Scam of the day – April 8, 2014 – Latest security update from the Department of Homeland Security

As regular followers of Scamicide know, whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible because identity thieves and scammers are always finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  That is why we provide links to the necessary patches and updates as provided by the Department of Homeland Security.  Today’s software update applies to Apple’s Safari browser.

TIPS

Here is a link to the latest release from the Department of Homeland Security with links to this important security update:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2014/04/02/Apple-Releases-Security-Updates-Safari

 

Scam of the day – September 17, 2012 – iPhone 5 scams

Identity thieves take advantage of every major event to their illegal ends and the launching of Apple’s new iPhone 5 is sure to be no exception to this rule.  There will be numerous scams and identity theft schemes revolving around the iPhone 5.  You may receive phony emails, text messages or Facebook messages telling you that you should click on a link to get the new iPhone at a dramatically discounted price.  You may receive phony emails, text messages or Facebook messages to click on a link for special information about the iPhone.  You may go to a  “discounter” who will sell you a new iPhone 5 only to find out that your box is empty or contains a worthless or even dangerous knockoff.  You may even receive an email or text message telling you that you have been selected to test the new iPhone 5 and will receive one free for your services.   They give you a link to click on for further information and details.  All of these are scams.  If you click on any of these links, you will download keystroke logging malware that will steal the information from your computer or other electronic device and make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Never click on links unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate.  If you don’t know the source, don’t click on the link and even if you do know the source, it is risky to click on the link because a friend may unwittingly be passing on the malware to you.  Remember even messages that appear to come from your friends may be coming from identity thieves who have hacked into your friend’s email account or Facebook account.  If you want information about the iPhone, go to Apple’s website and if you want to purchase one, go to legitimate, well-established brick and mortar stores.

Scam of the day – September 8, 2012 – iTunes bill scam

Recently Theresa Brown was shocked to receive an e mail with a huge bill for her iTunes account.  Like so many phishing scams, where you receive an email that appears entirely legitimate, the bill indicated that if she disputed the charge, she needed to click on a link contained in the email.  Fortunately, Ms. Brown was savvy enough to check her credit card records for the credit card that she had provided to Apple from which her iTunes charges were automatically deducted and found that there were no charges.  It was then that she realized for sure that this was a scam.

TIPS

If Theresa Brown had reacted in panic upon receiving such a huge bill and clicked on the link contained in the email that looked entirely legitimate, she would have ended up downloading a keystroke logging program on her computer that would have stolen all of her personal information from her computer and taken the first step toward her becoming a victim of identity theft.  NEVER click on links contained in emails from companies with which you do business no matter how legitimate they look.  You can never be sure if it is legitimate or a phishing scam.  If you have any questions, call the company at a number that you know is accurate.

Scam of the day – August 26, 2012 – Apple ID password scam

For many years, Apple product owners felt somewhat secure that they were less apt to be the target of computer scams than  owners of PCs where most scammers and identity thieves had been focusing their attention.  However, as exemplified by a new scam designed to obtain Apple users’ IDs, this is no longer the case.  The new scam is a phishing scam by which you receive a phony email that informs you that there is a problem with your Apple ID.  These emails look quite similar to the email you would get when you reset your Apple ID password and look legitimate.  They are not.  The link in the email will take you to a phony website that will solicit information from you that can make you a victim of identity theft as well as download malware on your computer that can steal personal information from your computer.

TIPS

Never click on a link from a source you are not absolutely sure is accurate.  If you receive such an email as described above and believe there is a possibility that it might be legitimate, contact Apple at an email address or telephone number that you know is accurate to find out if the communication sent to you is accurate.  You will find that it is not.  Some more advanced browsers will allow you to hold your mouse over the link on the phony email and the real URL that you will be taken to will be shown.  If it shows a different URL than that of the link or does not name the legitimate company, you can be sure that it is a scam.  Of course, make sure that you do NOT click on the link as to do so will put you at great danger of identity theft.

Scam of the day – March 19, 2012 – New iPad scam

Once again, the scammers are there when anything new catches the public’s attention.  This time it involves Apple’s release of the newest iPad, which, once again is exciting the buying public.  But why buy a new iPad when you can get one for free.  Turning up in emails and on Facebook pages are offers of free iPads in exchange for merely testing the iPad.  If you click to the link to claim your iPad, you find yourself in the same danger as when you fall for any of these type of lures by scammers.  You may be led to a survey, which even if you take it, does not end up with your getting the promised iPad, but does provide a commission payment to the scammer.  More seriously, you may provide information that could put you in danger of identity theft or even worse, you could have unwittingly, by clicking on the link, downloaded a keystroke logging malware program on to your computer that can access all of the information on your computer, such as passwords, Social Security numbers and other information that can turn you into a victim of identity theft.

TIP

Many of the free iPad scams actually refer to the device as an ” iPad 3″ which is not the official name of the device, so you can be sure that the offer is a scam.  However, whenever you see any of these offers, rest assured, they are scams.  Apple does not do these kind of promotions.  If you still are not convinced when you see this kind of offer, call Apple.