11 Days of Advocacy

As I write this, I received an email this morning that was clearly a fee based scam. It started out with the National Registry for fraud victim recovery. It spoke of how I was identified and there were funds available to me for my recent loss recovery. (Of course I have suffered no loss). The perpetrators of these email scams work on the law of large numbers. They benefit from the lack of awareness across the general public and sadly they also benefit from the gullibility of many very kind people who simply tend to believe in fairy tales. Of course you are now saying how that would never happen to you because who could be that gullible? Who could possibly believe they could receive a huge payout by simply providing some seemingly inconsequential information?

Here is the TRUTH. These email campaigns are run in two separate formats. First one is to gain information such as Name, Address, Phone number, email address confirmation, and then there is second level info which is far more personal and secured such as bank account info, social security number, job info etc..

The perpetrators ask for this info for 2 distinct purposes. All who answer level 1 questions are added to an accumulated “sucker list” which is then sold to other perpetrators who run Jamaican Lottery scams and other such fee based scams. Those who are unaware enough to answer second level questions (you would be surprised how many of these people there are) these people are then victimized through identity theft rings. Both levels of info are sold to other perpetrators for differing purposes, all of which end in financial victimization.

The second type of email is one that comes from those who are soliciting the lists they purchase and their intent is to run a direct upfront fee based scam. These can be about any number of credible topics and often times they are embedded in software that mirrors government websites such as FBI, IRS, Social Security, numerous main stream Banks such as Chase Manhattan, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank America, SunTrust, and many others. (often times email campaigns are sent to phish for your bank account by simply emailing you from any of the major banks, occasionally they hit on your actual bank randomly). These emails are always seeking either an upfront payment for some incredible good fortune or credible fortune such as old bank account funds, tax return monies awaiting you (could also be threats that you owe tax money and IRS will take everything you have or worse put you in jail unless you pay fees for services), job opportunity. There are simply too many types of scams to list them all in a black hat manner, so the easiest method is to simply expose the concepts behind the scams.

Your information and privacy is the foundational key to turning you into a financial victim. By fully inoculating your private information you have taken a foundational step in self preservation from all forms of financial victimization. This is the holy grail to protection. Simply guard you private information and never provide it via the telephone or internet without full due diligence vetting of the requesting person or organization. It would take too much work on your behalf, therefore a simple rule of thumb is GIVE NO ONE YOUR personal INFORMATION! On occasion there are real circumstances and situations which require your information, these are the ones that require full due diligence before remitting any personal information.

Here are some simple rules to follow:

  1. Never divulge your personal information to strangers
  2. Always check the details link in your emails to see the actual email address that sent you the email, this can easily identify mirrored links
  3. Never hit on links inside emails unless you are positive about the sender and even then do virus check before any link connections
  4. Be aware that the majority of banks, financial institutions, government agencies and many others will never contact you via email or telephone seeking personal information, this includes your passwords for any websites you register with from these agencies.
  5. Always be willing to take an additional 10 minutes to read closely and then complete some limited due diligence to eliminate the source and offer.

Our members receive all this protection and more, but the key to protecting yourself against financial victimization is protecting your personal information and being aware of the types of scams and fraud that are passing through the market place at any specific time.

2. Guard YOUR Privacy

  1. NEVER BUY the Goose

 

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!