Your business tech is under attack from fake vendor email phishing scams just as much as your personal accounts.

Who Is It Targeting: Businesses and organizations

What Is It: Fake vendor emails that appear to be a genuine business communication

What Are They After: Any business owner or organization leader can dread a message that they have missed an important deadline or did not file a required document. After all, mistakes like that can be costly. The California Department of General Services has issued a warning that scammers have been posing as part of a government compliance agency and contacting small businesses with fake vendor emails that send threats about failing to submit the required information.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never click a link, download a file or open an attachment unless you were expecting it or have confirmed it
  • Be on the lookout for fake websites that ask you to input sensitive information like usernames or passwords
  • If you are ever in doubt, ignore the message and go directly to the website for the agency that appears to be contacting you for help

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a phishing attack from fake vendor emails, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also live chat with an advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from IDTheftCenter.org

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Scammers are at it again with a Costco membership canceling scam. They may be telling you that your membership or account will be canceled unless you click on the provided link.

Who Is It Targeting: Text message users

What Is It: Phishing scam that tries to get you to click a link

What Are They After: Scammers are still sending out phishing messages—often by email, text or on social media—that try to entice you to click the included link. One such text that recently came to the ITRC pretended to be from Costco, threatening to shut down the recipient’s membership for failing to fill out surveys. Does it matter if the recipient does not have a Costco membership? No. The scammers send out tens of thousands of these messages a day, hoping to snare a few victims in their nets.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • To avoid scams like this membership canceling scam, never click a link or open an attachment unless you were specifically expecting it
  • If you do receive a warning that could be genuine, simply log into your account with that company by going to your account page yourself

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a membership canceling scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also Live Chat with an advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here.


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What do you do when the scammer sounds like your grandmother, talks to you in real-time and even uses her phone number? You talk back! However, you should use caution moving forward because of a new voice cloning scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Phone customers

What Is It: Voice cloning scam involving software that mimics human voices

What Are They After: You might feel weird asking your friends and relatives to verify the answer to a security question you ask, but it may come to that to protect yourself. Scammers are now able to mimic recognizable voices in real-time as they call you. Couple that with the ability to spoof a phone number so it looks like a different caller, you could find yourself talking to someone who sounds like a person you know and is calling you from a number you know as well, but is a scammer trying to trick you into a voice cloning scam.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Be on the lookout for any odd statements, questions or requests, especially requests for money
  • If you think something might not be right, start asking questions
  • The questions themselves should be harmless but ones the person knows the answer to; the software that mimics the voices is good, but not good enough to answer questions without a slight delay

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. You can also Live Chat with an advisor. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from BBB.org.


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A San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE) utility scam is making the rounds. The company is receiving a high number of reports from customers that are getting calls threatening to disconnect their service.

Who Is It Targeting: SDGE utility customers

What Is It: SDGE utility scam where scammers call customers, posing as SDGE and threatening to disconnect service for non-payment

What Are They After: Utility scams are nothing new, but they do tend to have seasonal ups and downs. When the weather is especially harsh—both hot and cold temperatures, for example—the bad guys know potential victims are more likely to act rashly, panicked at the thought of losing electricity, gas or water. In the case of the SDGE utility scam, scammers are threatening customers with their service being disconnected.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If you are called by anyone who says you owe money, STOP and think
  • In the case of a company where you maintain an account, verifying the matter is really simple
  • Never make a payment over the phone to someone who contacts you; instead, thank them and take down their information, then go directly to that company yourself (online, by phone or in-person) and verify the situation

SDG&E customers can learn more here: http://sdge.com/scams

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530.

Find more information about current scams and alerts here.

It is the season of love and the season of romance scams, specifically a senior online dating scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Single seniors looking for relationships

What Is It: Variety of scams that target seniors based on romantic conversations

What Are They After: There are a variety of senior online dating scams out there right now, and they can do everything from stealing your money or identity to landing you in jail. Typically, romance scammers reach out via social media messaging sites, online dating sites and even platforms like Skype. However, the brief conversations with a stranger quickly turn romantic, and before too long, the victim is snared.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Be very wary of connecting with people you do not know
  • Look for red flags, such as a job in a far-flung location or some excuse as to why they cannot connect or speak on the phone regularly
  • If you are asked for money for ANY reason, it is a scam; no one you just met online will need to ask you for money, no matter how many times you have chatted
  • Some of the romance scams can hook you into taking part in criminal activities like money laundering, so be careful of any “favors” you are asked to do
  • Video platforms like Skype have been used for sextortion, so be very careful about engaging in adult behaviors online with someone you don’t actually know

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a senior online dating scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from WealthyRetirement.com.

If FedEx is delivering a package, they know where to take it. However, this FedEx delivery text scam plays into our worries about packages and theft.

Who Is It Targeting: Delivery customers

What Is It: Phishing scam that steals information, potentially installs malware

What Are They After: FedEx is warning consumers of a new phone-based FedEx scam that targets users to steal their information, install malware on their device, or both. A text from an unknown number asks you to click the link in order to give instructions on delivering your FedEx package. With so many consumers shopping online now, it might not seem odd to receive such a text. The problem is the text did not come from FedEx. Scammers are simply trying to use the FedEx delivery text scam to get you to click the link and provide them with sensitive information.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Never click any link—by text, email or instant message—if you cannot verify the source
  • When in doubt, check with the company that supposedly sent it
  • Never follow through with the message, rather go directly to the company’s website on your own

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft or a FedEx scam, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from WBRZ.com.

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Hackers have infected legitimate fundraising websites with a malicious card-stealing code, creating a dangerous Australian fire fundraising scam.

Who Is It Targeting: Donors to Australia fires fundraising efforts

What Is It: A malicious code that steals information from genuine websites

What They Are After: When any event garners worldwide attention, there are going to be scammers looking to make a quick buck. Whether it is fake websites that solicit donations, bogus phone calls asking for money or any other ploy, donors must be careful about where they give their money. Unfortunately, hackers have infected at least one authentic fundraising site with a piece of malware known as Magecart as part of the Australian fire fundraising scam. When donors give money to help with the Australia fires, the hackers can steal their payment information.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • There is no way to know if the website you are using has been infected
  • Instead, activate any security alerts from your financial institution
  • Monitor your accounts closely for signs of suspicious activity

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from PureVPN.com

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It takes a bad criminal to attack donors to a beloved non-profit organization, but that is exactly what happened with the New York Special Olympics organization.

Who Is It Targeting: Donors to the New York Special Olympics organization

What Is It: Phishing attempt from a hijacked email list

What Are They After: Many donors to the New York Special Olympics program received a phishing attack in their email inboxes last month. Disguised as a receipt for a very high-dollar donation to the organization, recipients were prompted to click the link if there was an issue with their donation. (This is a very common phishing tactic, as your first instinct may be to dispute the erroneous charge.) The link redirected to the criminals’ own servers and was intended to steal identities or financial information.

How Can You Avoid It:

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Tripwire.

The U.S. Army is the latest branch of the armed services to issue an order against using TikTok.

Who Is It Targeting: Video app users

What Is It: Data theft, “leaky” app

What Are They After: The U.S. Army just became the second branch of the military to warn its members that they are not to download, install or use the app TikTok on their government-issued phones. The Chinese app, popular with young users, lets you create brief video clips that you then share on your social media channels. A number of security worries have cropped up concerning stolen information through the TikTok app, and the Army is not taking any chances.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Make sure you understand all the privacy permissions you are granting when you open a new account
  • Do not be in a hurry to download the latest app
  • If you cannot tell what data the app uses or shares with others, then it is best to avoid it

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at 888.400.5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Fox 5 San Diego.

Be on the lookout for a popular Social Security phone scam that targets Social Security recipients.

Who Is It Targeting: Senior citizens and Social Security benefits recipients

What Is It: Social Security phone scam that masquerades as communications from the Social Security Administration

What Are They After: Social Security scams are rather common. However, there are some new variations that are worth bringing to the public’s attention. Some versions of the Social Security Phone Scam claim that your SSN has been suspended, which cannot happen, while other versions claim it has been compromised. Still, others claim there is a case against you from the federal government or that you must send money to resolve the issue.

How You Can Avoid It:

  • Understand what the SSA or IRS does and does not do when it comes to contacting consumers
  • You will never be arrested by the IRS, and the IRS does not have its own police force; they also do not work with your local law enforcement agency to arrest people
  • The IRS and SSA will never call you about an issue or error, but they will send you a written communication for your records
  • If in doubt, ignore the message and contact the SSA yourself using a verified contact number

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here.


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