The IRS wants you to watch out for scams during tax season

Unfortunately, income tax season can be a vulnerable time for thieves using phone or phishing scams. The IRS wants you to be aware of these potential threats, and take extra caution this month. This time of year, you might receive a phone call saying you owe taxes and can be arrested if you don’t give the caller your credit card or other personal information. Sometimes these are recorded messages that can be convincing. As reported in Top Tech News, the IRS wants to make it clear that this is never how it will contact you. “The IRS does not initiate

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Nova Scotians beware of this latest phone scam

A new phone scam has been reported coming out of Nova Scotia, after Halifax restaurant owner Elias Fathallah says he nearly fell victim to the ploy. According to CBC, the scam has targeted over a dozen other people in the province, who have received phone calls from an impersonator pretending to be from Nova Scotia Power, saying they had unpaid electricity bills and were going to be cut off. On December 15th alone, Nova Scotia Power says it received fifteen reports from customers who had been targeted by this scam. Fathallah says he was serving customers on December 15th when

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Ransomware is making a pretty penny worldwide

We’ve all heard about ransomware, and how it holds devices hostage until the owner pays up. But have you ever wondered just how much money ransomware has managed to steal across the globe? According to a joint study from Google, bitcoin security firm Chainalysis, the University of California at San Diego, and New York University, the most prevalent ransomware strains have roped in a total of $25 million. According to an article by PC Mag, the ransomware ecosystem is “dominated by a few kingpins.” For example, Locky and Cerber. Locky was the first ransomware to steal more than a million

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Phone scam targeting the elderly in New York State

On Friday, May 5, the New York State Police issued a warning to state residents about a recent surge in phone scams targeting seniors in the region. According to the Wyoming County Free Press, the scam includes two main scenarios. In the first, the caller is “claiming to be a family member in trouble or arrested in another state or country. This caller will put urgency on helping them and not to contact other family.” In the second scenario, the caller “claims to be a law enforcement official with a family member under arrest demanding bail or funds for them.”

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2016 was marked by the highest number of data breaches in history

We will remember 2016 for a lot of reasons; a polarizing election, a slew of tragic celebrity deaths. But there’s another serious problem with 2016 – data breaches. According to the National Law Review and findings by the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout, 2016 showed a record high for data breaches in the United States. The number of recorded breaches last year reached 1,093, surpassing 2015 by 40 percent. While the financial services industry accounted for only 4.8 percent of the total breaches, business, healthcare, education, military, and other government services were hacked significantly more frequently. According to these

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Verizon Under Fire Again for Overcharging

According to Fortune, the Federal Communications Commission has recently confirmed it is investigating complaints from Verizon Wireless customers about strange data billing. Among those complaints are upticks in customers’ mobile usage when they’re asleep, data usage surging from single digits into hundreds of gigabytes, and even a case of a deceased man’s phone suddenly triggering overages on his widow’s account. The billing issues were first uncovered by financial reporter and columnist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Teresa Dixon Murray. She also revealed an error in 2010 that led to a substantial fine for Verizon. Murray wrote that her family received

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New Android Malware Poses Scary Threat

There are so many viruses and malware floating around out there, it’s impossible to keep them all straight. But if you’re an Android user, you should probably be aware of the new Trojan horse that will not only steal your payment data, but also hinder you from alerting your bank. First identified by security vendor Symantec, the new version of the Android.Fakebank.B malware has a “call-barring” function. This means a hacker can delay the user from canceling any cards that have been compromised. Fakebank has been around since 2013. It operates by pretending to be an Android app, all the

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Most Websites Vulnerable to Bot Attacks

According to a new study by Distil Networks Inc, 97 percent of major websites offer minimal to no security against bots. One thousand of the top websites in retail, financial services, consumer services, news and media – and even United States government agencies – were examined in the study. Bots can be used by competitors, hackers, and other cybercriminals for things like website scraping, brute force attacks, competitive data mining, online fraud, account hijacking, data theft, and much more. Needless to say, they’re no small threat and protecting against them should be a priority. “Bots, especially Advanced Persistent Bots (APBs)

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Zuckerberg’s Online Profiles Hacked

Online accounts are compromised every day, yet many of us think it could never happen to us. Think again. Over the weekend, Facebook tycoon Mark Zuckerberg was the victim of an attack that saw hackers gain access to his Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest profiles. If one of the most tech savvy entrepreneurs can find himself in this situation, none of us are immune. There has been plenty of speculation as to how the crooks got access, including suggestions Zuckerberg was caught up in the 2012 LinkedIn hack and used the same password for multiple sites. The good news is his

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Telstra Withdraws $2M from Man’s Bank Account

We’ve heard of big phone bills before, but an Australian man may have made the biggest payment we can recall in recent times. Last week, Calum Mawson went online to pay his $225 Telstra bill. Instead, $2.25 million was taken out of his bank account. When Mawson received payment confirmation, he immediately called the telco to get to the bottom of the matter. He believed the rep who told him the transaction wouldn’t process through his account and not to worry about it. However, he soon realized he was in trouble when another transaction was denied for insufficient funds. A

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