Posts Tagged: ‘www.tmz.com’

Scam of the day – September 22, 2013 – Lily Collins, the new most dangerous woman on the Internet

September 22, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Identity thieves and scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists are astute watchers of pop culture and will take whatever celebrity people are interested in and set up websites with malware and viruses that may appear to offer information, stories, pictures or often nude pictures of popular celebrities.  The identity thieves and scammers lure people to their websites and then prompt you to click on links or download attachments under the guise of providing those much sought after nude photos or other material only to find that what you actually download are viruses and keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the information from your computer, smartphone, tablet or other device and make you a victim of identity theft.  Each year McAfee, the security software company keeps a list of the most dangerous people on the Internet, namely those people with the most malware tainted websites.  Last year’s most dangerous person was Emma Watson, of the Harry Potter Movies.  This year, however, she didn’t even make the top ten.  The most dangerous woman on the Internet this year was Lily Collins, the star of “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”  You also may remember her as the cheerleader sister in the movie, “The Blind Side.”  Searching online with terms such as “Lily Collins nude” or Nude pictures of Lily Collins” are quite likely to bring you to a malware infested website that will turn you into a victim of identity theft.  This year’s top ten most dangerous celebrities on the Internet are, in order, Lily Collins, Avril Lavigne, Sandra Bullock, Kathy Griffin, Zoe Saldana, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Jon Hamm (the lone male in the top ten), Adriana Lima and Emma Roberts.

TIPS

When looking for celebrity gossip and even photos, you are better off staying with well established websites, such as the celebrity gossip site www.tmz.com.  The risk of going to less established websites is too great.  Also, make sure that your computer, smartphone, tablet and any other electronic devices are kept up to date with the latest anti-virus security software and anti-malware software.

Scam of the day – July 23, 2013 – Royal baby scams

July 23, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

After a pregnancy that seemed like it went on forever and a long day of baby waiting, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of  Cambridge gave birth to an 8 pound six ounce baby boy at 4:24 p.m. local time in London’s St Mary’s Hospital, yesterday July 22, 2013.  The new baby will  the third in line to the British crown behind his grandfather, Prince Charles and his father, Prince William.  Interest in the royal birth has been incredibly high around the world and unfortunately, this makes the event an opportunity for identity thieves and scam artists, the only criminals we refer to as artists.  It is not unusual for scammers and identity thieves to use any event that has a large public interest to set traps for the unwary.  In fact, there were significant scams and identity theft schemes tied to nude pictures of Kate back in September of 2012.  What scammers and identity thieves do is they set up phony websites and emails that lure you to click on links or download attachments that purport to provide videos or photographs that curious people are eager to see.  In this particular case they will take the form of promised delivery room videos or exclusive first photographs or videos of the new royal baby.  If you click on the tainted links or download the tainted malware, you will not get the promised videos or photographs, but you will, unfortunately succeed in downloading keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the personal information from your computer and provide it to an identity thief who will use it to make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Don’t fall for this scam.  Never click on links or download attachments unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate.  Links or downloads in emails are never reliable if they come from strangers and even if they come from friends to your email or as a posting to your Facebook page, you cannot be sure that your friend’s email or Facebook account has not been hacked by an identity thief posing as your real friend.  The best place to go, if you are curious about matters such as pictures of the new royal baby is to responsible websites that you know are legitimate, such as those of major news agencies or, if you have an urge for gossip, consider going to www.tmz.com which is a legitimate source for gossip.  In fact, it is already posting the baby’s official birth announcement.  Finally, make sure that you not only have anti-virus software and anti-malware software, but that you keep your security software up to date with the latest patches.

Scam of the day – January 9, 2013 – Katherine Webb scams

January 9, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Although it was the A.J. McCarron led University of Alabama football team that won the national championship on Monday night, it appears that the biggest winner of the night may have been McCarron’s girlfriend and Miss Alabama USA, Katherine Webb.  With the game turning into a rout early, ESPN cameras looking for anything to hold viewers’ interest focused in on Katherine Webb while announcer Brent Musburger went on and on about her.  The attention apparently had an effect.  By the end of the night, she had increased her Twitter followers by 100,000 and all of the news media was talking about her.  So where is the scam, you might ask?  Scammers are fully aware of the increased interest in Katherine Webb and knowing that curious people including those looking for nude pictures, whether they exist or not, will be receptive to emails, text messages, social media postings and phony websites found through search engines to have such pictures or other information about Katherine Webb will be luring unsuspecting people in with tainted links and downloads that will not provide the information or pictures promised, but rather will download keystroke logging malware that will steal all of the information from the searcher’s computer and turn him or her into a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Don’t click on any links or download pictures of other material from emails, text messages, social media postings because you cannot be sure that they are legitimate.  Sometimes they may appear to come from friends of yours, however, it may be that your friend’s account has been hacked so that it appears that the message you receive is from your friend, but it is really from an identity thief.  And even if it is your real friend passing on some photos or other information, you can’t be sure that your friend is not passing on infected material that he or she doesn’t even realize is infected.  Also be wary of websites that turn up in Google or other search engine searches because they may just be phony websites set up by identity thieves.  Just because you find the website on a search engine does not mean that it is legitimate.  If you must get further information, stick to websites that you know are legitimate, such as www.tmz.com.

Scam of the day – October 20, 2012 – Miley Cyrus sex tape scam

October 20, 2012 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Curiosity killed the cat, but for we humans, it can too often lead to identity theft, which although certainly not as bad as death, can be pretty devastating.  The latest scam appealing to our curiosity is now appearing on Facebook pages where you will find an announcement about a breaking news story regarding a secret sex tape of Miley Cyrus.  If you click on the link in order to view the tape, a request for you to prove that you are over 18 appears.  When you fill in the information requested, it can not only lead to your identity theft, but can also allow the identity thief to steal your Facebook information so that Facebook messages from the scammer/identity thief will appear to be coming from you which will make your friends more likely to trust the message and end up becoming victims of identity theft themselves.  By the way, there is no such sex tape.

TIPS

Never trust links provided by anyone on your Facebook page or anywhere else without checking out their validity first.  Links luring you with promises of sex tapes of Miley Cyrus or nude pictures of princess Kate Middleton, the wife of Prince William (which do actually exist) or anything else that would tempt you to click on the link are an effective way for identity thieves and scammers to trick you into downloading viruses or keystroke logging malware that can steal all of the information from your computer and make you a victim of identity theft.  If you want to check out the veracity of a gossip, a safe place to go is www.tmz.com.  And of course, as I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone;”  even if you receive an email, text or Facebook message from someone you trust, you can’t be sure that either they have been hacked and the message is coming from a scammer or they are inadvertently passing on tainted links that they don’t realize contains a virus.

Scam of the day – September 15, 2012 – Nude pictures of Princess Kate scam

September 15, 2012 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Although it was only recently that I warned you about the dangers of searching online for nude pictures of Prince Harry, it bears repeating in the light of the publishing of paparazzi pictures of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless at what she thought was a secluded villa in the French countryside.  Many people will be curious to see these photographs and identity thieves will take advantage of this curiosity to lure you into downloading keystroke logging malware programs on to your computer, laptop or smartphone and steal all of your personal information and make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

You may receive an email or a message on your Facebook page purportedly from a friend telling you to click on a link to get access to the pictures of Kate, but the emails are from identity thieves and even if the message appears to be from a true friend, their email or Facebook page may have been hacked into which is easy to do for an identity thief (or anyone else) to make you less suspicious.  NEVER click on links sending you to pictures such as this.  If you really want to see the pictures, go directly to legitimate websites that deal with this kind of material, such as www.tmz.com.

Scam of the day – September 14, 2012 – Dangerous celebrities online

September 14, 2012 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

It is not that Emma Watson, the young actress who is best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies is a particularly dangerous person.  She certainly is not known to be a martial arts expert.  However, interest in her is so high that many people find themselves going through search engines to dangerous websites that lure them into clicking on links that will download dangerous keystroke logging malware that can steal the information from your computer or install a virus on your computer.  In particular, looking for nude pictures or celebrity mishaps is a recipe for disaster.  These will often lead to your computer being infected   In fact, McAfee, the computer security company ranks the most dangerous celebrities each year and determined that looking for Emma Watson photographs, videos and downloads on line brought a whopping 12.6% chance of downloading spyware, viruses, or malware.

TIPS

Polonius was right in Hamlet when he told his son that he would be judged by the company he kept.  It is still good advice.  When you are looking for videos and stories about celebrities, stick to legitimate websites that you know will not be likely to cause you to download malware or other viruses.  If you need gossip, stay with the legitimate websites such as www.tmz.com.