Counterfeit Cashier's Check Alert [January 28, 2016]
Mobile Malware Outbreak Strikes Android Devices [March 3, 2015]
NCUA Consumer Report: Frauds, Scams and Cyberthreats — Part I [January 8, 2015]
NCUA Consumer Report: Frauds, Scams and Cyberthreats — Part II [January 8, 2015]
Important App Security Information [November 17, 2014]
How to Protect Yourself During the Holidays [November 17, 2014]
1. You've Got Mail! — As holiday sales continue to migrate online, the risk for shipping notification and phishing scams are increasing. Though malware is a year-round risk, since many people do their holiday shopping online, consumers are more apt to click on a shipping notification or phishing e-mail because they think it is legit.
2. Deceptive Advertising — Everyone is searching for steals and deals during the holidays. Keep your eyes peeled (and your wallet in check) when online shopping for this season's most coveted products. Dangerous links, phony contests on social media, and bogus gift cards are just some of the ways scammers try to steal your personal information and ruin your holiday cheer.
3. Chilling Charities — 'Tis the season for giving. During the holidays, many consumers give back by donating to their favorite charity. Sadly, no good deed goes unpunished. Be wary of fake charities that could reach you via email, or are shared virally through social media.
4. Buyer Beware — There are just some scams that you can't help but fall victim to, unfortunately. Point of sale malware that leads to exposing credit card information falls into this category. Make sure you check your credit card statements vigilantly and stay on top of breaking news to be aware and prepared.
5. iScams — New mobile apps for Android and iOS devices are added every day. Thanks to the ongoing advancement of technology, your mobile device can control the temperature in your house, keep you connected to social media and add cool filters to your holiday photos. Even the most official-looking or festive apps could be malicious and access your personal information.
6. Getting Carded — Digital e-cards to spread the holiday cheer are fun, easy and most importantly, thoughtful. While you may want a loved one to send you "Season's Greetings," hackers are looking to wish you a "Merry Malware!" Well-known e-card sites are safe, but be wary of potential scams that cause you to download malware onto your device.
7. Holiday Travel Scams — With travel on the rise during peak holiday times, online scammers are ready to take advantage of the fact that consumers often become less vigilant about their safety. Fake online travel deal links are bountiful, but there are also risks that exist once you arrive at your destination including spyware that can access your information through logging onto infected PCs onsite.
8. Bank Robocall Scam — When holiday spending increases and consumers are aware of the abuse to their bank accounts and credit cards, hackers use this as an opportunity. In most cases, consumers receive a fake phone call from one of these institutions from an automated (or not) "security agent" stating that the user's account has been compromised and requesting personal information including the account password, to make changes.
9. ATM Skimming — During the holiday season, you need cash and are usually in a rush to get it. Criminals can access your information at ATMs by installing skimming devices to steal the data off your card's magnetic strip and either using a video camera or keypad overlay to capture your PIN. A simple solution: look carefully at your ATM for anything suspicious and cover the keypad when entering your PIN.
10. Year in Review Traps — Many news services capitalize on the holidays by developing "Year in Review" articles. Companies should warn their employees about the risks of clicking on these types of links from their work emails. Links from phony sources could infect and compromise the security of company devices.
11. BYO...Device — With an increase in travel, activity (and bubbly!) over the busy holiday season, people are more likely to forget their smart phones in public places. While inconvenient for them, it is also way for hackers to access sensitive personal information and business data if the appropriate security measures are not in place.
12. Bad USB Blues — During the holiday season, you may see an increase in gift baskets from vendors who want to continue doing business with your company in the upcoming year. One of the most popular items in these baskets includes branded USBs. Beware of allowing your employees to use these, as undetectable malware is sometimes pre-installed on them.
Smishing Alert (text messaging scam) [October 23, 2013]
DocuSign Phishing Alert (email scam) [May 17, 2013]
Stay Alert to New Cybercrime Trends [August 20, 2012]
As part of the member protection and education initiatives of Georgia's Own, we felt it vital to share with our members information regarding the latest attempts by criminals to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. Through the delivery of this information, it is our goal to help our members protect their financial well-being.
Cybercriminals focus on making a fast buck with e-mail, texting and phone frauds designed to capture consumers' account numbers. Several new cybercrime trends are developing, some offering new twists to old scams.
- Fake political survey. A multi-choice "political survey" is taking advantage of consumers during the election year. The scam involves telephone calls to consumers. After answering the survey, they are told they have won a free cruise to the Bahamas. The caller, after providing a website address to "prove legitimacy," requests the "winner's" e-mail address for notification purposes and credit card information to cover port fees. The website has limited information, with photos, testimonials, and "Caribbean Line" banner.
- Online phonebook. This is a phone book website, where anyone can post other individuals' information to the site. Through the site, some consumers were verbally bullied or saw uncensored comments and false accusations posted about them. Personal information available on the site included: full name, unlisted cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, direct links to private Face book accounts, photos and more. The website allows users to anonymously call anyone on the site directly from the Web, as well as track them with a Global Positioning System.
- Free credit service website. A website claiming to offer "free" credit services such as credit scores and credit monitoring. Consumers report being charged a monthly service fee. The agreement terms advise that the "free" report lasts only for a limited time. At the end of the term, the website, using financial information the consumer provided charged a monthly membership service ranging from $19.95 to $29.95. The Better Business Bureau has given the website an 'F' rating because the numerous complaints were filed against the business.
- Text Scams. Occurs when a criminal sends a text message to a consumer's cell phone under false pretenses to trick the consumer into entering personal information with a bogus phone line or website so the criminal can use the information to raid the victim's account. Due to increase fraud with consumers' mobile devices such as cell phones, i-phone or smart phone, major telecommunications carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are offering a new service for consumers who receiving text spams that may involve scams. When consumers get a text they think is a scam, they can forward it to the number 7726. All three carriers use the same number in an attempt to establish a communications industry standard for dealing with scams. To aid in your protection, remember to set up your security systems on mobile devices and add cell phone numbers to the Do Not Call registry.
If you have been a victim of one of these scams and believe your account(s) with Georgia's Own are at risk, please contact the Security Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder, Georgia's Own advises members to never provide personal financial information, including your Social Security number, account numbers or passwords over the phone or the Internet if you did not initiate the contact.