With the new year often comes the effective date for many new laws and among the new laws are laws that increase the minimum wage in twenty states. Scammers are taking advantage of this to send emails or text messages to people indicating that they need to affirmatively opt-in to get the increased pay and that they can do so by merely clicking on a link in the email or text message. Don’t do it. It is not necessary to opt-in to receive any increases in minimum wage and if you do click on the link, you will unwittingly download malware on to your computer or phone that can result in your becoming a victim of identity theft or ransomware.

TIPS

While is it is important to remember that you do not need to opt-in to receive the benefit of a change in the minimum wage law or the cost of living adjustment (COLA) that goes into effect for Social Security recipients this month, it is also important to remember that you should never click on any link in an email or text message unless you have absolutely confirmed that the link is legitimate. The risk of downloading malware is too great even if you have the most up to date security software on your phone and computer because often cybercriminals use malware constructed of zero day defects for which there are no known defenses. Once these new strains of malware become known, the security software companies develop security patches to update your security software, but that process can take a month or more from the time that the new malware is first discovered. Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.

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