Phishing Scams. Phishing is a long time technique for scammers to get into your computer to look for sensitive information that they can use to steal your identity or your money. Often you receive an email in the guise of a legitimate business or government organization that invites you to click on a link. When you do, the scammer installs malware that can check out your hard drive for sensitive information or to take you to a web site that demands your personal information. Two recent phishing scams include:
· According to the Better Business Bureau, victims have been receiving emails claiming to be from the Dropbox cloud service asking you to click on a link to view a shared file that is stored on the service.
· The AARP Fraud Watch Network has been warning the public about a new phishing email that claims to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The email claims to be offering a new feature to help taxpayers protect their personal information and identities. The SSA is not offering a new protection program. The link pointed to in the email will install malware onto your computer.
Be wary of unsolicited emails that ask you to click on a link. To check out the source of the email, hover your cursor over the address link in the email. You will see the actual email address of the sender. If it is fake, it will not match the address of the claimed sender.
Better Business Bureau:
AARP Fraud Watch Network:
Employment Scam. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a new employment scam is making the rounds. This scam claims to have a legitimate job and applicants need to interview in person. But in order to apply, you need to pay a fee to the supposed employer. Victims have paid over $200 then never heard from the company again. Be wary of any job offer where you pay the company (other than paying a third party for a background check or drug test).
Identity Theft Resource Center:
Local ID Thief Caught. Many ID thieves work from far off places to try to steal our identities. This fact makes it difficult for local police agencies to try to find, apprehend and prosecute violators who might operate on the other side of the country or even the other side of the world. Some ID thieves, however, work locally. The Herald recently published an article about the efforts of the North County Property Crime Unit in apprehending a prolific ID thief who may have as many as 100 victims.
Remember to protect your ID by taking your wallet and purse with you when you leave your car. If you send checks in the mail, use a locking mailbox or take the mail to your local post office. Secure your Social Security card at home in your safe or other safe place. And only take with you the credit cards that you absolutely need.