The US Department of Treasury is warning taxpayers about a ‘frightening’ fraud scam. The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a warning January 19 advising taxpayers to be aware of callers impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and threatening victims to pay back-owed taxes following reports that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) received 900,000 reports of fraudulent calls, resulting in over $26.5 million in victim losses since October 2013.
The FBI warns us of the following scams, which seem to be growing in popularity:
Online Shopping Scams—If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Steer clear of unfamiliar sites offering items at unrealistic discounts or gift cards as an incentive to purchase a product. You may end up paying for an item, giving away personal information, and then receive nothing in return except a compromised identity. In addition, do not open any unsolicited e-mails or click on the links provided.
MUNCIE, Ind. - Be aware that criminals have been making phone calls to customers and non-customers claiming to be First Merchants Bank and Lafayette Bank and Trust regarding their FMB Debit Card.
Avoid becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season.
Below are six tips to help you avoid becoming a victim in Cyberspace this holiday season for both home and at work.
Think twice before clicking on email attachments or website links: Cyber-criminals take advantage of the holiday shopping season by using “order confirmation” and “shipping notification” emails to install malicious software on a victim’s computer. If you haven’t purchased anything online recently, don’t open or click on emails of this nature.
According to an online statement from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the FBI, nearly 2,000 individuals have fallen victim to a wire payment scam across 45 countries, which has led to an estimated loss of $215 million.
In response to the wire payment scam, law enforcement agencies are issuing a widespread warning about a large scale operation that is tricking employees at both small and large businesses, called the Business Email Compromise.
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a phishing warning regarding the following excerpt:
Fictitious correspondence, allegedly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regarding funds purportedly under the control of the OCC and possibly other government entities, is in circulation. Correspondence may be distributed via email, fax, or postal mail.
MUNCIE, Ind. - Be aware that the criminals calling your cell phones and home phones are adding a new feature to their attempts to get your information. They are masking the phone number to show your own number; it looks like your phone is calling you. They are betting that you’ll be more likely to answer and respond to a call if it is your own phone number if for no other reason other than curiosity.
MUNCIE, Ind. - The FBI and Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) are warning businesses that a specific email fraud scam is escalating. This scam normally involves a person receiving an email at their business address that seems to be a legitimate invoice from a vendor requesting payment via a wire transfer to a designated bank account. The FBI reports that the emails are altered to make it difficult to identify the true sender of the email and is usually not caught until after the money has been transferred.
Be aware that a recent increase has been detected in individuals attempting to gain businesses' bank account information in an effort to commit fraud in the future. These attempts do not necessarily involve Business Online Banking credentials.
MUNCIE, Ind. - Be aware that malware called Cryptowall is showing up with increasing frequency. Cryptowall, an updated version of an older type of malware, will encrypt the hard drive on the PC (or tablet or phone or server) you are working on and will demand a ransom payment via Bitcoin (non-traceable) to decrypt it. If your device is compromised, the only way to fix it is to completely wipe the hard drive and start over. Any data not backed up will be lost.