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Scam Alert

Real Estate Industry a Prime Target for Cybercrime

For more than a decade, the real estate industry has been a rich target for cybercriminals - and recent research reveals the trend has continued to increase.

Real estate transactions have become a prime target because they are highly lucrative. A down payment on a new home can be thousands, even millions of dollars. That amount of money gets passed from buyer to agent, and agent to seller, leaving many opportunities for fraudsters to intercept that money.

Tech Support Scam Losses Rose 86% in 2017

Tech support scams last year resulted in $15 million in losses, an increase of 86% over 2016, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

In 2017, IC3 received approximately 11,000 complaints related to tech support fraud. The claimed losses amounted to nearly $15 million. While a majority of tech support fraud involves victims in the United States, IC3 has received complaints from victims in 85 different countries.

New Tax Fraud Scam Targeting Tax Professionals

With the emergence of a new tax fraud scheme, The Internal Revenue Service is urging tax professionals to step up security and beware of phishing emails that can secretly download malicious software that can help cybercriminals steal client data.

Only a few days into the filing season, a scam was identified that began with cybercriminals stealing data from several tax practitioners’ computers and filing fraudulent tax returns.

Tax refund fraud affects hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of U.S. citizens annually. Victims usually first learn of the crime after having their returns rejected because scammers beat them to it.

Beware of Hurricane Harvey Relief Scams

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, American’s have rushed to issue support for those victimized by the devastating storm. People all over the country are donating to Harvey disaster relief efforts, but law enforcement officials and consumer watchdogs urge caution. When tragedy strikes, criminals invariably prey on people's best intentions.

The Justice Department's National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), which was established to crack down on scams following Hurricane Katrina, released a statement on Wednesday warning of post-Harvey charity fraud. Scammers have been using Hurricane Harvey-themed messages to trick people into opening phishing emails and links on social media sites, which can steal login information, infect machines with malware, or con victims out of money.

IRS Issues Urgent Alert of W2 Phishing Scam

Looking forward to your tax return?  You might be too late.  

The IRS issued a warning of one of the “most dangerous… email phishing scams we’ve seen in a long time.”  As a result, thousands of legitimate tax returns are being rejected, because scammers already filed fraudulent tax returns on behalf of the victims.  Using stolen W-2 information, scammers can file falsified tax returns, and the IRS issues your refund to those scammers.  When you get around to filing your legitimate tax return, the IRS database shows that you have already received your tax refund.

The Gmail Phishing Scam That's Fooling Even Tech Savvy Users

There’s a new phishing scam targeting Gmail users. Security researchers have stated that the emails are “highly effective” and even experienced, tech-savvy users have fallen victim. The scheme, which has been gaining popularity over the past few months, involves a clever trick that can be difficult to detect.