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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Newtown massacre charity scam, phishing among top cons of 2012

Hello Readers, 

Today I want to share with you this article that was sent to me. It was very interesting, sad that its true and I was asked to share it. I believe its important for all to know this and it would be best for all of you to take caution. Being aware of whats happening in our world today is so important. Here it is, read, comment, and make sure you are stay safe. Love you all!! 

Metro/Phylicia Torrevillas Better Business Bureau president and CEO Danielle Primrose reveals the bureau’s annual Top Ten Scams of 2012, which include online romance scams, computer virus fixing schemes and investment fraud.

Scam artists in Ottawa have been posing as the Better Business Bureau to steal private data from companies, according to the actual Better Business Bureau.

The organization included that scheme in the top 10 scams of the year on Wednesday.
“The scammers take our identity and pretend to be the BBB and send online messages to consumers and businesses pretending to be us,” said Diane Iadeluca, President and CEO of the Ottawa branch of the BBB. “One company clicked on a link and lost all their data. For a small company, this could be crippling if they lost their order or customer list.”

Iadeluca said this type of scam, known as phishing, was the most popular one to hit the city in 2012. “We have a lot of consumers and businesses calling us saying ‘we got an email from you,’” she said. “The worst thing people can do is to click on those links.”

By clicking a link from a respected organization or friend, you can inadvertently download a computer virus or other malicious code that can destroy your computer or lead to identity theft, she said, noting the scam also hit other groups such as the RCMP and Revenue Canada.
Another popular scam in Ottawa, said Iadeluca, was the “Grandparents Scam” where cons pose as the grandchildren of seniors online, in text messages or phone calls and say they need money after being mugged, arrested or hurt.

“There’s a lot of new twists to old scams,” she said, noting that cons can now glean facts from Facebook pages to add verisimilitude.

The BBB’s “Top Scam of the Year” was a con that cropped up recently following the Newtown massacre where 20 children were gunned down in a Connecticut public school. Soon after the shooting charity sites popped up looking for donations from concerned Canadians. The FBI has arrested one woman who posed as the aunt of one of the dead children. “That one was disgusting,” said Iadeluca. “It just shows you how low some of these people will go.”

To fight back, consumers need to keep themselves educated. “It’s sad to say, but don’t be so trusting of strangers who are emailing or coming to your door asking for personal information, even your birth date,” Iadeluca said.

“Make sure you don’t respond to threats as well. Sometimes people will try to scare you by saying ‘if you don’t pay this, you will be sued by such and such lawyer.”

By Graham Lanktree Metro Ottawa

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