In the News
Back on January 11, 2012, a news blog was posted on Bankrate.com by David McMillin about the FBI warning consumers to be careful about doing you banking online. It seems there is a group of criminals that has come up with a clever scam to steal your personal banking information from your computer or cell phone.
McMillin wrote: “In a new warning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns account holders of a new spam email scheme that involves a type of malware called “Gameover.” The scheme involves fake emails from the National Automated Clearing House Association, the Federal Reserve or the FDIC. These messages attempt to trick recipients into clicking on a link to resolve some type of issue with their accounts or a recent ACH transaction. Once you click on the link, Gameover takes over your computer, and thieves can steal usernames, passwords and your money.”
McMillin asks at the end of his blog, if you have had a scam experience, to make suggestions on how you think the problem should be handled.
I recently had two attempts to takeover my computer, one of which caused my computer to crash, and the other caused me to rethink my security protection for the computer.
The first one was a worm that caused my computer to seize. The solution was to erase all my information, restore my computer to its factory condition and buy better anti-virus protection. I lost all the work I did not have backed up.
The second attempt came when I discovered someone currently had control of my computer. The scam artist changed my web pages directly in front of my eyes and moved my cursor at will. I immediately shut down my computer, and it then took me three days to redo my security protection. I changed all pass words, and I now use my computer as a user, while any changes made can only be done by my administrator.
What Scam Artists Can Do With Your Personal Information
Anyone who has had some type of virus or worm that has caused your computer to crash most likely has experienced some type of scam to find out personal information about you. Personal identity theft is one of the largest growing crimes in America, and the reasons to scam you through entering your computer to get personal information is endless.
By entering your computer, thieves can often get your name, address, telephone number, social security number, banking information, and business information, if you do business online. They can learn your passwords and user names once the get into your computer.
Obviously, once they get this information, they can obtain credit cards in your name, take money from your accounts if they get your banking information, set up phony businesses in your name, make out phony identifying documents like driver’s license and passports. The scam artists do not necessarily have to be from the United States to benefit most from thes type of scams.
My Suggestions for Using a Personal Computer
Because of my personal experience with someone trying to scam me, I no longer keep any personal information on my computer, and unless a site is encrypted and protected, I will not fill in the blanks with personal information, or use that particular web page. My computer name has no personal information, and my computer has no personal information anywhere in it. I no longer do my accounting or banking with an online computer. I have another computer that I keep my accounting and banking information in, but I ALWAYS use this computer offline, never hooking it up to the internet.
- Common Tax Scams to be Aware of and Avoid (taxdebthelp.com)
- IRS lists top tax scams for 2012 – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) (blogs.ajc.com)
- IRS releases list of ‘dirty dozen’ tax scams and warns: ‘Don’t be fooled’ – The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)
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