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Cyber Bites

FBI reports uptick in subscription scams targeting Seniors

Yesterday, the FBI released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) warning of cybercriminals targeting Seniors with subscription refund scams.

The MO

  1. Potential victims are contacted by phone, text or email with the attacker claiming to have detected fraudulent activity and the target is due a refund for a subscription service for which they didn’t sign up for.

  2. The only way to get the refund is by allowing the attacker to connect to the victim's computer and depositing it “directly” into the victim's bank account.

  3. Once connected, the victim is convinced to log on to their bank account. The scammer then supposedly transfers an amount to the victim's bank account but "accidentally" deposits a much larger amount than intended. The scammer points this "error" out and tells the victim to return the extra money or the scammer will lose their job.

  4. The scammer instructs the victim to send the money, in cash, wrapped in a magazine via FedEx to a name and address provided by the scammer. Typically, a retail location to be held for pickup.

How to protect yourself:

  • Never download software at the request of an unknown individual who contacted you.

  • Never allow an unknown individual who contacted you to have control of your computer.

  • Do not click on unsolicited pop-ups, links sent via text messages, or email links or attachments. Do not contact the telephone number provided in a pop-up, text, or email.

  • Never send cash via mail or shipping companies.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation


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