still at it…cyber crooks (part 1-read first)

The latest scam in an ongoing attempt by some to free-load, involves our cell phones. The other day my husband received a text, supposedly from Wells Fargo Bank explaining his credit card had been blocked. He was asked to call a number. He deleted the message knowing it was a scam, for he is not a credit card holder with WFB. Because our young adult children are perennial texters, and still “wet behind the ears” to the evils of this world in many ways, I thought it important to run the AARP article written by Sid Kirchheimer, author of Scam-Proof Your Life.

Smstextmessage

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Texting Trickery 
     Your cellphone chimes–a text message has come in. It bears your bank’s name and has some disturbing news. One of your accounts has been frozen. Please call us at the following number to clear this up, urges the message.
     You’ve just been “smished.”
    
An offshoot of “phishing”–emails that try to trick you into disclosing personal or financial information–smishing is named for the SMS (short message service) technology used to send text messages. (There’s even another variation, “vishing.” Instead of a text message, you get a call with a recorded voice.)
     As more people have gotten wise to computer based scams, scammers are increasingly targeting cell phones. Their users are three times more likely to fall for fake messages than computer users, according to online security firm Trusteer; iPhone users are the most vulnerable.
     When you call the number the text gives you for your bank, you’re actually connecting to the scammers, who ask for your account number, PIN, Social Security number–the raw material of identify theft.
     Bogus bank alerts lead in smishing attacks. But you may also get texts promising a free laptop, mortgage assistance or lottery winnings. A message may just say, “Short on cash? Reply here!” One new come-on is a supposed free security app to get you to click on a link that in fact downloads identity-stealing software to your phone.
     Whatever the method, the goal is the same: to get your personal information and money.
     The Federal Trade Commission recently moved against a firm that was allegedly offering phony government loans by text. Five and a half million text messages were sent to cellphones in just 40 days–roughly 85 per minute, according to the commission. The firm also is alleged to have sold the numbers of people who replied asking to be removed from the list.

Cover of "Scam-Proof Your Life: 377 Smart...

Cover via Amazon

…what to do?…follow me…to part 2 of this post…

………hugmamma.     

“internet theft,” geotagging

Motorola L71

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A good friend sent along a warning about geotagging.” The use of some cameras and cell phones, like the smart phone, to take pictures, can inadvertently track down your whereabouts. Posting them on the internet, gives computer-savvy thieves the opportunity to retrieve the tracking information imbedded in the photos. Jewelry pictured on Craig’s List can be targeted for theft, because the seller’s exact location can be determined with the use of a computer. The same applies when a child’s picture is posted, or the family pet, or household furnishings.

The obvious question we have to ask is which products are rigged for geotagging? I guess retailers would need to be asked that question. The second question owners of these devices must seriously consider is whether the risk of home invasion, or worse, is worth a few seconds of acclaim on the internet.

The Fortunes of a Street Waif, an illustration...

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My final question, a rhetorical one, is why don’t these thieves get their own lives? The amount of time and energy they give to stealing another’s identity, or belongings, or both, would be better spent creating their own legacy. Given one brand new life to live at birth, why trash it for someone’s’ used life, used things? I guess the only viable answer is that the work is too hard, and gratification is a long-time coming.

If you’d like a word from the experts, click on the following link to view the video that was part of a TV channel’s news broadcast. It might be worth the few extra minutes.

FYI…Here’s a news clip about the geotagging capability on some phones/cameras:

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=7621105

definitely something to contemplate…hugmamma.   

more bad news, unless you take action

Sorry to be the bearer of so many “beware” notices. But as I said in the “spokeo.com” post, “I’ve got your back!”

On the local evening news, viewers were alerted to the fact that car break-ins aren’t because the thieves want to make off with your car. No! They’re looking to steal your identity! Most of us leave the original copies of our vehicle registration and car insurance safely ensconced in our glove compartments or consoles, right? Wrong! Evidently the thieves are hijacking those documents so that they can become…US.

Police are suggesting that car owners take said documents with us when we leave our cars unattended. Okay…

looks like i’ll need a bigger purse…but what about the guys?…there might be a resurgence in the market for male hand bags, like in the 70s?…hugmamma.