Every season is scam season and every day provides unique opportunity for scam artists, the only criminals that we call artists, to try to scam us out of our hard earned money. Here are a few scams that you should be aware of that will be coming today on the Fourth of July.
Many scammers send out emails or text messages purportedly from the IRS or any of a number of state and federal agencies in which they require you to provide personal information under the guise of some emergency. They do this because if they can frighten you enough to act today, in some instances you will be unable to confirm with the real entity as to whether the communication is legitimate because all of these entities will be closed on the Fourth of July. If you provide the requested information, it will be used against you to make you a victim of identity theft.
You also should be wary of Fourth of July e cards that you may receive. These can be loaded with keystroke logging malware that will steal all of the information from your computer or portable device if you download the malware by clicking on the link.
Finally, be on the lookout for messages that appear on your Facebook page with links to Fourth of July themed videos that arouse your curiosity. Again, the links contained within these messages may be loaded with keystroke logging malware.
The IRS and many other state and federal agencies will not initiate communications with you through email so you can disregard that email from the IRS or other similar entities. It is important to be skeptical of any email or text message that you receive that requests personal information. Never provide such information or click on links in such emails unless you are absolutely sure that the request is legitimate and you can’t be sure unless you have confirmed with the person or entity that purportedly sent it that it is indeed legitimate. If you can’t confirm on the Fourth of July, let it wait until you can.
As for e cards, never click on a link to an e card unless the message specifically indicates from whom it is being sent and only then after you have confirmed with that person that they indeed did send you an e card. Also remember that messages that you get on Facebook may appear to come from friends, but may actually be coming from scammers who have hacked your real friend’s Facebook account. In addition, unfortunately, sometimes you actually will get videos sent to you by your real friends who are unwittingly passing on malware infected material. Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and insert your email address where it states “Sign up for this blog.”