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Online Security

SpyFone barred from selling stalking apps that secretly monitor phone activity

Phone monitoring apps designed to avoid detection by the owner of the phone don’t just invade your privacy — they make it possible for stalkers and domestic abusers to track the location of the person they are targeting in real-time. Stalkerware apps can give an abuser secret access to their target’s location, phone conversations, text and email messages, and photos. Some can even take pictures, turn on the microphone to record calls, and send commands by text to make the phone vibrate or ring.

WARNING: Email from FTC Chair Lina M. Khan about Coronavirus money is fake

Scammers are impersonating FTC Chair Lina M. Khan in a new phishing scheme. The email says the FTC wants to send you Coronavirus relief funds and tells you to send some personal information, like your name, address, and date of birth. The FTC is not distributing Coronavirus economic stimulus or relief money to people. The email is a scam. Don’t reply.

Hello, summer. Goodbye, scammers.

Summer is right around the corner. With things reopening, kids getting out of school, and days lasting longer, this summer promises, we hope, some much-needed relaxation, adventure, and a chance to reconnect with family and friends. Today, we’re kicking off our summer safety series to share some thoughts on ways to make your summer season as enjoyable and safe as possible.

Stand up to cyberbullying

Pride Month is about connecting with and showing support for people in the LGTBQ+ community. It’s also about standing up and protecting those we care for, so today we’re talking about cyberbullying.

Your guide to protecting your privacy online

The things we do throughout the course of our day give businesses access to information about our habits, tastes, and activities. Some might use it to deliver targeted ads to you, or to give you content based on your location, like stores nearby or the weather forecast. Others might sell or share that information. Whether you use a computer, tablet, or mobile phone to go online, there are things you can do to protect your privacy.

Don't open your door to grandparent scams

When it comes to scammers, nothing is sacred — including the bond between grandparent and grandchild. Lately, grandparent scammers have gotten bolder: they might even come to your door to collect money, supposedly for your grandchild in distress.

The pandemic’s effect on your money

This April is Financial Literacy Month, so this week we’re talking about financial resiliency. The Coronavirus has been devastating for many people’s financial lives. Through no fault of their own, millions have lost jobs, businesses, and savings due to the financial impact of the pandemic. Many folks are simply trying to decide how to put food on the table and keep their housing. Some, who were able to keep their jobs, are hanging in there. And others are somewhere in between.

Caught in a bad romance

It’s day four of National Consumer Protection Week and we’ve been discussing ways we can look out for each other during the pandemic. Today’s topic – romance scams. Beyond the job losses and economic fallout of the pandemic, the loneliness and isolation brought on by our virtual lives has real consequences. This might explain why romance scams reached a record $304 million in losses reported to the FTC in 2020. That’s up about 50% from 2019.

Achy fakey heart

You’ve heard of romance scams. But do you know how they happen? They start when scammers create fake profiles on dating apps or social media. Then, those scammers strike up a relationship with their targets and work to build trust. Sometime later, they make up a story and ask for money.

Not love, actually

Valentine’s Day is this weekend, so over the next three days, we’re talking about romance scams. Lots of people have profiles on dating apps to meet someone — maybe even more so in these virtual times. And many people have built successful relationships from an online start. But what if, instead of finding a potential partner, you find a scam? 

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