Consumer Reports Provides Tips On How Protect Yourself From the Latest High-Tech Scams PDF Print E-mail
August 30, 2012

It's easier than ever to be a victim of identity fraud these days due to the new means of technology that did not exist 15 years ago, including social media, pop-up ads on your computer, and text-message scams.

Fraud operates like a business these days" said Jeff Blyskal, Sr. Editor, Consumer Reports." It's as if thieves have their own Research and Development departments looking into the latest technologies and figuring out new ways to trick you. And the Internet makes it easier to reach and market their schemes to people than ever before. Even if they only fool a small percentage of people, that's still a lot of victims."

  • In order to protect yourself from fake "telephone support" personnel who offer to remove common internet viruses found on your computer for a fee, find legitimate antivirus and antimalware software that Consumer Reports has rated, install it on your PC, and keep it up to date. Hang up on anyone outside your home who claims to find trouble on your PC.
  • Never give your cell phone out to any pop-up ads. Common pop-up ads invite you to bid on popular electronics such as the I-pad. Submitting your bid sends a text message to your cell phone that, whether you respond or not, may authorize an unwanted $9.99 a month subscription to some useless service. The charge gets tacked onto your cell-phone bill, where you are unlikely to notice it.
  • Be wary of websites where you can purchase high-value coupons for up to $60 off or free high-priced products. Such deals are usually a scam, so be sure to avoid them.
  • Social media networks have become a breeding ground for scams, especially Facebook. You might have received news-feed messages from Facebook friends raving about an app that claims to let you see who is checking out your profile. Such messages can be spam in disguise, leading to "bait pages". Then you have to complete a survey, which collects personal information and opinions. Make sure not to reveal personal information online to an unknown source. Use caution in granting access to your profile. And think before you "like".