The Watchblog


  • “Operation Tech Trap” Shutting Down Pop-up Scammers

    The pop-up display is bright red and eye-grabbing. It warns that your computer is infected with malware and your data is at risk. You’re prompted to immediately dial a provided number to reach Apple® or Microsoft® Windows support. You call the number in a panic and find yourself subjected to high-pressure tactics to pay hundreds […] Read more

  • Taxpayers Listen Up: Latest Scam Sticks Victims with Big IRS Bill

    The 2018 tax prep season is in full swing, and so are hackers who smell easy money. Shortly after January 29, 2018 when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) opened its e-filing system, a new twist on tax-related identity theft surfaced. The new scam leaves victims on the hook for paying the IRS back for fraudulent […] Read more

  • The ABCs of ATM Safety

    Customers of Lake Michigan Credit Union (LMCU) based in Grand Rapids, Michigan are watching their bank balances like hawks after more than 100 clients saw their balances zeroed out by ATM thieves targeting just one ATM location. The credit union members hit by crooks first learned of the account hacks when legitimate withdrawals or purchases were […] Read more

  • Almost Half a Million of Employment Identity Theft Victims Not Notified by IRS

    A recent audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) revealed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) failed to notify 458,658 victims of employment-related identity theft who were identified in processing year 2017. This type of tax identity fraud occurs when a thief uses a stolen Social Security number (SSN) to gain employment. […] Read more

  • Thwart Hackers by Filing Your Income Taxes Early

    Taxpayers are typically focused on Tax Day, but by filing early, you can help reduce the risk of your refund being stolen. There’s still time before the April 17 cutoff, so get started now before it’s too late to file your taxes early. There’s a good reason tax advisors advocate filing early. That’s because only […] Read more

  • Can Your Cell Phone Number Be Easily Stolen?

    Yes, if you’ve gotten a recent text alert from T-Mobile, it’s legitimate and thieves could steal your cell phone number if you don’t secure it properly. The company is urging its customers to require a second password to authorize “porting” those ten digits to another carrier, and even customers on other networks should pay attention. […] Read more

  • Majority of Medical Providers Share Passwords Putting Patient Data at Risk

    A new study indicates that nearly three out of four health professionals surveyed obtained and used electronic medical record (EMR) passwords from a colleague. Could password misuse be one of the culprits behind the medical industry’s high rate of data loss? Statistics on Password Sharing The study, published in the September 2017 issue of Healthcare […] Read more

  • Sticky Notes Are Wrong Place for Passwords

    An inaccurate warning of an incoming missile attack rocked Hawaii on January 13, 2018, as the world watched. It was simply an error—an internal test of the alert system made public unintentionally. Now, under this intense scrutiny, Hawaiian government password practices have been revealed and have citizens and security experts anxious about security. Evidence has […] Read more

  • Scammed by Thieves? You Could Be Due a Refund

    Phone scams hit millions of Americans annually. While groups like the American Association of Retired People, better known as AARP, often warn its members about phone scams, every age group is at risk when a caller is trying to reach into your wallet. A survey conducted by Truecaller, a developer of a spam-blocking app, reported […] Read more

  • Looking Ahead to New Security Challenges in 2018

    If you’re on the alert for a batch of new data security threats to hit in 2018, check your rearview mirror instead. Many of the “big hits” from 2017 will generate another run at stealing your data this year. After all, why should hackers change their approach if it’s working? A look at the money […] Read more