Personal Cyber Threat
Tax season is here – Expect an uptick in tax phishing emails. 2018 saw a doubling of tax related scam incidents. Sometimes emails appear to come from tax preparers or the IRS itself.
The fraudulent emails often ask recipients for personal information. Or lead them to a website where they can input this data. Tax payers should be cautious when opening any email that asks for personal information.
When in doubt, delete the email and call the sender yourself to verify.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud continues to rise despite the rollout of chip based cards according to a report by Gemini Advisory. The new EMV chip cards were designed to reduce in-person fraud. The chip makes it difficult for card data to be stolen.
However, the study found fraud is on the rise. This may be due to the fact that many merchants have not upgraded to chip readers. Instead they ask customers to swipe the card’s magnetic strip which is much less secure.
Use the chip reader when ever you can. If your card’s chip is not working correctly, get your card replaced. Don’t default to the magnetic strip any longer than it takes to replace your card.
What does a Social Security number cost?
Why is identity theft & cyber security scams on the rise? Because it is easier and safer than stealing cars, robbing banks or dealing drugs.
In just a few minutes and $3, one can buy a Social Security number online. Experts report that so much data is online, it is quick and cheap to buy stolen personal information on the internet.
For example, a random Social Security number will run you 5 cents. The number of a specific person is $3. Your complete credit report costs $100; bank account username and password can be sold for $270 to $1,100 depending on your balance.
Protect your personal information. Freeze your credit report. Protect your banking information with a separate email for financial sources.
Be Smart! Stay Alert!
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