Monday, December 20, 2010

Scams of the Week: Dec. 20, 2010

Defrag Malware - We've probably all seen those fake virus scans that pop up from time to time, claiming that your computer is infected and you should download their software immediately.  Instead of fixing anything, they just load up your computer with a bunch of malicious little programs designed to steal your personal info.  Well, now there is one that claims to scan your hard drive for disc errors, invalid paths and other such stuff. It does the same thing, however. It load your computer with bad junk and steals your info.  More at CNET.

Lindsay Lohan and "your own email@facebook.com - Anything that says "check out this video of Lindsay Lohan (insert: doing something inappropriate here)" is a phishing scam.  Don't click.  There are several variations; all of them lead to a hacked Facebook account. Click Here for more  The same goes for claims that you can get your own email ending in @facebook.com.  The message system on Facebook is already a form of email, so there will probably never be a fully functional Facebook email. There are several phishing comments stating that you can get free iPads, free iPhones, and other free iSomethings. These too, are scams. Don't click the links!

Amazon.com shipping scam - You may receive an email that appears to originate from Amazon.com, but ends up downloading malware onto your computer which can steal personal info such as passwords.  Check the email for distinguishing markers that can only relate to you and the orders you may have placed.  The scammers are counting on us automatically trusting the source. Give emails quick scans before clicking on anything. Click here to read more.

Innovative Wealth Builders - Well, "scam" is pushing the boundaries, but their product is nothing like what they represent it to be on the phone. Here's what the report form the BBB of Western Florida has to say: "BBB has received a pattern of complaints concerning misrepresentation in selling practices, failure to honor promised refunds in a timely manner and failure to issue refunds after being told that a refund would be issued."
They currently have an F rating and making calls to homes throughout the country.  If you truly wish to lower the interest rate on your credit cards, you should speak with your CC company directly or contact a non-profit such as Consumer Credit Counseling Service for assistance.  You can also check with the BBB to find out if they have a history of complaints.  Occasionally debt negotiation services are on the level, but the industry is dominated by conmen and price-gougers.  Any company that guarantees they can lower your interest rate, be very skeptical.  Your credit card companies are not obligate to anything of the sort and do not have to cooperate with third parties.

Microsoft Sweepstakes - It's an oldie that's just making the rounds again.  An email claims that you've won a sweepstakes from Microsoft.  They don't have sweepstakes and if they did, they'd advertise heavily. Click Here for more.

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