Phishing Prevention

We hear about this stuff all the time from both individuals and from our companies.  It takes so many forms that a person has to be on their toes and thinking all the time.  We’ve had a big run of scams involving Green Dot cards.  The scammer calls someone saying they are the power company or the IRS or whoever and tells the victim that they owe money.  The scammers get them to go out and get Green Dot cards which can be purchased in any grocery, drug store, gas station.  The cards are prepaid credit cards.  The scammers want the number off the card to make the transaction and at that moment the money is gone and we can’t get it back.  Frequently it is gone out of the country.  cybercrime

In today’s example, it was a phone call:

Caller pretending to be technical support (from Microsoft).

  • Caller asking / wanting some access to employee’s PC.
  • The caller was very convincing, authoritative, and relentless in trying to convince their need for “valid” access.
  • The call was escalated to a “supervisor” who also tried the same pressuring social engineering tactics.

The employee who handled the call today did the right thing by not falling for a ruse and the caller(s) hung up when they did not get the submissive response they were looking for.

Here are a few good thoughts and reminders:

Cybercriminals send fraudulent email messages, set up fake websites, and may call you on the telephone and claim to be from any company (currently Netflix and Microsoft are very popular). They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you something. Once criminals have access to your computer, they might do the following:

  •  Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data.
  •  They might also then try to charge to remove software.
  •  Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information.

Microsoft or other companies will never make unsolicited phone (cold) calls to charge you for any computer security or software fixes.

It is a crazy world out there–don’t be a victim.

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I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.