scammer

Warning – Gift Card Scam

The Canada Revenue Agency does not accept or solicit iTunes gift cards as payment.

Apparently the scammers now ask for payments using iTunes gift cards, that they resell online using legitimate services.

If you receive a call instructing you to pay back taxes in gift cards, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or prepaid debit cards, hang up and call 1-888-495-8501 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday.

Suspended Membership Phishing/Hacking Scam

There appears to be a new Netflix scareware scam going around and I thought I’d inform you as to how it works.

Basically victims are sent a fake email directing victims to a fake Netflix site where members are asked to enter their email address and password.

Once entered this information is captured by the criminals and victims are then forwarded to another fake page claiming their account had been suspended.

This fake page then urges victims to call an 800 number to reinstate their membership which actually directs individuals to a call center in India, where fake Netflix technicians are waiting to continue their con.

When victims call this 800 number they are told that their computers have been taken over by hackers and are asked to download software to remove the hackers and/or clear their computers of viruses.

This software enables the fake Netflix technicians to access your computer and all the sensitive information found on this computer’s hard drive. But access to Netflix and your sensitive information is not the only objectives of this scam.

Victims who have gone through this process are also asked to pay for the privilege of being violated.

They are asked to pay for the clean-up, a five year membership for an anti-virus program and a five year membership for a firewall.

In exchange for payment by credit card the fake technicians offer a coupon code for a discount on Netflix membership. But not only do they request credit card information for payment but also ask their victims to send photo identification to them.

This information of course enables them to steal identities, as well as to defraud their victims through their credit card. And Netflix members will not likely be the only target because it can be adapted to target any online membership.

The best defense against this scam is to ignore the links and phone numbers provided in these emails and contact a company directly via their web site.

If there are real issues with your account at a particular company their customer service department should be able to help you.

I bookmark the sites I access the most in my internet browser and use those links instead. And using spam filters on your email also helps because some filters will keep these phishing attempts out of your inbox if enough people label it as spam.

Most webmail sites have spam filters and you can install free spam filters for your PC by clicking on the following logo :

Award-winning anti spam filter

Update to “Scammers On The Prowl”

In June 2011 I had posted a somewhat off-topic warning about a security issue I had been encountering for months.

I had been receiving unsolicited calls from individuals with thick Indian accents claiming to be “Software Maintenance Department of Online PC Care” asking me to give them access to my computer because of some alleged virus infection.

This was of course a common con by that time, which also involved individuals claiming to represent Microsoft calling random numbers in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Basically they gained access, altered settings without the user’s knowledge and then proceeded to extort $49 to $450 from the user to “repair” the damage they had caused.

The Federal Trade Commission in the United States have taken legal actions against these fraudsters yesterday, freezing their assets and demanding a halt to this activity.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission have also penalized the companies involved in this tech support scam in respect to Canada’s no call list legislation.

If you have received a call of this nature, please file a complaint with the CRTC via this form.