April 23, 2016 – Steve Weisman’s latest column for USA Today

Here is a link to Steve Weisman’s latest column for USA Today.  It contains startling information about how vulnerable we all are to having our bank accounts hacked by rogue employers at the banks we use.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/columnist/2016/04/23/how-vulnerable-our-bank-data-cyber-heist-very/83085352/

Steve Weisman’s Bottom Line/Personal article on home security system scams

Here is a link to an interesting article written by Steve Weisman for Bottom Line/Personal magazine about home security system scams.

http://bottomlinepersonal.com/home-security-system-scams/

Steve Weisman’s latest column for USA Today

Here is  a link to Steve Weisman’s latest column for USA Today.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/08/29/irs-income-tax-identity-theft/71325656/

 

Holiday message 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to the new year, I will continue to warn you and update you on the latest scams and identity theft schemes.  My recently published book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” is a good source for specific, helpful information that can guide you in proactive steps you can take to protect your identity and recognize potential threats.  The upcoming year will most likely be one with record numbers of identity thefts and is important for all of us to do the best we can to protect ourselves.  I urge you to consider buying this book, which you can do simply by clicking on the icon on the right of this website/blog.  This link will take you to Amazon.com where you can buy the book easily and receive it in short order.  I know this sounds self-serving and it is, however, it is also a very cost-effective  way to protect yourself from the substantial risks presented by identity theft.  I also urge you to keep coming back to www.scamicide.com on a regular basis, preferably daily to see for free what the latest identity theft and scam threats are and how to avoid them.

Best wishes.

Steve Weisman

Scam of the day – May 11, 2012 – Dangers of hotel internet connections

The FBI has just issued a warning to people traveling out of the country about malware being secretly installed on the laptop computers of people staying at hotels offering Internet connections in their hotel rooms.  The installation of the malware, which has included dangerous keystroke logging programs that can steal all of the information from your computer occurs when in the course of connecting to the hotel Internet system a pop up appears informing you that you need to update a commonly used software product.  The software the pop up refers to is legitimate.  This pop up is not.  It is a phony pop up and when you click on it to install the newest update, instead you are downloading dangerous malware.

TIP

Update your software at home or at work on your own Internet service to avoid these problems.  If you need to update your service while abroad, go directly to the website of the software vendor and download a safe version.

Scam of the day – May 9, 2012 – Phony job scams

With more and more people looking for employment including now many college students looking for summer jobs, scammers are focusing more attention to scamming these new job applicants.  Just because a company may be one that you are familiar with doesn’t mean that the advertisement to which you may be responding was placed by the actual company.  Always check with the actual company by phone to confirm any job openings and advertisements.  More and more job seekers are going on line to legitimate and illegitimate online employment agencies.  Merely because a company is listed by a legitimate online employment agency does not mean that the company advertising online with them is legitimate.  Many of the scammers posing as potential employers or employment services will ask for upfront application fees.  They also will ask for your Social Security number and bank account information so that they can directly deposit your salary check into your bank account.

TIP

Always independently check out whether the company with which you are dealing is a legitimate company.  The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start.  You can also just Google their name with the word “scam” next to it for further inquiry.  Even if the company checks out as legitimate, you should contact them directly to confirm that any job opening being advertised is legitimate and not just a scammer posing as the legitimate company.  Also, never pay up front fees to employment companies even if they promise a “guaranteed” refund.  Finally and most importantly, never give your Social Security number and bank account number to any company you have only had contact with online.  You should also be careful about the personal information that you include on your resume to make sure that it does not contribute to possible identity theft.

Scam of the day – May 7, 2012 – New Amazon email scam

Recently a large  number of people have been receiving emails purporting to be from Amazon with “Amazon.com Your Cancellation” in the subject line.  Even though the email may appear to be legitimate, it is not.  It is just an example of phishing.  The email will advise you to click on links in the emails to verify your status.  Under no circumstances click on any links or open any attachments.  Downloading an attachment or clicking on a link inside the phony email can result in malware being installed on your computer that can read all of your computer’s contents including important personal information that can lead to identity theft.  Also, do not respond to the email by providing any information asked.  That too can lead to you becoming a victim of identity theft.

TIP

The real Amazon.com will never send you an unsolicited attachment nor will it ever ask you to reply with personal information.  The real Amazon.com will not ask you to verify account information through a link in the email.    If you do have a present active order with Amazon or any question whether such an email is legitimate, merely go to www.amazon.com, click into “Your Account” and you can get proper information.

Scam of the day – May 4, 2012 – Medicare Scams

As a part of a massive federal effort to reduce Medicare fraud, federal law enforcement authorities have arrested more than a hundred doctors and other health care professionals involved in Medicare scams that cost taxpayers an estimated 452 million dollars.  Medicare fraud which generally occurs when false or unnecessary medical treatments or equipment are billed for may not seem like they affect us individually, but they do.  Cooperating even unwittingly with Medicare scammers can lead to your identity theft as well as cost us all more money as taxpayers.

TIPS

Never give your personal information, particularly your Medicare card number (which coincidentally is your Social Security number) to anyone who contacts you uninvited  to sell you Medicare related products.  Be particularly wary of people who solicit you for “free” medical equipment.  Always check you Medicare and private insurance bills, sometimes called explanation of benefits to make sure that you ar not being charged for services that you did not receive.

Scam of the day – May 3, 2012 – Time share scams

Timeshare sales have had more than their share of scams involved with them, but in the last three years the number of people victimized by time share scams have increased dramatically.   Recently, 22 people were indicted for timeshare resale fraud in Illinois.   In Florida, timeshare resale fraud is the subject of the greatest number of consumer complaints.  Timeshares are a legitimate vacation option for many people, but particularly since the economy first soured in 2008, resales have been difficult for many people and the scammers have come in to prey upon timeshare owners trying to sell their interests with promises of buyers that never materialize after charging the timeshare owners upfront fees of between $2,000 and $8,000 that vanishes with the scammers.

TIP

Always check out the legitimacy of anyone proposing to help you sell your timeshare.  You can check with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org, your state’s attorney general at www.naag.org and your local consumer protection agencies at www.consumeraction.gov.  Make sure you have a lawyer review any contract before you sign it and it is a good idea not to pay in advance for the services of someone purporting to assist you in reselling your timeshare unit.

Scam of the day – May 2, 2012 – Extended Warranties

This is another oldie but goodie scam that continues to scam people out of hard earned money, but recently became the subject of new legislation in Missouri although the issue is a countrywide problem.  The problem are extended warranties for your automobile.  Actually, they are not “extended” warranties at all because if you read the fine print you will notice that although the notice looks official,  it is not from either the car manufacturer who issued your original warranty nor the car dealer who sold you the car.  The warranties themselves vary from scammer to scammer with some of the “extended” warranties being relatively worthless, but with all of them based on misrepresentations, how can you trust them, in any event?

TIP

Always read the fine print of any communication you receive regardless of how official it looks.  In regard to car warranties, it is always a good idea to check with your dealer as to what warranties cover your car.