Scams in April 2014

Scams in April 2014

IRS Email Scam

What to Look For:

The Treasury Inspector General for Taxpayer Administration is warning consumers that crooks are contacting individuals posing as IRS officials claiming they owe taxes. The caller demands payment over the phone requesting payment through a debit card, wire transfer or a credit card number. If the individual does not comply with the demand for payment, the caller threatens the individual with an arrest, deportation or threatens to take away a driver’s license or business. It has been reported that thousands of victims have lost money to these tax scams. For more details on this scam visit


  • The IRS contacts people by mail first, NOT by phone.
  • The IRS will NOT ask for payment using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
  • The IRS will NOT ask for a credit card over the phone.
  • If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484
  • If you do owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040.


Facebook Post Scam: FLIGHT M370 FOUND!

What to Look For:

As Flight M370 gains worldwide media attention it  becomes a “hot” topic for cyber criminals on Facebook. This is an example of how cyber criminals use media events to exploit an individual’s curiosity to trick them into opening malicious messages. The post encourages the reader to share or like it with friends and family. Once the post is shared the video of the rescue is supposed to become accessible to the reader of the post. The video is never seen and the post goes on to ask for more of your information. Cyber criminals get paid for the number of times this post is shared or liked.


  • If you are not familiar with the source, NEVER like or share it.
  • DELETE these types of posts immediately.
  • DO NOT fill out any requested surveys associated with these posts.
FB Scam_2

Image courtesy of Online Threat Alliance


Message from Your Attorney Scam

What to Look For:

The theme of this communication is that your attorney stopped by your neighbors and left you a message. The neighbor was kind enough to scan the note into an email along with an attachment that your attorney needs you to open. Here’s a sample of the scam email:

Subject: message from your attorney  Hi, there! This is your neighbor writing here. Today your attorney popped you, but you were out, so he left a message for you. I have attached the file in this email, so you can open and check everything you need. Your attorney told me it is quite urgent and as soon as you check this message you should call him back. If something is not clear, you can find the cell phone number of your attorney into the file,  so you can dial it at once Have a good night!

please call me back (469)

Opening the attachment will release a Trojan virus into your system.


  • DO NOT open the attachment and DELETE the email immediately.
  • NEVER open attachments that have the extension”.zip” or “.rar”  unless you know who they are from. Cyber criminals compress their virus software into these extensions in order to bypass your PC security.

Scams in March 2014

Scams in March 2014

ATM Scam

What to Look For:Many thanks to Symantec for this helpful video demonstrating how scammers infiltrate ATM machines.  You can read in greater detail on Symantec’s site about how scammers can send an SMS to an ATM and have money spill out of the machine.  TIPS: From this video you can see that if someone is in front of an ATM with a keyboard it warrants attention.  If you see something like this report it immediately to the authorities, NEVER  confront criminals directly.

Jury Duty Phone Scam

What to Look For:  In this particular New Jersey county the scammers are posing as sheriff’s office employees and calling individuals to accuse them of missing jury duty. They then explain to their victims that they can avoid arrest by providing a credit card number or prepaid debit card to pay a fine and have the warrant lifted. TIPS: Check your caller ID.  You will only receive calls from a government agency from a publicly listed government agency phone number.

Foreign Lottery Scam

What to Look For:  You just won the lotto!  Who wouldn’t want to hear that news?  That’s what these scammers are counting on.  The scam: A letter is received declaring you have won a foreign lottery.  The letter also includes a check for some of the winnings. All you have to do is deposit the check and wire them the required non resident taxes to receive your full winnings. TIPS:

PayPal Scam

What to Look For:  PayPal scams abound across the internet.  These scams are popular within the cyber criminal community. They usually come in the form of an alert stating your PAYPAL transaction was declined. TIPS: The best place to understand this scam and see great examples of what a PayPal scam visually looks like is here on the PayPal site.

NetFlix Scam

What to Look For:  Crooks are sending out emails stating your NETFLIX account has been suspended.  You are directed to call an 800 number to clear the matter up.  On the other end of the line is where the scam artist is waiting to get all your personal information acting as a NETFLIX tech agent. TIPS:

  • DO NOT call this number
  • DO NOT click on any links within the email.
  • Contact NETFLIX directly to report the scam. Click here to read more details on this scam.

2013 in the Rearview, and the Security Lessons We’ve Learned

2013 Year in Review
Infographic: Security Lessions Learned in 2013

Infographic: Security Lessions Learned in 2013

To say that 2013 wasn’t a very good year for security is an understatement. From endless NSA leaks to major data breaches at LivingSocial, Adobe, and Target, it’s a year that I hope you won’t forget too quickly. Otherwise you may learn nothing from the security failures, leaving you more vulnerable to becoming a fraud victim yourself. If you want a head start on security for 2014, but the security headlines from 2013 already seem blurry, here are brief reminders of some of the bigger fraud-related news stories, events and failures.

January – The New York Times confirms that it was the victim of a sophisticated attack by Chinese hackers using advanced malware. The hackers used at least 45 different types of malware, only one of which was detected by the firm’s security systems. Continue reading

Security Lessons We’ve Learned in 2013 [Infographic]

As we move forward into a new year, it’s important to continue improving our security measures to protect our personal information. This year had its share of security slip-ups, from leaks of NSA information to major data breaches at nationwide companies like LivingSocial, Adobe and Target. Let’s take a look at this infographic to see how we can improve our security strategies to prevent from becoming a fraud victim ourselves. Let’s take a look back at 2013 to see what lessons we can learn.

Read the full article here.

EZShield Infographic Security Lessons Learned In 2013

EZShield Infographic Security Lessons Learned In 2013