online scams

How Can I Tell a Scam is a Scam?

Episode 1741

Char from Cambridge, MN

Char has discovered a new scam like the old Nigerian scam. Leo says that the Secret Service calls it the 419 scam. This new scam is a variation that seeks to lure one through a lost relative or old school classmate. Leo says that those records are online and they can be inserted. It's very common. So common that Americans were bilked for over $50 million last year. 

And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it IS.

Check out the book The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova

Have I Been Scammed?

Thunderbird

Episode 1733

Bill from La Jolla, CA

Bill thinks his network has been infected because his email won't let him send anymore. It's completely missing. Leo says to make sure the SEND port is correctly configured in the email client (in this case Thunderbird). It's the SMTP server and it usually runs port 587. The scam came from "Spectrum" and "Thunderbird Help" that said he was having a driver issue. Leo says that's a scam. Email doesn't use drivers. It just uses an internet connection.

Scammers Target Direct Deposit Systems

Episode 1526

Online scam artists are targeting users of the direct deposit payroll system, using social engineering to gain access to bank accounts and steal your paycheck. The primary targets are in education, healthcare, and airline employees. So be watchful over emails saying you need to log into your account to verify your direct deposit information. That's where they get you. As usual, do NOT click on any links in emails. Contact your HR department immediately to verify.