Monday, February 1, 2016

Online Fraud Awareness

Online Fraud Awareness
by Merlin Benningfield, Managing Partner - Fast Rhino, LLC

My friend, Officer Elijah Woodward of the Oro Valley Police Department, asked me to join him at the inaugural Fraud School, held February 1, 2016 at the Oro Valley Council Chambers. The topic he asked me to cover was online fraud, specifically fake tech support, a widely used form of social engineering. Since we see and hear about this sort of thing almost daily at Fast Rhino, it seemed like a good opportunity to help spread the word to those who might otherwise become prey to the scammers who are conducting these types of crime.

The Event
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Oro Valley Police Department, Marana Police Department, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigations came together to help share information about the different types of fraud at large today. Attendees learned how to identify current scams, keep themselves and their personal data safe.

Things you can do to avoid Online Scams
  • Stay awake/aware - Keep your guard up and know that these things are happening today.
  • Think situations through before acting. If unsure, get a second opinion first.
  • Use a script blocker in your browser - We have more information on this subject here.
  • If you plan on downloading something, research the program and its publisher and also the website where you download it. Also, see this article.
  • Question everything!
  • Backups are essential in today's world.
  • Anti-virus is still very important, but you also need a good anti-malware program, as well.
  • Benjamin Franklin, once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”