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Recently in Online Scams and Security Category

Nearly every internet user has encountered some form of the tech support scam in their browsing history. Although these tech support scams are rather common, the level of sophistication can vary as the majority of these are just online phishing scams.

The most common tech support scams involve a user getting a pop-up window, or redirected to a webpage, that warns the user that their computer is or may be infected by a virus. From there, the user either downloads software recommended by the warning, or calls a phone number. In either scenario, a scammer will be trying to either get the user to send them money, or steal bank account information, or other sensitive data.

We live in a 21st century digital world. That means that parents need to watch out for what their kids are doing, digitally. The apps of today have taken technology a step further towards the danger zone.

Below is a list of five types of apps that could actually be really dangerous to kids, and even adults. However, for parents, there is an added layer of difficulty, and this comes from "Vault" apps. Vault apps are designed to hide other apps, photos, videos, and other content, that a phone's owner might want to keep hidden from others.

The Wounded Warriors Support Group is a non-profit created to provide emotional support to wounded war veterans in the form of equestrian activities. But a recent lawsuit filed by the California State Attorney General claims that the organization is a fraud. This organization shouldn't be confused with the Wounded Warriors Project, which is a legitimate charity.

In short, a husband and wife, their two adult children, and the family's two businesses, have all been implicated in a fraudulent charity scheme. The family is accused of using the charitable donations received to finance their personal lives, hobbies, and businesses. The charity was supposed to use the contributions to connect wounded veterans with horses for therapeutic purposes.

While nearly anything can be purchased online these days, the FDA has issued safety suggestions when it comes to buying prescription drugs online. The safety suggestions are to help ensure that consumers do not purchase prescription medications that are unsafe, or counterfeit.

Generally, consumers are warned against purchasing prescription drugs from any online retailer that does not require a person to actually have a valid prescription. Believe it or not, there are many illegal businesses that openly advertise illegal services online as though those services were perfectly legal. Since there is a rather large demand for many prescription medications from drug abusers, there are many online businesses that are willing to cater to the demand, legal or not.

The Securities Exchange Commission has announced enforcement actions against 27 different entities and individuals connected to the deceptive dissemination of promotional news about stocks. The actions allege that these entities and individuals promoted stocks or investments without disclosing financial ties to the stock or investment.

Specifically, the individuals and entities were charged with deceiving investors by failing to disclose that published information was not independent, nor unbiased. Under federal securities law, if a company or individual publishes information promoting a stock or investment, the writer or publisher must clearly state whether the information was paid-for, or if the writer or publisher has a self interest in promotion.

A new type of phishing scam is circulating via email that's targeting schools and universities. The scammers' malicious game is likely to leave their victims beyond confused when they find out scammers did their taxes!

Basically, the scam works like this: Scammers send HR departments emails attempting to get large batches of employee social security numbers alongside corresponding W-2 forms. Once the scammers have those, they go ahead and file a person's tax return in order to steal the tax refund.

Savvy social media users know feeds can be filled with fake news, false advertisements, and other scams. And Bitcoin, the online "cryptocurrency" that promises anonymity and security to its users, is not immune to the social media scam.

ZeroFOX, a cyber security company that monitors cloud-based software and social media for threats and scams, has uncovered a few new scams targeting Bitcoin users on social media, from basic malware downloads to complicated Ponzi schemes. Here's what you need to know.

The age old saying, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it,' is unfortunately applied by scammers with alarming frequency. The same old scams keep getting repeated, likely because these time-tested tricks work. Once commonly referred to as the 809 or 473-scam, this scam, according to one source, is making a comeback, or maybe never truly vanished.

The 809 or 473-scam essentially attempts to get victims to call certain international phone numbers that appear to be domestic in order to use the person's phone carrier to pass through pay-per-minute and connection charges, similarly to the 1-900 numbers that used to advertise heavily on late night TV until the internet came along and all but ended that racket. Essentially, if you think an area code looks unusual, it could literally cost you money if you don't look it up before you call back.

It is well known that scam artists tend to focus their efforts on the more vulnerable members of our society. The elderly frequently get conned due to failing mental health, or by being easily tricked, or physically intimidated. However, recently, due to changes in immigration policy, scammers have been turning their attention to immigrants.

Immigrants that are worried about their undocumented status, have immigration paperwork pending, or even those with legal status, have been targeted though various schemes and cons. Undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable because they frequently fear contacting law enforcement due to their undocumented status, and the scammers know this and know how to take advantage of this fear.

Below you'll find three different types of scams that immigrants should know.

How to Spot an IRS Scam

Don't declare the pennies on your eyes unless the IRS sends you something in writing. Scam artists are getting colder and bolder these days. Last year, a massive call center in India was shut down after it was discovered that scammers working in the center were scamming Americans out of thousands of dollars by pretending to be IRS agents.

My advice for those who get phone calls from anyone claiming to be an IRS agent: just hang up. Below you'll find three tips to help you identify when you are being targeted by a fake IRS scam.