Scam of the day – July 2, 2013 – Fourth of July scams

Every season is scam season and every day provides unique opportunity for scam artists, the only criminals that we call artists, to try to scam us out of our hard earned money.  Here are a few scams that you should be aware of that will be coming on the Fourth of July.  Many scammers send out emails or text messages purportedly from your bank, the IRS or any of a number of state and federal agencies in which they require you to provide personal information under the guise of some emergency, such as an alleged security breach at your bank.  They do this because if they can frighten you enough to act, you are unable to confirm with the real entity as to whether the communication is legitimate because all of these entities will be closed on the Fourth of July.  If you provide the requested information, it will be used against you to make you a victim of identity theft.  You also should be wary of Fourth of July e cards that you may receive.  These can be loaded with keystroke logging malware that will steal all of the information from your computer or portable device if you download the malware by clicking on the link.  You should also be wary of messages that appear on your Facebook page with links to Fourth of July themed videos that arouse your curiosity.  Again, the links contained within these messages may be loaded with keystroke logging malware.

TIPS

The IRS and many other state and federal agencies will not initiate communications with you through email so you can disregard that email from the IRS or other similar entities.  It is important to be skeptical of any email or text message that you receive that requests personal information.  Never provide such information or click on links in such emails unless you are absolutely sure that the request is legitimate and you can’t be sure unless you have confirmed with the person or entity that purportedly sent it that it is indeed legitimate.  If you can’t confirm on the Fourth of July, let it wait until you can.  As for e cards, never click on a link to an e card unless the message specifically indicates from whom it is being sent and only then after you have confirmed with that person that they indeed did send you an e card.