The Watchblog

Unleashed

  • Before You Spit, Read that DNA Kit

    One of the hot holiday gifts in 2017 was a DNA home test kit. Ancestry.com reportedly sold 1.5 million of these items during the Black Friday weekend at a reduced $59 each. Rival 23andMe countered with their own discounts. TV ads for the simple-to-use products were everywhere. The commotion prompted US Senator Chuck Schumer to […] Read more

  • Today Is World Backup Day—Act Now to Protect Your Data

    Yes, today could actually change your life. March 31 is World Backup Day (WBD), and there are a myriad of reasons to participate in this noteworthy event. To find out why, let’s take a look at some startling data protection statistics. Sponsors of WBD want you to know the facts. Backups are still not the […] Read more

  • The Nation’s Most Misused Social Security Number Began as an Unintended Error

    Imagine having your Social Security Number (SSN) misused by 5,755 other people at one time. The income tax headaches could be enormous. Getting a job might be impossible. These are, in fact, the real numbers from a case involving a woman whose SSN was printed and distributed all across the U.S. The year was 1938. […] Read more

  • Could You Unwittingly Become a Prince’s Mule?

    News out of Slidell, Louisiana has the Internet buzzing with tales of Nigerian Princes. In late 2017, police in Slidell arrested an area resident in connection with an email scam that funneled cash to Nigeria. The Advance Fee Scams Data security experts will recognize the connection between Nigeria and the proliferation of advance fee scams. […] Read more

  • “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