Thursday, March 29, 2012


NEW SECURITY THREAT! Is there no end? It’s reported by watchdog Katherine Hunt, that those innocent looking QR (quick response) bar codes, the one that looks like a small square checkerboard pattern that appear in ads, and can be scanned for text messages with a smartphone camera, may have serious unsuspecting security consequences…

It seems that scammers are developing and placing QR bar codes that steal your ID information from your smartphone, and also may urge you to call a phone number that places huge charge$ on your account. Some cybercriminals are even sticking fake QR code labels over legitimate ones.

Enhanced Online Security Has Become Mandatory!
Last year identity thieves stole $18 billion from unprotected americans, and are now hacking into, and looting our personal bank accounts. Don’t you become a victim. There are measures you can install now. You must protect your online security at all cost. Doing nothing can easily become a horrible disaster that you could have prevented.
Please take a moment to view the collection of great tips & references on security measures you can, and should install for your ultimate internet protection and piece of mind. Go to Internet Security at Amazon….

Below is a very small microcosm  of scamming complaints to be aware of recently received by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of America.

AmEx's "Thanks for Updating Your Email" Messages are Fakes…….
American Express card holders beware! Scammers are using the credit card company's email address for a phishing scam. Consumers nationwide reported receiving fake emails informing them that their account's email address has been changed.
What does the email look like?
These scam emails are remarkably sophisticated. Not only do they use the American Express logo, they copy the business's email design and color scheme. The fake messages even contain footer links labeled "View Our Privacy Policy" and "Contact Customer Service."
The message informs recipients that the email address on their American Express account has been changed and provides a link to where they can log in and correct the address. The link, along with the ones in the email footer, actually leads to a third-party website that downloads a virus on users' computers.

Ignore that Text! You Didn't Win a Walmart Gift Card:
Cell phone users across the country are receiving suspicious text messages that claim to be from Walmart. The texts tell consumers they won a free gift card... and all they have to do is click a link and enter some information. 

Unfortunately, there is no gift card. It's a scam to steal your credit card number and other personal info.

Electronic Pickpocketing: Are your Credit Cards at Risk?
New technology now allows criminals to steal your credit card information by passing an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) reader near your wallet or purse.
Stealing a physical wallet is a thing of the past-new technology now allows criminals to steal your credit card information by passing an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) reader near your wallet or purse.
RFID is a small chip that contains information like the credit card number and expiration date. These chips are used in one third of the total credit cards in the US; consumers can wave their card in front of a RFID reader and the credit card information is transmitted to the merchant.  This makes purchasing simple, but it also makes pick pocketing just as easy.
RFID readers are easily purchased, so criminals have access to your credit card numbers and expiration dates.
Using the information they obtain from your credit card, they are able to make duplicate cards to make other purchases.
BBB recommends the following tips to protect yourself:
 *   Put some sort a metal around your card such as aluminum foil
 *   Buy a protective sleeve or wallet from Amazon Security link.
 *   Ask your bank to send you a card that does not contain an RFID chip
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, contact the Federal Trade Commission for an Identity Theft Kit. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau at 509-455-4200 if you have any questions.

Online Dating Scams:
Are you thinking --- who would ever do online dating? More people than you think. In fact, millions of Americans use dating sites, social networking sites, and chat room to meet people.

It does work. In fact, one out of five relationships starts online. I know professional people who used online dating; it resulted in marriage.

But as with anything, you have to be careful so you are not scammed. On the Internet, it’s easy to pretend to be someone you are not. Are you really friends with all of your “friends” on Facebook? 
Do you have a lot of personal information on a dating site? With so much information about you online, a scammer can sound like they know you.

They create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money.       has some great tips to help you avoid scams. Be wary if your “sweetheart” does the following:
  Suggests leaving the dating site immediately and use personal email
  Moves the relationship along too quickly
  Claims to be a U.S. citizen who travels out of the country frequently
  Plans to visit, but has to cancel plans due to personal problems, including money
First and foremost do not wire money to your newly discovered “attraction” to cover:

  medical emergencies
  hotel bills
  hospital bills for a child or other relative
  visas or other official documents
  losses from a temporary financial setback
  losses from a mugging or robbery