Don’t fall victim to one of today’s scams
Today’s scams are very sophisticated
Today’s scams are very different than those of the past. Over the past few weeks, we have seen first hand what todays fraudsters are trying to do.
Here are some of the scams we have seen first hand, or have heard about recently.
MVA or MDDOT real ID phishing Scam
Maryland DOT and MVA have recently released warning of email and text scams. These fraudsters send a text that looks like it is from the MD DOT or MD MVA. The text mentions that you need to update information to validate your real ID and provides a link. DO NOT click the link. It may put damaging spyware onto your device and any information you provide will be feeding todays scammers.
You’ve been to a bad site and we have a secret video of you
In this scam, the fraudster send you an email or text to try to extort money from you. They state that they know you’ve been to a bad site. They then go on to say they’ve downloaded spyware onto your device and have videos of you in compromising positions. If you do not wire them a few hundred bucks in a few hours, they claim that they will release the video to all of your contacts.
Credit card verification phone calls
In this one, the criminals call you from what looks like the phone number on the back of your credit card. They then want you to verify your information and provide your verbal PIN. If they are questioned, the ask you to compare the caller ID to the number on the back of your card. Of course they will match. for a few dollars, anyone can get an app for their cell phone that can spoof a caller ID for almost any phone number. I can actually call you from what appears to be your own phone number. DO NOT give them any information or even entertain their calls.
Today’s scams are not much different than yesterday’s scams. They just are using better technology.
Financial Institution Emails
I get hundreds of emails every month from various financial institutions that I deal with personally and for our business. Undoubtedly, every one of them provides an easy link to click to log in and verify information, retrieve a document, or view a secure message. A a lot of these are in fact FAKE. They will build a website that looks just like the real one and when you enter your login information, they have it. I never log into a financial institution website via any email link. Even it it is real, I will bypass the link and go directly to the website and retrieve the information they are providing.
Tis the season for todays annual IRS scams. Remember, the IRS will not ask you to verify any information over the phone. If you get a call asking you to verify any tax information or social security numbers, just hang up. Sometimes, they say that are with the ORS collections and have a warrant for your arrest. And that they will be at your door within the our to arrest you if you do not comply. Whatever scare tactics they use, do not cave in. Hang up and move on and the fraudster will move on to their next mark.
This is on of today’s scams that we have seen first hand in the past week. I received a separation of employment request form from Maryland Unemployment. I reviewed the form and was shocked to see that someone claiming to be Nancy was attempting to file for and collect unemployment benefits. My first thought was that this must be the same genius that tried to file unemployment as Larry Hogan last summer. I immediately responded to the request indicating that it was fraud and Nancy, who is the owner of our business, did not file for unemployment.
If you are a business owner, make sure you are paying attention to who is filing for benefits. Some of your employees may be unknowingly falling victim to this scam.
These are just a few of today’s scams that are going around. There are probably hundreds more that are similar to the one I have talked about here. And all of them have one thing in common.
They want to separate you from your hard earned money!
Do your part to make sure they do not succeed. be diligent about who you give your information to. Be diligent about what websites you visit and what links you click in email and text messages.
As hard as we try, sometimes the criminals will win. In these cases there are protections you can afford yourself. You can sign up for services that will monitor your credit reports. they will also monitor the “dark web” for activities associated with you and your social security number. I have this as part of my homeowners insurance plan with Huff Insurance.
You can also add identity theft insurance coverage to cover the expenses and legal fees. Identity theft can be a costly venture. Legal fees and the cost of credit repair and add up fast. Identity theft insurance may be able to be added to either your auto insurance or home insurance. Check with your insurance agent to see the availability.
I’ll finish up with this:
DO NOT FALL FOR TODAY’S SCAMS!