Scam of the Day

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Scam of the day – December 2, 2020 – Puppy Scams Increasing

Scams involving sales of non-existent puppies have increased dramatically in the last few years and are soaring during the Coronavirus pandemic when many people are looking for the emotional support of a loving dog.  We can only expect an increase in this scam now that we have entered the holiday shopping season.   People buy dogs or other pets online and, although they think they are taking proper precautions, they often end up getting nothing in return for the money that they wire to the scammer who may have a website or some other way of marketing their non-existent pets with photographs and false information. Often the scammers hook their victims for more and more money, such as when even after the victims has paid for the non-existent dog, the victim is asked for additional payments for a special crate to transport the dog along with additional transportation company fees.

TIPS

It is simple for a scammer to construct a website that appears to be legitimate and scammers can readily steal the name of a legitimate animal breeder. Always check into the reputation of the breeder with the Better Business Bureau, your state’s attorney general and even Google the name with the word “scam” to see if a legitimate breeder’s name that is being used has been stolen for scams previously. Be wary of anyone who asks you to wire money because that is a telltale sign that a scam is going on because once the money is wired, it is impossible to get it back. If you are told that a courier company is being used to transport the animal, check out the company to make sure it is legitimate and actually shipping the dog. There also are a number of ways such as using the website http://www.tineye.com to search the photos sent to you of the dog to see if they appear elsewhere other than the website attempting to sell you a puppy. If so, this is a good indication that you are being scammed. Also, always get a veterinarian report on any animal before you consider buying it. Finally, you are always going to be better off buying a pet that you can see in person prior to buying the pet.

Some phony breeders claim they are certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) however, the AKC doesn’t certify breeders.  Legitimate breeders will however, register their litters with the AKC and you can find out by calling the AKC’s customer service line 919-233-9767 if a particular litter has been registered.

Here is a link to a television interview I did about pet scams:https://turnto10.com/i-team/consumer-advocate/12-scams-of-christmas-phony-pet-breeder

You also might want to consider getting a dog from a local animal shelter where you can both get a great dog and give an animal in need a loving home.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – December 1, 2020 – Don’t Get Burned When Buying the Season’s Hottest Toys

Every year there are a few toys that are in especially high demand.  Often it is difficult to find these toys and the prices when you do manage to find them can be pretty expensive which is why so many people are susceptible to being scammed by criminals offering to sell these desirable toys on line at bargain prices.  People falling for this scam end up both not getting the toy that they thought they ordered and losing their  money in the process.  This year two of the most sought after toys are a Baby Yoda animatronic toy and an anamatronic puppy.  Scammers are sending emails and setting up phony retail websites to lure people into this scam.

TIPS

As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, so you should be particularly skeptical when you find an online seller of a highly in demand toy for a dramatically discounted price.  Never use a credit card when you buy anything online or in a brick and mortar store because of the strong consumer protection laws that protect you from liability in the event of a scam.  When you use your debit card, you do not get the same strong protections from fraud.  You are better off dealing with reputable retailers with which you are familiar, but even then you should make sure when you buy anything online that you are dealing with the real retailer and not a counterfeit website set up by a scammer.  You can confirm whether or not the website is legitimate by going to the website whois.com where you can find out who owns the particular website.  If you find that the website which appears to be WalMart is owned by someone in Nigeria, for example, you can be sure that it is a scam.  It is important to remember that even if you get the URL for a popular retailer’s website through a Google or other search engine search, it does not mean that the website they are sending you to is a legitimate site.  Sophisticated scammers can manipulate the algorithms used by search engines to enable their phony websites to be ranked high in a search.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 30, 2020 – Phony McAfee Invoice Scam

The phony invoice scam is a common scam popular with scammers because it is quite effective.  It starts when you receive an email that purports to be from a popular company with which many of us do business that indicates that you owe them a significant payment.   The scammers count on people being concerned that they are being wrongfully charged for a product they did not order.  You are provided a telephone number to call if you dispute the bill. If you call the number, you will be prompted to provide personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  Here is a copy of the phony invoice presently being circulated.

Mc-A-fee*

Invoice ID: 6338MCAF3368B2020 

   For cancellation or refund please contact our support team

+1 (818) 338-6067

700 St,  19 E,

TX 75024,  USA 

Date: 11/26/2020

INVOICE: –

Payable to -xxxx@aol.com

 

Quantity

Description

Unite price

Amount

1

Mc- A- fee

$249.49

$249.49

2

Win- Defender

$129.99

$129.99

 

Subtotal

$ 379.48

 

Tax ( 6.25 % )

$ 22.76&

 

Total

$ 402.24

Purchase Order Comments

We charged you $ 402.24 for the 6-month subscription of the above services. Our technical and billing team tried to contact you on your registered number. Deduction of your amount will appear on your account within 24 hours.

If your concern is regarding to cancellation or activation of these services. Please contact to our customer support within 24 hours.

For more information please contact on our given number.

Thanks again! We look forward to serving you for many years to come.
Please read Terms and Conditions.

 

Disclaimer: If you want to cancel the subscription please call us within 24 hours to cancel. Charges will be appeared on the name of defender firewall. Your subscription charges have been deducted through an auto payment as selected. You will see this charge on your accounts by tomorrow. Our software is designed for computer protection and monitoring your daily activities you own or have proper consent to monitor. You must notify users of the log that they are being monitored. Failure to do so may result in the breaking of federal and state laws.

 

Thanks,
Team Mc-A-fee.

For more info call our service Number +1(818) 338-6067

TIPS

There are a number of red flags that indicate that this is a scam.  Your name does not appear anywhere in the invoice.  Only your email address appears in the phony invoice.  Also, the email was sent from an email address that appears to be that of Norton Security while the invoice is for software from McAfee, which in the phony invoice is misspelled as Mc-A-fee.  Finally, as with many phishing emails that originate in countries where English is not the primary language, there are numerous grammatical errors.

Once, I received a large invoice from a company with which I do business for goods I did not order, but rather than click on the link provided in the email, I went directly to the company’s website to question the invoice.  When the website came up, the first thing I saw was a large announcement that the invoice was a scam and that many people had received these phony invoices.  If you ever receive a phony invoice such as this and you think that it may possibly be true, don’t click on links or call phone numbers provided in the email.  Rather contact the real company directly at a phone number or website that you know is legitimate where you can confirm that the phishing invoice was a scam.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 29, 2020 – Home Depot Settles Data Breach Lawsuit

I have been reporting to you since 2014 about the massive data breach at Home Depot that affected as many as 56 million Home Depot customers between April and September of 2014.    A class action on behalf of the victims was settled in 2016 and I reported to you at that time as to what you needed to do to receive compensation if you were affected by the data breach.  Now  Home Depot has reached a separate settlement of a legal action brought against it by the Attorneys General for 46 states plus the District of Columbia.  As a result of the settlement, Home Depot will upgrade its seurity procedures and hire a chief information security officer as well as pay 17.5 million dollars.

Similar to the major data breach at Target which occurred a year earlier, Home Depot’s computers and credit card processing equipment were hacked when a third party party vendor’s computers were hacked thereby enabling the hackers to steal the passwords necessary for the third party vendor to access Home Depot’s computers.

TIPS

Data breaches are a common occurence and a constant reminder that regardless of how careful you may be as to you security, you are only as safe and secure as the weakest places where you do business or who have your records.  Greater use of EMV smart chip credit cards will reduce the effects of data breaches aimed at gaining credit card and debit card information at brick and mortar stores, but many stores still have not shifted over to the new equipment required to process EMV smart chip credit cards.  Additionally, your chip card does not protect you when shopping online.

Do not use your debit card for retail purchases.  Limit its use to ATMs.  There are strong laws to protect you from fraudulent use of your credit card, but the laws protecting you from liability in the event of fraudulent use of your debit card are not as strong and you potentially risk losing your entire bank account to which the card is attached.  In addition, even if you report the fraudulent use of your debit card immediately, your bank will freeze your account while it investigates the breach which can be very inconvenient if you need immediate cash or have bills automatically paid from your account.

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  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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 28, 2020 – Ponzi Schemer Sentenced to Prison

Longtime Scamicide readers will remember that I have written many times about a wide variety of investment scams.   There are many different investment scams, but generally, people often become victims of investment scams when they invest in things that they don’t understand (a common thread with victims of Bernie Madoff), fall victim to affinity fraud by investing with someone merely because they share a similar background or invest with someone who is both the broker and the custodian of the asset which enables the scammer to be able to control the investments and the records of the deposits or fail to investigate the investment advisor before investing. Today’s Scam of the day involves the recent conviction and sentencing of investment advisor James Booth who combined two of those three situations.

Booth who started off as a legitimate investment advisor moved into scamming his clients in 2013 when he lured them into moving their investment funds from conventional brokerage account investments into a vague investment entity which Booth falsely promised his clients would grow tremendously with no risk.  Investments that provide huge returns with no risk do not exist and this should have been a red flag to investors.  Unfortunately, it was not and Booth’s victims lost millions of dollars as Booth took their money and used it for his own personal purposes.  Booth also acted as both investment advisor and custodian for the investments which allowed him to falsify investment records that he sent to his client/victims in order to fool them into thinking their investments were doing well.  It is never a good idea to have your investment advisor also be the custodian of your investments for this reason.

TIPS

Before investing with anyone, you should investigate the person offering to sell you the investment with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Central Registration Depository.  This will tell you if the broker is licensed and if there have been disciplinary procedures against him or her.  You can also check with your own state’s securities regulation office for similar information.  Many investment advisers will not be required to register with the SEC, but are required to register with your individual state’s securities regulators.   You can find your state’s agency by going to the website of the North American Securities Administrators Association. https://www.nasaa.org/investor-education/how-to-check-your-broker-or-investment-adviser/ Many investment advisers will not be required to register with the SEC, but are required to register with your individual state securities regulators.  You should also check with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for information about the particular  investment adviser. https://www.finra.org/investors/protect-your-money/ask-and-check

It is also important to remember that you should never  invest in something that you do not completely understand.  This was a mistake that many of Bernie Madoff’s victims made  as well as the victims of James Booth.  You also may want to check out the SEC’s investor education website at www.investor.gov.  Scammers can be very convincing and it may sound like there is a great opportunity for someone to make some money, but you must be careful that the person making money is not the scam artist taking yours. Additionally, investing with someone merely because you trust them because you have heard them on the radio or television is dangerous.  Having the same person advise the investment and control the investment is a common thread among Ponzi schemers because it enables them to falsify documents to make the investment look profitable. Generally, for additional security it is desirable to have a separate broker-dealer act as custodian for investments chosen by an investment adviser.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 27, 2020 – Mavis Wanczyk Based Scams Continue

Perhaps it is due to the financial strain so many people are under during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic, but recently I have received many emails from Scamicide readers telling me about various new incarnations of a variety of scams that share the same hook which is that Mavis Wanczyk is giving money away to lucky people.  Many of you may not remember the name of Mavis Wanczyk, but she was the lucky winner of a 758 million dollar Powerball drawing in 2017. Not long after she claimed her prize, a scam started appearing in which many people received emails with the message line referring to the Mavis  Wanczyk Cash Grant. The email indicated that you were chosen to receive a large cash grant from Mavis  Wanczyk. All the lucky strangers receiving the emails had to do was provide personal information in order to qualify for the grant. In addition, phony social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were also set up in Ms. Wanczyk’s name through which people were contacted with the same phony offer of free money informing them that in order to qualify for the grant they merely needed to provide personal information.

Now the scam appears to be resurfacing in a wide variety of scams around the world including one where French speaking people are getting emails in French purportedly from Ms. Wanczyk offering money for nothing.  The scams are also appearing in large numbers through various Instagram accounts and as fast as Instagram closes down one phony Mavis Wanczyk account, another pops up.  A Scamicide reader noted that one of the recent phony Instagram accounts purporting to be that of Mavis Wanczyk is maviswanczyk3gs.  Many of the versions of this scam now circulating promise $20,000  in return for payments to cover administrative costs.  In another creative version of the scam, the targeted victim is told that he would receive $20,000 delivered in person within 24 hours, but shortly thereafter receives a text message in which he is told that there is a delay because money is needed for gas and administrative costs to process the necessary paper work.  This text message was followed up by another text message in which the targeted victim is told that the person delivering the check was stopped by an FBI agent and that another fee had to be paid.  Why an FBI agent would be involved or require an additional payment is certainly unclear.

TIPS

It is difficult to win a lottery you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you have never entered and neither lottery winners, nor anyone else is sending out messages through the Internet offering free money to anyone who responds with personal information. Never give out personal information that can make you vulnerable to identity theft unless you have absolutely verified that the party requesting the personal information is legitimate and has a legitimate need for the information.  Also never pay anything to a lottery claiming you owe fees in order to claim your prize.  This is a telltale sign of a scam.  No legitimate lottery requires the payment of a fee to collect your winnings or requires you to pay the lottery income taxes on the prize.  While income taxes are due on lottery winnings, those taxes are either deducted by the lottery sponsor before giving you your prize or the prize is given to you in full and you are responsible for the payment of any taxes.  No lottery collects taxes on behalf of the IRS.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 26, 2020 – Online Holiday Shopping Warning

Today is Thanksgiving and many people have already turned their attention to the upcoming holiday shopping season that starts in earnest tomorrow. For many of us, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic, shopping online is both more convenient and often more economical than shopping at a brick and mortar store.  Unfortunately,  scammers are quite adept at setting up phony websites to sell shoddy or even non-existent items.  Many times, the scammers will make their websites appear to be those of legitimate retailers in order to trick people into trusting them and it takes little skill to make a phony website that looks just like that of a legitimate retailer that you trust.So how can you keep from being scammed?

TIPS

The first indication that you are shopping on a scammer’s website is often that the price looks to be good to be true.  Most of the time, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is a scam. You also should remember that merely because a website turns up high on the first page of a browser search does not mean it is legitimate. It only means that the scammer may be adept at manipulating the search engine’s algorithms to obtain a high placement.

Scams are often perpetrated by people whose primary language is not English so be on the lookout for grammar and spelling mistakes in the website.

A good place to evaluate a website selling retail goods is http://www.resellerRatings.com where you can find reviews about particular merchants and see if they are legitimate.  If they are not even listed there, they probably are a scam. It generally is a good idea when buying things online to use established companies with which you are familiar.

Finally, it can be very helpful to find out to whom the website where you are considering shopping is registered. You can go to http://www.whois.com and find out who actually owns the website at which you are considering shopping and if it doesn’t match who they say they are, you should stay away from it. For instance, while a website may appear to be that of a legitimate store with which you are familiar, such as WallMart or Target, you may find by using whois that the particular website you are on is registered to someone in Nigeria which would be a good indication that it is a scam.

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 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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 25, 2020 – New AOL Phishing Scam

Today’s Scam of the day is about a phishing email presently circulating that attempts to lure you into clicking on a link in order to continue using your AOL account.  If you click on the link one of two things can occur and both are bad.  Either you will end up providing personal information to an identity thief or you will, merely by clicking on the link, download dangerous malware such as ransomware on to your phone, computer or other device.  Here is the email presently being circulated.  The link where it reads “Click Here” has been disabled.  If you hovered your mouse over the link, you would have seen that it would not have taken you to an AOL website.

AOL Official Mail banner image.

Prior to AOL Users

Starting November 25th, 2020, customers who have not updated their email account

will no longer be able to log in to AOL and through their email addresses

Active customers will have to verify their email address to confirm.

Kindly CLICK HERE to verify and prevent loss of account.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Thank you,

AOL

Please do not reply to this e-mail. Mail sent to this address cannot be answered.

For assistance, log in to your email! website and choose the “Help” link on any page.Customer Service Email ID # 1009.

c 2020!, Inc. All rights reserved

TIPS

When AOL communicates with its customers about their accounts, they do so by AOL Certified Mail, which will appear as a blue envelope in your inbox and will have an official AOL Mail seal on the border of the email.  The copy of the official AOL Mail seal that appears in this phishing email is a counterfeit.  No official AOL Mail seal appears in the inbox.  This email also  had no salutation indicating to whom the email was being sent.  Whenever you get an email, you cannot be sure who is really sending it.   In the case of this email, the email address of the sender had no relation to AOL and most likely was the email address of someone whose email account was hacked and made a part of a botnet of computers used by cybercriminals to send such communications.  Never click on a link unless you are absolutely sure that it is legitimate.  If you think the email might be legitimate, the best thing to do is to contact the real company that the email purports to be from at an address or phone number that you know is accurate in order to find out if the communication was legitimate or not.

Some other telltale signs that this is a phishing email include the faulty grammar which is often found in phishing emails originating in countries where English is not the primary language.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 24, 2020 – Student Loan Debt Relief Scammer Settles FTC Civil Charges

In October of 2017 the Federal Trade Commission, working with the Attorneys General of eleven states, launched what it cleverly calls, Operation Game of Loans to jointly target these various student loan scams.   Some scammers promise dramatic reductions of debt of 50% or more in return for upfront fees of between $500 and $2,500.  Often these scam companies have names that make it appear that they are endorsed by the federal government in order to trick people into trusting them.  Another student loan scam involves promises related to consolidating student loans.  Often the scammers represent that they are associated with the U.S. Department of Education although the Department of Education does not associate with private lenders in regard to student loan consolidation.  These scammers also charge significant fees for their student loan consolidation services when the truth is that there is no fee for legitimate student loan consolidation.  It is also important to remember that consolidating your student loans does not lower your interest or monthly payment.  Instead, after loan consolidation the student’s monthly payment is equal to a weighted average of the interest rates on the student’s current loans.

In 2018 I told you about the FTC suing American Financial Benefits Center, Financial Benefits Center, AmeriTech Financial and Brandon Demond Frere for illegal student loan debt relief practices.  Specifically, the defendants charged illegal up-front $800 fees and additional excessive fees falsely claiming tht they could permanently reduce the monthly debt payments to a fixed low amount or even total loan forgiveness.  Recently Frere and his companies settled the civil charges with the FTC.  Pursuant to the settlement Frere is banned from providing debt relief services.  Frere has already in July of 2020 been sentenced to 42 months in prison on criminal charges related to his debt relief scams.  In addition, a hearing will be held on December 18th to determine restitution for Frere’s victims.

TIPS

The old adage still is true.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.  Many of these student loan debt relief scammers promise quick loan forgiveness, which is unrealistic.  In addition, you should never pay any upfront fees for student loan debt relief assistance.  Those fees are illegal and are a sure indication that you are being scammed.  Also, remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Don’t trust scammers merely because they use names that sound like they are affiliated with the government.

For information you can trust about federal student loan repayment option, go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans .  There you can learn about loan deferments, forbearance, repayment and loan forgiveness programs and there is never an application fee.  If you owe private student loans, contact your loan servicer directly.  You can also look into student loan refinancing rather than consolidating the loans.  Refinancing student loans can result in a lower interest rate.  For more information about student loans go to https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/1028-student-loans  Here is a link to a calculator that can help you determine whether you will save more by consolidating or refinancing student loans.https://www.makelemonade.co/calculators/student-loan-consolidation-refinancing-calculator/

Here also is a link to an FTC video that explains student loan scams and what you can do to protect yourself.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TjSI4Q6ztQ

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

Scam of the day – November 23, 2020 – Ohio Job and Family Services Phishing Email

People in Ohio have reported receiving an offical looking email that appears to come from the  Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in which people are lured into clicking on links purportedly for information about applying for Pandmic Unemployment Assistance benefits, however the email is a scam.  In scams such as this if you click on the links provided either you will be tricked into providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft or, even worse, merely by clicking on the link you will download dangerous malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft.

This “phishing” email has been showing up in jobless Ohioans’ inboxes in recent days. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services urges everyone that has received it to not click on any of the links it contains.

TIPS

Unfortunately it is quite easy to create phishing emails such as this with counterfeit logos that appear legitimate which is why whenever you get an email or text message that attempts to convince you to click on a link or provide information you should remember my motto, “Trust me, you can’t trust anyone” and not click on the link or provide any information unless you have absolutely confirmed that the email or text message was legitimate.  Many such phishing emails come from cybercriminals outside of the country where English is not the primary language.  Consequently, many of those phishing emails will have spelling and grammatical errors, however, other emails such as this will have proper spelling and grammar.  Often these emails are sent by a botnet of zombie computers that have been infected and used to send out these emails so that the email address that sends you the email has nothing to do with the purported sender.  If you get an email that indicates it is coming from a company or government agency, but the email address from which it was sent has nothing to do with the particular company or agency, there is a good chance that it is a phishing email sent through a botnet.  However, sophisticated cybercriminals will use email addresses that can appear quite legitimate so the best course of action if you receive such an email that asks you to click on a link or provide personal information is to refrain from doing so and instead contact the real company or agency, which in this case would be the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services where you can confirm that the email was a scam.

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 click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”

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