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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Social Security Scammers Are Trying a New Trick

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Millions of seniors depend on their Social Security payments to help them cover their monthly bills, so if that money were to get diverted into the hands of fraudsters, they’d be in big trouble. Unfortunately, retirees are among the most common targets of financial scams — so much so that elder financial abuse has been called “the crime of the 21st century.”

A recent warning from the Social Security Administration (SSA) further drives home this point. The agency is alerting beneficiaries that — in addition to the previously common telephone scams — criminals are now faking documents and emailing them to their targets. Such documents may appear to come from the SSA and may include its official letterhead, which isn’t difficult to replicate. But complying with their instructions could result in a world of financial stress.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

How to spot a Social Security scam

Social Security scams aren’t always easy to identify, but among the first red flags to look out for in any questionable communication are poor spelling and improper  grammar. Though the agency is understaffed, it surely has room in its budget for someone to do some proofreading, so if you receive documents under its letterhead that look unprofessional, it’s fair to assume that a criminal is behind them.

Additionally, if you receive a letter that includes any of the following, you can bet it’s a scam:

  • Threats of jail time or legal action unless you pay a fine.
  • Promises of benefit increases.
  • Payment demands, particularly through wire transfer, internet currency, or cash.

If there is a problem with your Social Security account, the SSA will usually send you a letter by mail, not email. It won’t call you up out of the blue. And while you may, in some cases, be asked to make a payment, it will never be via the aforementioned forms.

If you do receive a letter from the SSA and you’re not sure it’s legitimate, call the agency back at its main number — (800) 772-1213 — and speak to a live person. And if you get an email that’s clearly suspicious, don’t just delete it — report it. The same holds true for phone scams. While you shouldn’t engage the person on the other end of the line, you should report the incident to the SSA. There’s a dedicated online form that makes that simple to do.

It’s also a good idea to create a “my Social Security” account on the SSA’s website so you can easily keep tabs on your own benefits. This is an especially wise move if you’re not ready to claim Social Security yet, but are at an age where you would be allowed to — i.e., 62 or older. If a criminal files a benefit claim on your behalf, your later legitimate application may get rejected. But if you’re following the activity on your account, you’ll be able to take action to counter the scammer sooner.

Remember, just because you’re savvy enough to avoid falling victim to a Social Security con doesn’t mean everyone is, so report criminals’ behavior when you spot it. You could be saving others from becoming victims later. But on the plus side, with age does come some wisdom. According to a recent Better Business Bureau survey, it’s millennials — not seniors — who are most likely to fall victim to financial scams. Those aged 18 to 24 were more than three times more likely than those 65 and over to lose money to such cons. So maybe you should warn your grandchildren.

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The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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#deepweb | British accountant denies trying to hire hitman on the dark web to kill his ex-girlfriend in the US: report

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

A 24-year-old British accountant has hit back at accusations he spent more than $5,000 in Bitcoin on the dark web in an attempt to hire a hitman to kill his American ex-girlfriend.

Adrian Fry’s name appeared in a Harper’s Magazine article profiling an alleged threat made against Alexis Stern, a recent high school graduate from Big Lake, Minn. The city’s police chief says the FBI has taken over the case – and Fox News has reached out to the bureau for comment.

“I would never think of killing anyone, I’ve never so much as harmed a fly,” Fry, from Bath, told The Daily Mail this week while describing the allegations as “flimsy nonsense.”

NEW YORK MAN WHO OFFERED $500 FOR MURDER OF ICE AGENT IS ACQUITTED ON ‘PROTECTED SPEECH’ GROUNDS

The pair are reported to have dated online before Fry visited Minnesota in March 2018. Stern claims he was becoming increasingly bossy and broke up with him during his trip.

“I said very clearly I didn’t want to be with him, and he tried telling me I wasn’t thinking right and I was making a mistake,” she told Harper’s. Stern claimed Fry kept trying to contact her even after he returned overseas and “wouldn’t take no for an answer”.

Then in July of that year, a user with the alias ‘Mastermind365’ posted a message on the secretive Camorra Hitmen website – which advertised assassination services — asking if it was possible for somebody to carry out a kidnapping, according to Harper’s.

A week later on July 15, the same user reportedly wrote: “I have changed my mind since I previously spoke to you.”

“I would not like this person to be kidnapped. Instead, i would just like this person to be shot and killed. Where, how and what with does not bother me at all. I would just like this person dead,” the user reportedly wrote.

FLORIDA MAN’S FORMER ESCORT WIFE TRIED HIRING A HIT MAN: ‘I WAS PRAYING IT WASN’T HER’

The magazine says the user then transferred more than $5,000 in Bitcoin to the website along with a photo of Stern.

The user’s messages were sent to Harper’s from Chris Monteiro, a London-based IT worker who the publication says “spends his nights as a white-hat hacker and independent cybercrime researcher, navigating the shadowy spaces of the dark web.”

Montiero, Harper’s says, believes a scammer was operating the Camorra Hitmen site – one that had no intention of completing any order.

Yet Stern that month was called in for an interview with the Big Lake Police Department, where she was informed about the details of the alleged threat, Harper’s reports. It added that her parents installed a new home security system and she carried around a knife in her purse following that meeting with investigators.

The department’s chief, Joel Scharf, told Fox News on Monday that after the case “originally was reported to our department, we in turn requested that the FBI assume the case, which they did.”

Scharf added that in their records, Fry was “listed as a suspect at the time we took the case.”

TEEN CHARGED WITH TRYING TO HIRE HITMAN TO KILL HIGH SCHOOL STAFF MEMBER 

The magazine says when it shared Mastermind365’s messages with Stern to see if she could identify who wrote them, she determined that it was Fry.

“It’s definitely him,” she told Harper’s, saying that the user wrote “thankyou” as one word – something Fry would do as well – and that the date of the murder request, July 15, happened to be the same day she informed Fry she was seeing somebody new.

When Fry was approached at his home by The Daily Mail newspaper this week, he said “I can’t believe what I’m hearing and what she’s accusing me of.

“I’m traumatized and hurt that she would even think that it could be me,” he added.

Fry also told The Daily Mail that nobody from the FBI has reached out to him and denied Stern’s claims.

“Sometimes I write thank you as one word and sometimes two,” he said. “I have bad grammar but that doesn’t mean I’m guilty of ordering somebody’s murder.”

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He added: “All I did when she told me about her new boyfriend was delete all her pictures and messages and de-friend her from Facebook. I’ve never spoken to her since.”

He continued: “None of the things that Alexis has pointed out is concrete evidence against me. It’s just flimsy nonsense. She’s understandably worried that somebody wants her killed and is looking for a scapegoat, who just happens to be me.”

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Computer #Hackers are #Trying to Get Into Your #Wallet

Computer #Hackers are #Trying to Get Into Your #WalletA warning for when you open that next email, it could be hackers trying to get into your wallet. One Bowling Green woman didn’t want to take any chances when she received an email demanding thousands of dollars from someone she’s never met. WNKY News’ Cecilia Herrell found out what you can do to avoid […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com | Can You Be Hacked?

Beware the conmen trying to part you from your cash

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ In Norfolk it’s dating, in Wales it’s IT issues, while in Northampton it’s online shopping. And in London it’s just about every type of fraudulent activity you can imagine. Reported fraud …

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Mother accused of trying to smother child has medical background

To Purchase This Product/Services, Go To The Store Link Above Or Go To http://www.become007.com/store/ CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A mother who is accused of trying to smother her 1-year-old son with her hands and a pillow while at Levine Children’s Hospital made her first appearance in …

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Man accused of trying to hack government pensions website to stand trial in Belfast

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Man accused of trying to hack government pensions website to stand trial in Belfast

A man is to stand trial in Belfast for allegedly trying to infiltrate a government pensions website as part of a major computer hacking operation, a judge ruled on Monday. Daniel Marincu, 32, was allegedly involved in an identity fraud scam uncovered during a raid on a Belfast apartment. He…

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Scammers trying to steal credit card data from veterans dialing a fake Choice Program phone line

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Scammers trying to steal credit card data from veterans dialing a fake Choice Program phone line

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is warning veterans of a scam involving a fake Choice Program phone line. The two phone numbers differ only in the area code. The VA reports the fake line does not provide information on the Choice Program or its eligibility criteria, instead it offers callers a $100 rebate if they provide a credit card …

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Vigilante Hacker is Trying to Save Us From Ourselves

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Vigilante Hacker is Trying to Save Us From Ourselves

Surely we’re all aware that cyber attacks are getting worse and it’s because there’s been thousands of unsecure, internet-enabled devices hitting the market. These can range from light bulbs you can control with an app to classic printers, but many …

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Clearwater teacher arrested for child porn, trying to destroy evidence

Police say a local teacher is busted with kiddie porn on his computer. Investigators tell 10News that trusted a 6th-grade teacher, Robert Plotkin, threw his laptop in a lake apparently trying to destroy the evidence.

Neighbors and parents at Clearwater Intermediate School are outraged.

“How sad is that? It’s just truly amazing. It’s really shocking,” says Benitha Clark.

Police say a fight with Plotkin’s roommate exposed the dirty secret.

“I’m very surprised and shocked,” says Clark. Clark lives right next door to Clearwater Intermediate School. Her grandkids have gone and will go there. It’s where police hauled Math and Social Science teacher Robert Plotkin out of class on Tuesday and off to jail facing child porn charges.

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‘Cheating’ wife, 29, is charged with murdering her husband after ‘trying to cover up his death’ by claiming it was a suicide

A Texas wife has been charged with murdering her husband then trying to pass his death off as a suicide. Police responded to the home of 34-year-old Steven Hafer on Newpark Drive in Houston on at 4.10pm on February 2 after his wife, Thu Thien Huynh, called 911 to report that her husband had killed himself in the couple’s bedroom. After interviewing Huynh, officers found suspicious evidence that led them to conclude that the 29-year-old shot Hafer, according to a press release from the police department. Read More….

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