Keeping Your Finances Safe During The Holiday Season

holiday fraud-fighting tipsTis’ the season for celebrating with family and friends, decking the halls, and holiday giving. Unfortunately, tis’ also the season for fraud and scams.

Unfortunately, with so much shopping this time of year, the holidays are rife with financial dangers — many of which you won’t hear about on the morning news or read about in the paper.  So take some time, read our tips, and avoid becoming a victim of fraud this holiday season. [Read more…]

A Look Into the Future of Retail Payment

future of e-paymentThe last five years have seen the fastest changes in the way we understand currency since the first trader that realized it was easier to make change for coins than it was for chickens.  We’ve seen congressional hearings about credit card security, the invention of a purely digital currency, and the rise of PayPal from nothing, to part of eBay, and then back to being its own standalone company.  It’s all been kind of crazy and hard to keep track of everything. [Read more…]

The Google Drive Scam and Why We Share Our Info With Strangers

iStock_000009144696SmallIn July, a group of phishers used Google Drive to lure unsuspecting people into offering up their personal information. This month, a similar scam involving the online employment service,, surfaced using Google Drive as its front. Isn’t particularly fancy – if you’re a regular reader of this space you’ll know the most effective scams rarely look like the last half hour of “The Sting” or “Ocean’s 11″ – but it has been effective.

The scam works by creating a false job offering for which applicants share their resume in the hopes of scoring an interview. Unfortunately, there is no job. They’re just phishing for data. [Read more…]

EMV: The Future Of Card Security

iStock_000034765356_LargeTarget, it seems, was just the tip of the iceberg. Security breaches at Home Depot and Staples stores have put many retailers on the defensive. They need to repair their image and restore consumer confidence. That’s why the timing couldn’t be better for advocates of a new generation of security technology who see the retailers’ needs for image repair as a chance to speed deployment of EMV. [Read more…]

How to Use Your Online Fraud Prevention Skills in the ‘Real World’

in person fraud prevention tipsWe’ve all had that moment when we were shopping on eBay at 3 a.m. and spotted the deal of the century.  Then we realize the price is too good to be true: our newest find will ship from the other side of the planet and the listing features mysteriously blurry photos that obscure key details.

After catching a really obvious scam, you’ve probably asked the same question we do:  who falls for this garbage?

From behind a computer screen, spotting a scam is as easy as a stroll in the park on a beautiful Saturbay afternoon.  What investigators have realized is that it gets much tougher when fraud happens in person.  In person, all of those skills we’ve developed online go away and we become easy marks. [Read more…]

Is 2015 the Year of the Healthcare Hack?

protecting yourself from healthcare hacks

If 2014 was the year of major retailers being involved in security breaches, 2015 has thus far been the year for insurance companies. Anthem led the way earlier this year with a hack that compromised the personal information of hundreds of thousands of victims. Now, Premera Blue Cross, one of the largest health insurance providers in the Pacific Northwest, has been the target of a security breach.

Security experts are still attempting to discover the full extent of the breach. Hackers evidently accessed housing data from as far back as 2002. It is believed that at least 11 million people were affected by the breach. [Read more…]

New Social Media Scams: What To Look Out For And How To Stay Safe

avoid social media scams with these tipsNew social media platforms seem to crop up all the time. The media moves at the speed of information, and it seems like overnight, Tinder and Snapchat went from complete unknowns to must-have apps. Each new technology offers something fun and unique to users, which is why the popularity of these apps has attracted so much attention.

Some of that attention has come from people with malicious intent. Scam artists take advantage of the newness of the medium and the lack of familiarity that people have with these apps. They’ve developed some cunning scams to harvest data, spread malicious software and commit identity theft. [Read more…]

Hackers Develop New Attack Method: Charities

New Online Scam Charities

It’s around this time of year that most charitable organizations run their biggest fund raising drives. In so doing, they’re getting millions of contributions from many new contributors. Yet while they must make it as easy as possible for folks to donate, their limited personnel are overworked, making it difficult to thoroughly review all credit card authentication data.

Meanwhile, another group is working some holiday overtime too: Internet scammers. Because many consumers are shopping for goods they don’t usually buy, fake websites pop up, taking advantage of this inexperience to harvest payment information. The biggest challenge is sorting out the real sites from the fake or canceled ones. These two problems may have more in common than you think. [Read more…]

7 Steps to Protect Yourself While Shopping Online

Online Shopping TipsShopping online is a pleasure. No traffic, no crowds, no searching for a parking spot. Just point, click, done.

So it’s little surprise that online retail sales reached a robust $263 billion in 2013. Or that skyrocketing growth is in the online shopping forecast – sales are expected to reach $370 billion by 2017.

At the same time, the number of scams are growing too. More than $781 million in losses were reported by Americans in 2013, an increase of nearly 50% over losses claimed during 2012. [Read more…]