This page is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date about the latest Scams & Alerts, and to increase the awareness of scams, so that you do not fall victim to any one of the many online, telephone, or mail schemes.
IRS Says Thieves Stole Tax Information from 100,000 Households
Identity thieves used Internal Revenue service’s online service to obtain tax return information for about 100,000 U.S. households, the tax agency said Tuesday.
Thieves Using Skimmers at ATMs Causes Theft of Debit-Card to Soar
Debit-card compromises at ATMs located on bank property jumped 75% from Jan. 1 to April 9, compared with the same period last year, while successful attacks at nonbank machines soared by 317%.
The IRS has set up a new criminal- investigation team of about a dozen agents. The Washington based unit will tackle a nearly fourfold jump in identity theft cases since 2011, many of which involve hackers stealing information in order to collect victims’ tax refund.
The FBI and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) remind the public that there is a potential for disaster fraud in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Proposed legislation may ease Data-Breach Alert Laws.
Medical and financial data belonging to as many as 11 million Premera Blue Cross customers may have been exposed in a breach discovered the same day at the Anthem data breach.
According to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, an estimated 2.32 million Americans were victims of medical identity theft as of 2004 up from 1.84 million estimated in 2013.
Massive Utah Cyber Attacks – Up to 300 million per day – May be aimed at NSA facility
Five years ago, Utah government computer systems faced 25,000 to 30,000 attempted cyber attacks every day.
At the time, Utah Public Safety Commissioner Keith Squires thought that was massive. “But this last year we have had spikes of over 300 million attacks against the state databases” each day: a 10,000-fold increase.
Why? Squires says it is probably because Utah is home to the new, secretive National Security Agency computer center, and hackers believe they can somehow get to it through state computer systems.
Health insurer Anthem Inc, which has nearly 40 million U.S. customers, aid that hackers had breached one of its IT systems and stolen personal identifying information relating to current and former consumers and employees.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services just announced that myE-Verify is available in Utah. The myE-Verify program is a free, web-based service that provides you with self-service features to participate in the E-Verify process. myE-Verify provides you with a secure account to use services related to E-Verify. As a myE-Verify account holder, you can lock you Social Security number (SSN) to prevent anyone from using it in E-Verify and Self Check.
White House Moves to Protect Data Privacy
President Obama visited the offices of the Federal Trade Commission to announce a package of legislative proposals aimed at preventing identity theft across many sectors including education, energy, and technology.
Rocky Mountain Power is warning its customers and the public of a phone scam targeting its customers with criminals posing as utility customers service agents trying to get money and to steal personal information.
News story describing the utility company phone scam
Earlier this year, investigators for Sillicon Valley security company FireEye Inc. visited a U.S. firm to determine who, and what, sneaked into the firm’s network harboring military secrets.
Federal officials warned companies that hackers have stolen more than 500 million financial records over the past 12 months, essentially breaking into banks without ever entering a building.
If you are over 50, you are a scam target
“Seniors tend to be one of the highest-target groups of identity theft,” says Becky Frost, a consumer-education specialist at Experian Consumer Services, which provides consumer credit monitoring and identity protection. “They have established credit…and perhaps aren’t monitoring it as much, which makes them an ideal candidate for identity thieves.”
The Internal Revenue Service issued a fraud alert for international financial institutions complying with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Scam artists posing as the IRS have fraudulently solicited financial institutions seeking account holder identity and financial account information
In a statement issued on September 14, Chicago Ill. based Jimmy John’s said customers’ credit and debit card data was compromised after an intruder stole login credentials from the company’s point-of-sale vendor and used these credentials to remotely access the point-of-sale systems at some corporate and franchised locations between June 16, 2014 and September 5, 2014.
A large data breach at Home Depot has started to trigger fraudulent transactions that are rippling across financial institutions and, in some cases, draining cash from customer bank accounts, according to people familiar with the impact of the hacking attack.
Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JP Morgan Chase & Co. and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government sponsored sanctions, according to people familiar wit the probe.
Some customers may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states. A spokeswoman for UPS says the information includes names, card numbers and postal and email addresses from about 100,000 transactions between Jan. 20 and Aug. 11.
An alarming lapse in Internet security has exposed millions of passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive bits of information to potential theft by computer hackers who may have been secretly exploiting the problem before its discovery.
Target’s massive data security breach seems to grow bigger by the day. First, it was credit cards. Then, PIN numbers. Next, it became clear data theft was involved. Now, it’s emerging that more retailers were also affected.
Well-known U.S. retailers are victims of cyber attacks
Michaels data breach FAQ: What to do now?
Neiman Marcus data breach FAQ: What to do now?
IRS says identity theft grew sharply last year
The Internal Revenue Service is seeing a big jump in thieves stealing Social Security numbers to fraudulently claim tax refunds, the agency said. The IRS launched 1,492 criminal investigations into identity theft last year, a 66% increase from the year before. Prosecutions and indictments more than doubled. In all, the IRS said it has flagged 14.6 million suspicious tax returns since 2011, blocking more than $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.
Protecting your personal information amidst hacking sprees
Children are 51 times more likely to have their identity stolen than adults
Walmart $1,000.00 Gift Card/Certificate fraudulent email or text offer
Fraudulent email and text messages encouraging consumers to “Click Here to Claim Your $1,000 Walmart Gift Card!” have been making the rounds recently. This communication is NOT from Walmart. Walmart does not offer $1,000 gift cards for completing surveys or merely clicking on a link. In addition, Walmart will never ask you to email personal information such as: Passwords; Social Security Numbers; Bank account details; Credit card numbers, or Other financial information. Walmart will never make unsolicited phone calls asking for such information.
How to avoid fake antivirus scams
Text message scams “Smishing”
Many citizens of Utah have recently received a text message on their cellular phone, supposedly from their credit card/debit card company directing them to contact a telephone number to re-activate their card due to an account or security issue. The Utah Attorney General’s Office has received multiple reports of different variations of this scheme known as “Smishing”. These attacks against US financial institutions and consumers continue to rise at an alarming rate. No Utah Credit Union or Bank is immune to these attacks, and all cellular phone owners are potential targets to the thieves looking to profit from well intentioned credit/debit card customers.
Smishing operates like phishing by persuading consumers to divulge their credit card number, expiration date, Card Verification Value Code (CVV/CVC), and other personally identifiable information, claiming their account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated. Recipients are directed to contact their bank via a telephone number provided in the Text Message. Upon calling the telephone number, the recipient is greeted with “Welcome to the bank of ……” and then requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue. A cedit union or bank will NEVER request this information from a customer via cellular phone, text message, email, or any other form of communication.
If you have a question concerning your account or credit/debit card, you should contact your credit union or bank using a telephone number obtained independently, such as from your statement, a telephone book, or other independent means.
Work at home scams
During tough economic times, many unemployed are looking at offers to work at home to earn extra money. If you are looking into a work from home offer, be sure to first carefully research the company before accepting a job. This is especially the case if a company requests that you deposit money orders into your bank account and then return the company some or the entire principal amount via wire transfer using Western Union. The job offer might actually be an Advanced Fee Scam.