Privacy, Identity & Online Security

Selling your car? Clear your personal data first.

Is a new car in your future? You might first have some unfinished business with your old one. While you’re cleaning out your personal items, think about the personal information stored in the car’s electronic system. 

How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin”.

It’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, but these chilling words are part of a new scam targeting men.

Back to school: Protect your child’s information

Many school forms require personal and sensitive information. Here are some tips for keeping your child’s personal information safe — from pre-school through college.

Back to school? Time to talk online safety

You probably have a list of things to get done before your kids get back to school. It may include getting school supplies, figuring out carpools, and scheduling afterschool programs.

There’s one more thing we hope you can squeeze into your list – talking to your kids about being safe online.

Pay it forward all year long

Government imposter scams

You get a text, call, or email from someone who says they’re with the government. They may claim to be a U.S. Marshal, saying you must pay a fine for missing jury duty. Or the IRS, saying that you owe thousands in back taxes. Some might threaten legal action, deportation, or arrest if you don’t pay up or give them your financial information.

In other cases, it sounds less scary and more like your lucky day. The call, text, or email will say you’ve won a prize, the lottery, or a grant — but you need to pay some fees or taxes to get your winnings.

Warn your friends about tech support scams

Tech support scams, which get people to pay for fake computer help or steal their personal information, are convincing. You might already know the signs of a tech support scam, but do your friends and family? Here’s what they need to know now.

Staying away from nanny and caregiving job scams

Finding a new job can be a challenge. Websites can help you find work, but scammers also use these sites to find people to rip off. Do you look for work on caregiver/nanny job sites? Sometimes scammers will offer a job but say you need to buy supplies or other equipment. They pressure you to act quickly, before you have time to think. They send you a check and tell you to deposit it and transfer money to their vendor to buy the supplies. Don’t do it — scammers post fake job listings for nannies and caregivers, then make up elaborate stories to get your money. The positions seem real, but they’re not — it’s a scam. The check will bounce. So, the money you sent is actually your own — and it’s gone.

Avoiding tech support scams

You’re working on your computer when, suddenly, a message pops up on the screen: “Virus detected! Call now for a free security scan and to repair your device.” That’s a tech support scam. Don’t call, text, or email. Legit tech support companies don’t operate that way.

 

Online love asking for money? It’s a scam.

While plenty of successful relationships begin online, scammers also use online dating sites, apps, and chat rooms to trick you into sending them money. These imposters create fake profiles to build online relationships, and eventually convince people to send money in the name of love. Some even make wedding plans before disappearing with the money. It’s a big problem: reports to the FBI about online romance scams tripled between 2012 and 2016, and imposter scams were among the top reports to the Federal Trade Commission for both the general population and the military community.

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