Tips and Tricks from CyberWyoming, June 27, 2022

By: 
CyberWyoming

Brief 6/27/2022

Costco Impersonation:­ A Cheyenne citizen reported an email from a breakbreadandbuild.com email address spoofed as “Costco Online Sh0pper (Wholesale)” (note the zero in shopper vs an ‘o’).  The subject line was also a giveaway as it had a misspelling “Confirmation Needed RjEWARD Has Arrived This Month. No.{3642148}”.

Your Address Not Validated by the Web Server Scam:  If you receive an email saying “Your incoming messages are queued up and pending delivery, because your address has not been validated by the Web Server,” do not click on the Validate Now button.  The email came from a mailserver.com website address.  Reported by a Laramie citizen.

Fake Text Notification for Smart Light Bulbs:  If you receive a group text asking you to text a number you don’t know, branded like an advertisement for Smart Light Bulbs, a Big Horn citizen wants you to know it is fake.  If you call or text the area code (220) number, they know it is active and it may open you up to more scams.  Just block their number.  This Big Horn citizen did some research and found out that one of the worst area codes for phone scams is 220.

Watch for Home Relief Scam:  A Sheridan citizen reported a “2022 Home Relief Program” email whose link went to a Mexican restaurant in Baltimore.  The email’s subject line was the Sheridan citizen’s name and the email was from “Klement Butt” at an outlook email address.  CyberWyoming Note: While the 2022 Home Relief Program may sound official it isn’t.  The FTC has warned that there are many bad actors out there pretending to be affiliated with the government or government housing assistance programs and to be very wary.  According to NBC news in the fall of 2021, there is no government sponsored mortgage relief program.

Wyoming AARP Scam Alert: Be on the watch for phony contractors coming to your door after a bad storm.  They may claim to have ‘extra materials’ and urge you to act right away to get a deal.  Always get multiple bids, get a written contract, and don’t pay more than 1/3 of the cost up front.

Red Flags for Vacation Rentals:  If that rental is a bargain price, you can’t speak to the actual owner, the ‘owner’ wants you to go off site (outside VRBO or Air B&B) to book and pay, you’re asked to pay via Zelle or Venmo, you feel rushed to make a decision, there are no reviews of the rental (or all 5 star reviews), or the listing has bad spelling/grammar, these are ALL signs it may be a scam.  Brought to you by Scambusters.org.

Shooting Victim Fundraisers: Crooks are cashing in on the recent wave of mass shootings. They may claim to be from legitimate charities or set up fraudulent crowdfunding sites, using messaging and robocalls to solicit contributions. If you want to help, do your homework on the fundraisers first.Brought to you by Scambusters.org.

Three Most Common NFT (non-fungible token) Scams fromScambusters.org:  

1. The NFT Rug Pull Scam:  a simple trick where scammers invite investors and collectors to buy shares in a new collection of NFTs, supposedly reaping a profit when they're sold. Thousands of dollars, sometimes millions, pour in. Then the crooks disappear with the cash.

2. Take NFTs: The process of minting an NFT is actually quite complex and can cost about $1,000, using specialized software. And once it is locked into a blockchain ledger -- the code for the item and its ownership -- it can't be copied or altered.  But that doesn't stop crooks on some dubious websites from digitally forging them and offering them for sale. Unless the buyer knows what they're doing, they generally don't find out they've been conned until they try to offer theirs for sale. Not only does the investor lose out but also the artist whose work has been hijacked.

3. NFT Customer Service Phishing Scam:  It's no surprise that, with so many NFT rookies trying to play the market, scammers would set up services that are supposed to help them when they run into problems.  Crooks set up replica sites of genuine NFT traders. Investors usually end up there when they miss-key the site address or click on a phony link. The scammers simply ask visitors for their sign-on details plus other security information and then clean out the victim's NFT collection and, often, their cyber currency accounts.  Only buy NFTs from well-known NFT sites like these:  https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/cryptocurrency/nft-marketplaces/ and always look for a small blue check mark next to a listing signaling that the seller’s account has been verified.

MS-ISAC and CISA Patch Now Alert: The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) or the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a patch now (update your software) alert for Google’s Chrome browser and Hypervisor products.  If you use these products, make sure the software (or firmware) is updated.   

Please report scams you may experience to phishing@cyberwyoming.org to alert your friends and neighbors.

Other ways to report a scam:

● Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker:www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/reportscam

● Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection 307-777-6397, 800-438-5799 or ag.consumer@wyo.gov

● File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/

● Report your scam to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplaint

● Reported unwanted calls to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registration. Online at https://www.donotcall.gov/report.html or call 1-888-382-1222, option 3

● Office of the Inspector General:  https://oig.ssa.gov/

● AARP Fraud Watch Network (any age welcome) Helpline 877-908-3360

● IRS: report email scams impersonating the IRS to phishing@irs.gov

● Call the Wyoming Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) for assistance with potential Medicare fraud, abuse, or errors at 1 800 856-4398

 

Victim Support: The AARP Fraud Watch Network and Volunteers of America (VOA) created a new, free program to provide emotional support for people impacted by a scam or fraud, called ReST. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudsupport to learn more about the free program and register.

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