Schmucks Still Scamming and Stealing

Posted by in Security+ | 0 comments

The IRS* called me recently and left a message on my phone.

Apparently, they issued a warrant for my arrest and plan to notify the local police to find and arrest me if I don’t pay them an unspecified sum. They asked me to call them immediately to avoid these actions.

Gratefully, I recognized this as a long-running scam. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) points out a few facts about the IRS.

  • If the IRS needs to contact you, they’ll do it by mail first.
  • The IRS won’t demand personal information like credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone.
  • The IRS won’t threaten to arrest or sue you, or demand that you pay right away. The IRS also won’t tell you to use a specific form of payment like a money transfer from MoneyGram or Western Union, a cash reload from MoneyPak or Reloadit, or a gift card from iTunes or Amazon. Scammers ask you to use those ways to pay because they’re hard to track or cancel payments.

If you’re aware of cybersecurity techniques used by criminals, this may not be news to you. However, this scam frequently targets the elderly and people who don’t work with computers much. Share this information with them so that won’t be fooled.

* The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn’t call you.

Holiday Scams and Malware Campaigns

Of course, criminals don’t just use the phone to trick users. Here’s some valuable information shared by US-CERT:

As the holidays approach, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reminds users to be aware of seasonal scams and malware campaigns. Users should be cautious of unsolicited emails that contain malicious links or attachments with malware, advertisements infected with malware, and requests for donations from fraudulent charitable organizations, which could result in security breaches, identify theft, or financial loss.

CISA recommends the following actions:

If you believe you are a victim of a scam or malware campaign, consider the following actions:

 

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