1. Beware of Ashley Madison-related phishing scams. The most recent offers a link to the “Ashley Madison Client List,” but instead infects the user’s computer with banking malware, or locks up files until the user pays the scammer “to get it fixed.”
2. Local consumers are being told they qualify for free government grants, up to $9,000, to help pay bills. The caller says, to receive the money, the consumer must wire $245 through Money Gram to pay for fees and taxes. This is a scam.
3. Local consumers are still receiving calls from scammers posing as the IRS. BBB receives several calls on this scam every day. Consumers are told they are going to be arrested on an outstanding warrant for taxes owed. To cancel the warrant, they are told to pay immediately through Money Gram.
4. Scammers who are posing as a company called Louisville Solutions, are telling local consumers an outstanding debt must be paid. The scammer, who purports to be with the summons division, gives a case number to make it sound legitimate. The consumer is told to call a phone number for instruction on what to do. This is an attempt to steal funds, or one’s identity!
5. Be cautious when accepting files from file sharing sites, like Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive. The email comes from someone you know, with a link to the documents through one of the file sharing sites. When you click on the link, a file containing malware could be downloaded on your computer, or you could be taken to a fake website where scammers ask for personal information.
6. Don’t fall for fake customer service numbers when searching for companies online. In one scenario, you search for a credit card issuer’s phone number, and dial the number that comes up at the top of the search results. A recorded message prompts you to enter your credit card number and other information. It could be an attempt to phish for your personal information.
7. A new email con uses Google Docs to disguise as a phishing scam. The email appears to be recruiting you for a new job opportunity, but it is really an attempt to steal your password. The email looks professional, with a company logo, signature block, and reply email address. According to the message, the HR representative found your resume on LinkedIn and would like you to take a look at the job description. To view this info, just click a link to a Google Doc. Don’t fall for it!
8. Ransomware, software that hijacks and freezes PCs until a ransom is paid, is finding its way onto Android smartphones. Scammers demand up to $250 to unfreeze them. A message comes up claiming to be from the FBI, a government cyber task force, or a security firm, claiming that the user has been accessing illegal websites and must now pay a fine to get access to their device again.
9. Consumers are receiving calls, saying they are getting an increase in social security benefits. The scammers say, in order to process the benefits increase, they must get some information. Don’t believe it! This is an attempt to steal personal information. Social security information would come in the mail.
10. Scammers are using robocalls to tell individuals that they have been rewarded thousands of Airline Miles. The calls claim to come from the travel company, Expedia. The call invites the recipient to press a key to proceed with the mileage points claim. This connects them with an operator who asks for airline account details or other confidential information that might be used for identity theft.
For more consumer tips, go to bbb.org or call a 1-800-388-2222.