go to the city website first, and see if it is real. If you are still not sure call them.

Under no circumstance, do you want to go to the site from the link on the fake ticket. You also do not want to put any important info in any site that you are not sure of. Many of the Internet Security programs including Trend Micro have a phishing filter that helps with this type of bad stuff. But those scammers might even be able to get around your filter.

Remember, common sense rules! If you are not sure, don’t go there and don’t put in personal information unless you are 100% confident of the site.

Since we are in tax season here is another important tip:

Last year the IRS reported record numbers of scams about taxes. People received emails saying they are being audited, or they need to correct their personal info with the IRS and they were bogus.

Here is a website with information from the IRS on how to spot IRS scams, and what to do if you think you received one: http://www.irs.gov/privacy/article/0,,id=179820,00.html?portlet=5

Here is a link to a little more of the details of the North Dakota incident: http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2235808/parking-ticket-scam-brings

Web Crimes are Skyrocketing
Saturday, January 17th, 2009 | Author:

This is an interesting article on how Web based crimes have dramatically increased recently.

Don’t forget, the key to staying safe and protected are:

1. Make sure you have current Antivirus protection, and it is updating and scanning your computer on a regular basis.

2. Never, NEVER click on a link from email. If you get an email from your bank (or so it looks like your bank) DO NOT click on the link, go to your browser, and type in http://www.usbank.com/ or whatever the address is. Clicking on a link is dangerous

3. Always make sure the website address shows a letter “s” in the http portion of the address. That shows you have a secure connection. Also make sure there is a yellow or gold LOCK on your browser, usually on the bottom right. Both will help you make sure you are on a secure website.

4. Do not download or click on anything that says it is going to make your computer faster, better or that you have viruses and it will help you. These are all scams. Know what Antivirus Software you have on your computer and if you get a notice that TREND MICRO is saying to do something, and that is your anti-virus program, make sure you pay attention to those messages.

5. Always allow Microsoft Windows to do updates on your computer to make sure you get the latest security updates.