Scam of the day – November 5, 2012 – Free iPad mini scam

Scammers always take advantage of whatever is new and exciting in the news so it is not a surprise that scams surrounding the introduction by Apple of the new iPad mini are being used to steal money from unwary victims.  You may receive a message on your Facebook page that you have been chosen to receive a free iPad mini.  All you need to do is click on a link that leads you to a “Request for Permission” page on Facebook.  Unfortunately, if you give permission, you won’t get a free iPad mini, but will succeed in downloading an app that will enable the scammer to use your Facebook account to send out more phony messages to all of your friends who are likely to trust the message because it appears to come from you.  If they, in turn, click on the link provided to them to get a free iPad mini, they will end up either providing information that will be used to make them victims of identity theft or unwittingly, they will download a keystroke logging malware program that can steal the information from their computers such as passwords, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers.

TIPS

As I always say, “Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  No one is giving out free iPad minis and why should you have been selected when you never even entered a contest?  If it looks too good to be true, it generally is.  Don’t trust messages on your Facebook page or in your email that contain links.  You can never be sure when you first see such a message that it is indeed from your friend instead of a hacker nor can you be sure that even if the message is from your friend that your friend is not unknowingly passing on malware or a scam.  Never click on a link until you have confirmed it is legitimate.  If you do manage to install a malicious app, remove the message from your timeline, revoke the app’s publishing rights and report the scam to Facebook and make sure that you have revoked access to your Facebook account.

Scam of the day – September 10, 2012 – Smart Phone Scams

Although many of us are very cognizant of protecting our computers from the slings and arrows of outrageous hackers and identity thieves many people do not take the same security precautions with our smart phone, tablets and other portable devices.  Many people use these devices for making purchases online, doing online banking and other financial transactions as well as storing sensitive personal information.  If your portable device is hacked, it can lead to a devastating identity theft.

TIPS

Protect your portable device with a complex and unique password so that if your device is physically lost or stolen, the information contained in it will be secure.  Also get a good encryption app.  Google Play has many good encryption apps for androids.  The premium form of the app Lookout, which for only $29.99 a year, has a feature that continually scans your other apps for viruses or malware and can also lock your phone remotely or eliminate all of your stored data if your device is lost or stolen.