Alerts are hitting an all-time high in the world right now with regard to consumers receiving automated phishing scams. YOU could be the target of a scam to get your personal account or card information so be on the alert for how it is done.
These scams consist of calls to cardholders in an attempt to gain access to account information. During these calls cardholders are informed that their debit card has been deactivated and needs to be reactivated. The cardholder is then asked to provide key account information such as account numbers and expiration dates in order to re-activate the affected debit card.
This type of fraudulent activity often increases during the holiday season and consumers may be caught off guard and concerned about their ability to purchase items.
Consumers should be extra vigilant in monitoring account activity and statements for deposit accounts and debit/credit cards and report any suspicious attempts to get your personal account or card information to your financial institution to take possible extra security action.
The State of Idaho and the FBI have issued a high alert regarding the "CryptoLocker" software attack. There has been an alarming amount of people falling victim to this virus as it presents itself in the form of an email message that will look familiar but will carry an executable (.exe will most likely appear if your mouse hovers over the link).
CryptoLocker has been called "the nastiest malware ever" and results in a person opening a malicious email attachment, which runs a process that encrypts not only all of the files on a computer's hard drive, but also files on attached network servers.
Once files have been encrypted, a ransom (often several hundred dollars) must be paid to restore access to the encrypted files by a certain date and time. If the ransom is not paid, the encrypted data is deleted.
CryptoLocker is spread through phony emails designed to look like they're from legitimate businesses and fake FedEx and UPS tracking notifications. Once opened, CryptoLocker installs itself in the "Documents and Settings" folder, scans the hard drive and encrypts certain file types, including documents associated with Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. CryptoLocker then launches a pop-up window with the 100-hour countdown and provides details on how to pay the ransom.
The email that was reported to the State of Idaho had the subject line "Voice Message from Unknown" which has a zip of message attachment with an executable inside. When the user clicks on the executable it installs malware on their computer that then encrypts ALL devices that are mapped to, and accessible by, the user.
DO NOT CLICK ON EMAIL LINKS OR ATTACHMENTS if you are not sure of whom it’s from or have verified that it is a valid attachment.
Click the link below to view the Public Service Announcement posted by the FBI.