- Internet & the Web
Alert@choice.org - Recent Text Scams, and Smartphone Malware
Text Scams are becoming
more prevalent and more dangerous every day. Those in our society who would do harm to others are becoming more skilled at perpetrating these sinister acts. The internet is a wonderful tool when used for good, but also has empowered many people with less than honest intentions. Today, I received a text stating that my balance at choice.org was -221.75 and to contact 646.524.1304 immediately. Fortunately for me, I don't have an account at choice.org, so figuring out this was a scam was relatively simple. However, to the unsuspecting person who does have an account with choice.org, they could have been duped for all of their personal information without realizing it.
Alert@choice.org is one of many phone scams
There are hundreds, if not thousands of people sending out text messages in an attempt to commit identity theft. The act is so common that I get at least one of these a week. It looks like most of them are short lived, but that is not before the have succeeded in stealing the personal information of those who fall for their trap. SMS users beware, there are a lot of these people roaming the grid. They will steal your identity and make your life miserable if you let them.
Smartphone malware is also becoming
a major problem for those who use the devices. The FBI website has recently issued a report about one in particular that sounds very nasty. The Citadel malware will deliver a program called Reveton Ransomware. This program is designed to extort money by disguising itself as the Internet Crime Complaint Center to scare the crap out of people using mobile devices. If you follow the link that they send you, the program is uploaded to your device. Once there, it freezes said device with a message that you are in violation of Federal law and must pay a fine to restore service. The FBI says the obvious, do not pay the money. Report the incident to IC3 and have the malware removed by a professional. They also have a list of suggestions on way to protect yourself from this happening to you such as not "jailbreaking" your phone and never connecting to unknown networks. For a full list of their suggestions, click on the link in blue. Otherwise, just keep your guard up when using these smartphones and the like. These phones are great tools, but also have their share of vulnerabilities.
All in all,
the thieves of the world are getting more sophisticated every day. Technology is a beautiful thing, until it is being used against you. As a person who has had their identity stolen before, I can speak first hand on what a pain in the behind that it is. The amount of time and energy that is required to correct the situation is enormous. My best advice is to use great caution when navigating on any electronic device. Every day, some weasel is devising a new way to use it against you. Good luck....