By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The feds say more than one million people filed complaints about identity theft in 2011 — many of them, falling victim online. Here’s a look at some of the latest high-tech scams and how to keep them at bay.
Fraudsters win by sounding legit.
“You get a call from someone who’s purportedly from Dell or Microsoft warning you that their security system has remotely detected a problem with your computer,” says Jeff Blyskal, senior editor with Consumer Reports. “Can they help you remove the virus?”
Blyskal says they’ll then install a phony spyware-finder on your PC, and charge you, of course.
Then, there are below-cost iPads and other gear to bid on. Hand over your cell phone number, like his staffer.
“That transaction caused her to be subscribed to this bidding service for $9.99/month that was billed to her cell phone bill,” he says.
That’s called ‘cramming.’ There’s also Facebook ‘click-jacking’ — posts that entice with promises of free lattes or revealing who’s checking your profile in exchange for filling out a survey or clicking a link that causes a computer infection.
“You should hang up on anyone who tries to sell, give, or help you with anything,” Blyskal warns. “And hang up meaning whether they come to you via text, email, telephone, or at your front door.”
The October 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine details more Internet-based scams, and how to keep from getting burned.