CATCH

​Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team

EQUIFAX DATA BREACH & PHISING SCAMS

Cyber criminals have stolen 143 million credit records in the recent hacking scandal at the big-three credit bureau, Equifax. 
​At this point you have to assume that the bad guys have highly personal information that they can use to trick you.


You need to watch out for the following things:

  • Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised.
  • ​Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information.
  • Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union.
  • Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen. 


Here are​ 5 things you can do to prevent identify theft:

  • First sign up for credit monitoring (there are many companies providing that service including Equifax but we can't make a recommendation)
  • Next place a fraud alert with one of the major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  ​Placing a fraud alert is free and stays on your credit report for 90 days. 
  • Check your credit reports for free at annualcreditreport.com
  • Check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity.
  • If you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft, here are two sites where you can learn more about how to protect yourself.http://www.idtheftcenter.org and ftc.gov/idtheft


Think Before You Click!


SCAM ALERTS BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

To keep updated with current scams, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides scam alerts you can sign up for via email.
​These scam alerts include information on what to know and what to do about the latest scams.


For more information visit:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts


PHISHING & TAX SCAM

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), phishing is a scam carried out through phone calls, unsolicited email and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites to lure unsuspecting victims to provide personal and financial information.


​Here are some current examples of phishing:​

  • If you receive an email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), regarding your personal tax information, it is a scam. TAP never requests and doesn't have access to any taxpayer's personal and financial information. 
  • If you receive a phone call, email message, or any type of contact from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding your personal or financial information it is a scam.

  • The IRS will never initiate contact with the taxpayer by email, text message or social media to request personal and financial information. 


​To report phishing please call: (800) 366-4484 or visit: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing
Here are current tax scams in relation to phishing: 
https://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Scams-Consumer-Alerts​


TECH SUPPORT SCAMS
Tech support phone scams are when cybercriminals call claiming to be from either Microsoft or any company that provides some type of computer support services. They offer to help resolve any complications with computers or even sell a software license. If given access to a computer, the cybercriminals are able to install malicious software that could steal sensitive information or download software that will allow them to take over your computer. A request for credit card information will be asked to bill you for their "services."

Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls. For more information regarding tech support scams please visit:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx


RANSOMWARE SCAM

Ransomware is malware that locks a computer and shows a warning demanding a payment to unlock the computer. When a computer is locked, it is typical for the ransomware warning to state that there has been a violation of federal law, while also displaying a logo from a government agency. Do not pay the ransom! Report ransomware to the Internet Crime Complaint (IC3):


For Further Information on Internet Crime Complaint: ​https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

You may need to seek the services of a computer specialist to look at your computer and remove the ransomware.
For more information on ransomware please visit: 
http://us.norton.com/ransomware



ARREST WARRANT SCAM

The arrest warrant scam is when a cybercriminal sends a victim a fake arrest warrant, via email or fax, stating a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney of a government agency wants to arrest them with charges such as money laundering, bank fraud, or missing jury duty.On the arrest warrant, it states to send money to avoid arrest. A valid warrant would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law enforcement officer. Do not send money!

Report arrest warrant scams to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the U.S. Marshals Office.
FBI
https://www.fbi.gov/report-threats-and-crime
U.S. Marshals Office
http://www.usmarshals.gov/contacts/index.html