How to Avoid Getting Screwed by a Sneaky Tech Support Scam

The U.S Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) said it logged 11,000 complaints last year, a rise of 86 percent over 2016. The claimed losses amounted to nearly $15 million. “This type of fraud continues to be a problematic and widespread scam,” says the IC3. So how can you protect yourself? And the less tech-savvy members of your family?

Some of the answers are provided in an article by David Nield in the Gizmodo web site at: http://bit.ly/2lWyBAi.

Taking Facebook Quizzes Could Put You at Risk for Identity Theft

Here is another reason to never use Facebook:

“From phishing schemes to a thief pilfering your passport, there are plenty of ways to fall victim to identity theft. And now, participating in Facebook quizzes is one of them. As ABC News reports, the seemingly harmless surveys that populate your feed could wind up providing unscrupulous hackers with the answers to your online security questions.”

The full story by Kirstin Fawcett may be found at http://bit.ly/2Cru2Wk.

Hotspot Shield VPN Accused of Sharing Customer Traffic With Online Advertisers

One of the more popular VPN services has been accused of doing one of the things that VPNs are supposed to prevent: sharing your private Internet activity with advertisers for the purpose of improving the ads shown to its users.

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a US-based privacy group, has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accusing Hotspot Shield VPN’s parent company of deceptive trade practices. In a 14-page complaint, the CDT accuses AnchorFree — the company behind the Hotspot Shield VPN — of breaking promises it made to its users by sharing their private web traffic with online advertisers for the purpose of improving the ads shown to its users.

You can read more in an article by Catalin Cimpanu in the BleepingComputer web site at: http://bit.ly/2vO2B7A.

Microsoft Warns of Emails Bearing Crafty PDF Phishing Scams

Microsoft is warning email users of other crafty schemes, this time involving PDF attachments.

PDF, short for the Portable Document Format pioneered by Adobe, is a popular method of distributing content online. Cyber-attackers are banking on its ubiquity, particularly in the workplace, to ensnare office workers. The latest phishing attempts may slip through an antivirus software’s defenses.

Sometimes spoofing real employees at legitimate companies, one attack involves sending a product or service quote as a file attachment (Quote.pdf). Once opened, the PDF file, crafted to mimic an error message, leads users to an online login page that offers access to the ostensibly confidential information contained in the PDF file.

You can read about it in an article by Pedro Hernandez at https://goo.gl/uu4I5u.