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Wed, August 23, 2017 Twitter LinkedIn

Compliance Training Blog

Security is everyone's responsibility

Scams To Look Out For In 2015

We saw many scams in 2014. People with devious minds and malicious intent had a host of new tools to use when they wanted to steal the identities of honest people, and 2015 looks like it will be more of the same. While companies like Global Learning Systems are hard at work keeping customers informed, it seems like new schemes are being cooked up every day. Here are just a few of the scams to look out for in 2015.


The One Ring Scam
You might have experienced this one already - an unknown number calls your phone, it rings once, and then they hang up. The area code is usually somewhere exotic, and you can find yourself facing hefty charges if you actually dial back - these international fees can be as high as nine dollars a minute, plus a twenty dollar international call fee. This scam preys on curiosity, so wait for a voice mail before you call back any numbers you have missed.
 
Rental Scams
The growth in companies that allow you to rent out others’ homes for vacations has made rental scams very popular over the last few months. Scammers will sign up with accounts and pictures of their homes and offer them for rent - with the twist that they don't actually have a connection to these properties. Most will require a fairly hefty sum as a rental deposit, and have nothing to deliver in return. That's why it's always important to double-check your rental bookings and ensure you are going through a trusted and verified site.
 
The Small Charge Credit Card Scam
This is one scam that relies on people who don't carefully check their credit card bills. If your credit card number is stolen, some scammers will choose to take the safe route and make only small, recurring charges to your account each month. Usually at an amount less than ten dollars ($9.84 is common), the expenditure can easily be missed by those who are not vigilant in checking their credit card statements.
 
Child Predator Alerts
This online scam preys on parental fears to help scammers steal personal information.  Users will receive an email alert claiming there is a child predator in their area, with a link to find out more included in the email. If the link is clicked on, the user can expect to be met with a torrent of malware quickly installed on his or her computer, and the possibility of stolen personal information.
 
Job Listing Scams
One important group of scams to look out for in 2015 are the ongoing scams used to glean personal information from job applications found on major job search websites and community sites like Craigslist. These scams generally feature jobs with high (but not absurdly high) pay, basic requirements, and claims that the company is keeping their information confidential. Inquiring about the job will lead you to an "online interview" which generally requires a great deal of personal information - all of which can be used to steal your identity.
 
Most of these scams can be avoided if you exercise basic caution and make sure to keep all of your personal information safe. Always remember that an offer that sounds too good to be true usually is, and that you should never submit anything on the internet to someone that you don't already know. The world can be a scary place if you don't know how to keep yourself safe, so always make sure you do your research and take the necessary steps to keep all of your personal information safe. If you can see the scams coming, you stand a much better chance of avoiding the fallout.
 
For more information on these scams, you can also visit:
 
http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2015/01/bamboozled_5_scams_to_watch_for_in_2015.html
 
http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/investing-personal-finance/investment-scams-need-watch-2015/52563
 
http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article4680474.html
 
http://consumerist.com/2015/01/21/watch-out-for-scammers-renting-out-homes-they-dont-own/
 
http://www.bbb.org/blog/2015/01/child-predator-scam-preys-on-parents-fears/

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The Dangers of Phishing Scams and How to Protect Yourself

In today’s digital world, so much of what we do, whether business or pleasure, can be found online. However, with the increase in online activity, cybercrime has risen as well, and one of the most dangerous scams out there is phishing.

What is phishing?



Phishing, as defined by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), “refers to a scam that encompasses fraudulently obtaining and using an individual's personal or financial information.” The scam works when a phishing individual or organization sends out an email that appears to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or government organization.

The email contains a reason for the subject receiving it to “verify” his or her information by clicking a direct link that is provided in the email. The link and the website it links to appear to be from the same trusted source that “sent” the email - however, in reality, it all belongs to the scammer. Once you click the link and enter your information, such as social security number or credit card information, it will be sent to the scammers who will then use it for their own purposes.

Why is it dangerous?

Phishing is one of the most dangerous forms of cybercrime because, for the most part, it can’t be detected by regular antivirus software. Phishing scammers don’t need to infect your computer with a virus in order to obtain your information, because you will willingly give it up by following the link provided in the email.

Once the individual or organization behind the phishing scam has your personal information, you are in danger of falling victim to identity theft, which has serious consequences for your financial stability and credit.

How can you prevent it?

One option for preventing phishing is to purchase and install anti-phishing software; these programs scan emails and messages to look for conspicuous wording and clear signs of phishing. With so many new and sophisticated scams continuing to arise, however, our next tip is vital.

Know the signs and avoid clicking on links in emails that seem as if they may be from a malicious source. According to Microsoft, several trademarks of phishing scams include the tendency to spoof a popular or trusted company, one that most users won’t think twice about giving up their personal information for.

Some are easy to detect, while many are getting more sophisticated.
Another aspect is the fact that links will be provided and written out directly in the email; when you hover over the link with your mouse, you will be able to see that it does not actually link to the site that it promises, but instead to a malicious scam website. This can be very tricky, i.e. yourcompanyworkplace.com could be disguised as yourcompanyvvorkplace.com. Did you catch it? the “w” in the first URL is two “v”s in the second URL. This is an example of how an attacker will disguise phishing websites to look like legitimate sources.

To learn more about how to prevent phishing scams, one option is to have your business or organization’s employees trained to recognize the signs. For example, Global Learning Systems offers a comprehensive course in anti-phishing so that you and your organization will be prepared to face and avoid phishing scams. We also offer simulated exploit tests to assess how your employees would respond to various attack vectors. You want to ensure your employees recognize and report such attacks to keep their personal and your organizational information secure.

Another great resource is http://www.privacyrights.org to stay aware of recent breaches and security threats.

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