On Our Minds

Secure your financial information during hurricane season

When you think of preparing for hurricane season, chances are you’ll focus on protecting yourself and your loved ones. Shelter, safety, and supplies, of course, are of paramount importance. In that regard, check FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the National Hurricane Center for some important operational guidelines.

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Digital Currencies Gaining Legitimacy

The creation of cryptocurrencies or digital currencies such as Bitcoin has bankers, financiers and governments pondering the long-term potential economic and political ramifications for the future. While the increasing use of digital currencies demonstrates the power of a secure, secretive payment transfer system, it also has created a loophole from government control.

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IRS Lists Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

It’s the time of year when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of the latest tax scams. Scammers routinely use the anxiety of tax season to prey on the unsuspecting, and this year, they’re also using the pandemic and the government’s Economic Impact Payments to steal money and identities from taxpayers.

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Avoid Corporate Account Takeover

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. “Corporate account takeover” is a form of identity theft of a business. Criminals phony emails pretending to be someone you know to trick you into clicking on links or attachments that can lead to malicious software being installed on your computer. Once this happens, they will ask you to enter credentials where they will gain access to your email account. At that point, they will send emails to the bank appearing to be from you to initiate ACH and wire transactions.

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6 Ways to Protect Your Business from Business Email Compromise Scams

Companies of all sizes are being targeted by criminals through business email compromise scams. In these scams, cybercriminals gain access to an employee’s legitimate business email through social engineering or computer intrusion. The criminal then impersonates the employee often a senior executive or someone who can authorize payments and instructs others to transfer funds on their behalf. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, over $10 billion has been lost by victims in the U.S. due to these scams.

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COVID-19 Brings Out the Scammers

To paraphrase a famous expression: When the going gets tough, the scammers get going. Scammers are even identifying themselves as bank employees to steal information and cash. With COVID-19, the fraudsters are out in force, seeking to take advantage of the widespread anxiety generated by the global pandemic.

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Tax Season Means Scam Season

Although scam artists are working year-round to steal your identify and compromise your personal information, tax season seems to bring out the worst. Scammers are looking to steal tax documents, file fraudulent returns in victims’ names, and extort payment with false threats of IRS action due to outstanding tax bills.

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Has Your Email Account Been Hacked?

Unfortunately, email hacking is one of the most common instances of cybercrime these days and something that probably has affected all of us at one point or another. Fraudsters are becoming increasingly virulent in their ability to hack into your email.

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Bad Guys are “Phishing”– Don’t Take the Bait

As the name implies, phishing scams use emails, texts or calls as lures to get you to voluntarily hand over sensitive information. Phishing scams attempt to trick you into clicking a link or handing over personal information. Once a scammer has the information, they can use it to steal your money, identity or gain access to your computer.

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