IRS RELEASES TAXPAYER GUIDE TO IDENTITY THEFT -- There has been a lot of press about taxpayer identity theft over the last few months both on the Federal and State level. Both the IRS and Ohio websites have Identity Theft information and tips. Here is the IRS Taxpayer Guide and here is the Ohio Identity Theft FAQ page.
CYBERSECURITY CHECKLIST -- Protect your identity in a digital age. Follow these steps to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of online identity theft or fraud.
HOTEL SCAM: YOU CAN CHECK IN BUT CHECK OUT PHONY OFFER! -- If you receive a call in your hotel room offering a delayed check out, a free night or meal, watch out. The scammer will use a variety of excuses like the computer system is down, they couldn't process the payment or they were just calling to verify the credit card number or in some cases, they claim to have lost the information used for your check in. Click the BBB video for more information.
Have you ever received a phone call from someone claiming to be a computer technician associated with a well-known company like Microsoft or Norton Security claiming they have detected viruses or other malware on your computer and can help you to remove it?
Before responding, ask yourself, "is this really a company representative?" The caller could be somebody trying to take advantage of your reasonable concerns about computer viruses and other threats, to break into your computer.
Once scammers have you on the phone, they will try to gain your trust by confusing you with technical terms. They may have you perform a series of complex tasks on your computer that targets legitimate computer files and claim that they are viruses. Their tactics are designed to scare you into believing you have a problem and they can help you fix it.
The "technician" may ask you to give them remote access to your computer (taking control of it) and will generate false error messages. Once logged into your computer, they may change settings that leave your computer vulnerable, or actually install malware designed to steal sensitive data like usernames and passwords. They may also try to sell you worthless software or services to protect you.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from tech support, hang up the phone immediately and call the company yourself with a phone number you know to be genuine. A caller who uses high-pressure tactics to create a sense of urgency is probably a scam artist.
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from a tech support scam:
If you think you were a victim of a tech support scam: