scams

How can I guard against scams like cross-site scripting?

Cross-site scripting example

Episode 1629

Jay from Providence, North Carolina

Jay wants to know how he can avoid cross-site Scripting attacks. Leo says that you could turn off javascript, but that would make most of the web unusable. Leo uses UBlockOrigin, which is nominally an ad blocker. But it can block cross-site scripting. A good browser like Firefox will protect you as well. In the security settings, you can block a lot of things like cross-site scripting. And load a minimal set of extensions as well.

Caller has Fun with Phishing Scammers

Phishing Scammer

Episode 1607

Dave from Blackrock, AR

Dave got a call that his computer was hacked. Knowing he was being phished, he decided to have some fun with them (especially since he doesn't have a computer). Leo says it's good that Dave gave them a taste of their own medicine, but it's sad that we have to deal with scammers and end up using so much energy to protect ourselves. But while it's great Dave knew and was able to turn the tables on them, it's always best to just hang up.

Why Won't My New Lightning Cable Work with My iPod?

Episode 1607

Char from Cambridge, Minnesota

Char bought a cable for his iPod on Amazon and it wouldn't transfer data. Leo says that sometimes there are cheap cables that don't have the data channel, and are only meant for charging. The real problem is, Amazon doesn't check to make sure the vendors aren't misrepresenting their products, and it's easy to get snookered. Let the buyer beware.

Why does Facebook Want my Credit Card Number?

Facebook

Episode 1595

Bernie from San Diego, CA

Bernie is having issues logging into Facebook. He gets a popup that says he needs to give them some information, including a credit card number. Leo says that's definitely not Facebook. Facebook will ask for identification from time to time, especially if your account has been compromised, or you've lost access to your account, but Leo says to never do that with a credit card. Use other options like a utility bill. Here's some information - https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/183000765122339. Leo says it's likely a scam.

Is buying something online with eBay gift cards safe?

Episode 1561

Naomi from Denver, CO

Naomi says they are wanting to buy something online and the seller wants "eBay gift cards." Leo says that's a common scam because gift cards aren't really traceable, and you can't stop payment on them once rendered. Credit cards, or an online payment service like PayPal, offer buyer protection.Check out the book - The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time by Maria Konnikova

Has my email been hacked?

Episode 1560

Suzanne from Placentia, CA

Suzanne uses Hotmail and all of a sudden, she's getting hundreds of spam from subscribed newsletters. She also got an email about an order for a GoPro camera bought at Walmart. Leo suspects that someone doesn't like Suzanne or has stolen her identity. It's a new scam where hackers overwhelm your email address with bulk emails to distract you from the actual identity theft going on. It's called "Chaff." The idea is to be so overwhelmed with spam and bulk emails, you miss the stolen credit card activity. Shame on companies that allow signups without a double opt-in via email.

How can I protect myself from identity theft?

ID Fraud

Episode 1559

Mara from Los Angeles, CA

Mara was a victim of identity theft, and just narrowly avoided having her brokerage account drained. Leo says that Mara should change her password and turn on 2 factor authentication right away. Leo suspects the bad guys got her information from a database breach like the Collection #1 or the Marriott hack. Leo also suggests going to haveIbeenpwned.com/passwords and see if her passwords have been compromised and are known.

Have I been hacked?

Mouse

Episode 1552

George from Murrieta, GA

George got an email saying that his email account has been compromised, but it shows an old email. Leo says it's an old scam that is designed to scare him into sending the hackers money. If he's concerned, he should change his email password.

He can also go to HaveIBeenPwned.com to see if his email has been legitimately hacked. But changing the password will fix it. And while he's at it, he should turn on 2 Factor Authentication. He can simply ignore the extortion email, though.

How can I change the battery in my MacBook Pro?

Apple MacBook Pro

Episode 1552

Cotton from Surprise Valley, CA

Cotton has a 2013 MacBook Pro, and recently had to buy a battery from MacSales.com because it began to swell. He also replaced the SSD. He had to remove the battery with acetone because it was glued in. But after installing it, the laptop was dead. Leo says to head over to iFixIt.com and check out their instructions on replacing the battery in his laptop. He may have missed a step. But it's also very possible that Cotton may have shorted out something like a fuse.