Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Technology Blog

Threatening Voicemail Scams

By | Scams | No Comments

Threatening Voicemail Scams

Let’s be honest, when we get a call from an unknown number we let it go to voicemail. We throw proper phone etiquette out the window when it comes to unknown callers. We wait and check the voicemail. We check the voicemail and discover we’re in trouble.

Threatening-Voicemail-Scams

Threatening Voicemail Scams

A Threatening Message

Law enforcement agencies have seen a growing number of reports of phone calls and voicemails that threaten people with legal action. In some cases people are reporting multiple phone calls a day! The voicemail or automated message usually goes something like this:

“We are contacting you in regards to the allegations brought against you. You have not responded to our efforts to contact you. To avoid the matter being brought to local law enforcement, please contact us at xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

Sometimes the message also includes the name of a law firm (which may or may not be legitimate), the first name of the person to contact and a local number for you to call, making them sound even more legit. When you call the number provided the scammer uses threatening language and intimidation to get you to give your personal information or bank account info to them.

What To Do After Receiving A Threatening Voicemail

The first thing to do is to STOP. Do not call that number. If there were serious allegations against you, you wouldn’t be alerted to them over the phone through an automated message!  The criminal is trying to scare you in hopes of getting your personal information. The second thing to do is report the phone number to the Federal Trade Commission. When you report the phone numbers you’re helping protect others.

Charity Scams

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The Sad Truth of Charity Scams

It’s sad, but true that there are people out there that try and take advantage of people that give monetary donations to help the victims of natural disasters. We dig deep and look to help and give to those affected by earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Criminals and scammers see it as a time to get rich.

avoid-charity-scams

Avoid Charity Scams

Scamming Charitable Givers?

While there are many good and trustworthy charities and organizations that put your money to good use aiding those affected by natural disasters, such as hurricane Michael, there are some “charities” that are not legit. After every major natural disaster scammers steal large amounts of money from unsuspecting, generous donors. There are many ways in which they try and get their hands on donations meant for people in actual need of help.

  1. They set up fake domains that appear to be for a real charity that will help the victims of the specific natural disaster you’re trying to donate to. They set up a domain containing words you would expect to see; hurricane, disaster relief, donate, the name of the hurricane or place where the disaster took place.
  2. Send mailers or postcards asking you to donate with instructions guiding you to their fake charity website.
  3. Emails and social media posts with imbedded links leading to their website.
  4. Going door-to-door claiming to be from the area affected or having family and friends in the area that need help.

No matter which tactic they take, the result is the same. You give a donation thinking it’s going to help people, but it never makes it out of the scammers pocket.

Make Sure Your Donation Is Used To Help

There are so many good charities that do great work in communities affected by natural disasters and traumatic events. The most famous, the Red Cross, is a great example of how a real charity works. They will openly share with you how your donation is used. They have a transparent model and answer your questions and don’t guilt you into giving more money. They allow you to specify where or to which disaster relief effort you wish your donation to go towards. And, they allow you to make an one-time or sign up for monthly payments if you choose. If a “charity” does not provide these things it could be a red flag that they are not a legitimate charity.

When giving to charities that are not local and easily knowable, give to those that are well known and have a strong reputation for using donations in a responsible way. If you think you have been solicited by a fake or disreputable charity, report the scam to theBetter Business Bureau at. There are people that need your help after natural disasters, scammers and criminals don’t.

Protect Yourself Against Malvertising

By | Cyber Security | No Comments

Protect Yourself Against Malvertising

We all know spam emails. Those annoying emails that flood our inboxes and build up to the point of absurdity. Since we’ve all heard the warnings about opening suspicious emails or clicking on links inside spam emails, we ignore the urgent subject lines and delete our chances of inheriting millions of dollars from an African prince who was kind enough to leave all his riches to us. But did you know, that there is a new form of spam? Malvertising.

protect-against-malvertising

Protect Yourself Against Malvertising

What is malvertising?

Malvertising is spam in the form of internet ads. Cybercriminals use internet ads, even on trusted websites, as a vehicle for viruses. How malvertising differs from traditional spam emails is that you don’t have to click on the ad for your computer to become infected! And once the virus is installed onto your computer it can wreak havoc! Malware can delete and modify files, allow hackers to gather information about you or steal your personal information, or seriously affect the performance of your device.

Wondering how a virus from an ad can be downloaded without clicking on the ad? Security flaws in ad programming, most notably Adobe Flash. Just by visiting a website that has infected ads you become vulnerable to cybercriminals. They use ad networks to place the virus infected ads onto a publisher’s website which can then be automatically downloaded onto a victim’s device.

So how can you protect yourself?

  1. Use an ad-blocking browser plugin. This is the most effective way of making sure malvertising ads don’t get the chance to download viruses onto your device. However, using an adblocker will also block legitimate ads of the websites you visit.
  2. Make sure your plugins and web browser are up to date and routinely check for upgrades. As cybercriminals develop new threats, companies develop software and program upgrades to keep you safe.
  3. Have your browser flag malicious content. Under your browser’s “Settings” there will be a “Security” or “Privacy” section where you will find an option to turn on/off “Safe Browsing.” Turn on “Safe Browsing” and your browser will warn you if your visiting a malicious or questionable site.

There is no sure-fire-way to protect your device completely. Cybercriminals are always creating new ways to infect your device and sabotage your files and steal your information. However, there are proactive steps that you can take to protect your device, information and identity. If you own a business or handle IT, contact Pros 4 Technology to learn more and discover how we can help protect your business and your clients’ information.