Category Archives: Scam Alert

Be on the lookout for tax phishing scams

Be on the lookout for tax phishing scams

Tax scam season is upon us and the IRS is providing tips on how to avoid phishing and malware scams. Even if you don’t give the information that a scam email requests, you could still put yourself at risk by clicking on links or opening attachments. Watch this important video to find out how to handle emails that say they are from the IRS — because they are not!

Remember, the IRS does NOT initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media channels to request personal or financial information. .

Here are two scams making the rounds this year to watch out for.

Scam #1: Review your W-2
In this scam, criminals send an official-looking email to try and trick you into reviewing “your” W-2 tax form. The BBB says subject line for this phishing attempt may be something like: “Document Received (scanned_1040_W2.pdf).”

The email message asks you to verify the information listed on the W-2 by clicking a link to a “secure” file shared using a reputable file sharing service. Rather than taking you to your W-2, the link could download malware on to your computer, or take you to a fake site designed to steal your information.

Scam #2: Payroll needs a copy of your W-2
Here, scammers do some homework and find out the names of company executives or the head of the payroll department. Armed with that information and using a technique called business email spoofing, they pose as that person over email.

The IRS says the email may start innocently enough by asking, “Hi, are you working today?” but eventually the fraudster asks you to send a copy of your current W-2. With the information, the criminals can file a tax return (keeping any and all refunds), request a wire transfer, and/or sell the your data on the Dark Web.

What you can do
The IRS recommends these steps to steer clear of these scams:

1. Don’t click email links! Clicking on them could infect your computer with malware or take you to a fake third-party site designed to steal your information.

2. Hover over links. If the email has a link, hover your mouse over it to reveal its true destination. If something seems fishy (or phishy, as the case may be), don’t risk clicking on it.

3. Don’t open unsolicited emails. If you haven’t asked to be contacted, or don’t know who sent the email, put it straight in the recycle bin.

4. Be very, very careful about sharing personal information. Even if the email looks real, it might not be. And, don’t share your bank account, credit card, or social security data to anyone you don’t know personally.

Cyber security hint: Make passwords strong

Cyber security hint: Make passwords strong

In honor of National Consumer Protection Week, BendBroadband is sharing blogs about phishing scams and this one below which reminds consumers to make your passwords strong and tough to crack. The tips below were adapted from the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Online Privacy Tip Card: Make your passwords/passphrases strong You can increase the strength of… Continue Reading

Online gaming: A possible security risk

If you, or someone in your family, enjoy the super-popular online games be warned: there are real-life security risks at play in online gaming. Take Fornite — three recently discovered security bugs would have allowed hackers to access account and payment information, and also listen to chats. Even more scary? All it would have taken… Continue Reading

E-mail Scam Alert

Dear BendBroadband customers, BendBroadband has become aware of a possible e-mail scam. Customers are receiving an email with a subject line: ‘Payment Declined’ and it states it’s from ‘TDS Billing.’  If you hover over ‘TDS Billing’, it actually shows an address of dobnflorence@wildblue.net.  Within the email it states the customer’s recent payment has been declined and… Continue Reading

Social Security Number scam on the rise

The FTC is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security Number and even your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, the FTC heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly… Continue Reading

People can figure out your password

People can figure out your password

Even if your password isn’t “123456,” “password,” “qwerty,” or “letmein”—some of the most commonly used ones out there—odds are good that other people know your password. That’s because of two reasons: Billions of leaked credentials have found their way online thanks to data breaches. The average person uses the same password in multiple places. Especially… Continue Reading

Hacking humans: dangers of social engineering

Hacking humans: dangers of social engineering

“Amateurs hack systems, professionals hack people.”  —Bruce Schneier – cryptographer, privacy specialist, and author Social engineering is a new term to describe someone who uses psychological manipulation to get someone else to divulge confidential information or perform actions (e.g., click a link in an email or open a locked door). An older name for a social… Continue Reading