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Scammers are becoming more creative in gaining access to clients’ personal information. It’s actually happened twice in the past 2 weeks. The scammers are just getting smarter and more prevalent.

This time it came from 2 different directions.

One client received a bogus billing from PayPal through a text message. In a moment of weakness, the client called the phone number in the text versus checking to verify the information on their actual PayPal account. The client was conned into letting the scammer on their computer by using AnyDesk (a remote access product). The client realized their error once the scammer got into their banking. The connection was cut and the client contacted their bank to change their login, etc.

When this happens, the removal of software can not be done remotely because the scammer would have a chance to block it. Instead I had to meet with the client, pick up the infected computer. Then I had to uninstall AnyDesk, which is what the scammer told the client to download to their computer, check for any additional compromises and then return the computer. The client was without their computer for several days.

The second client received an email saying that someone had sent money through Venmo and that money was sent out from their Venmo. Again, instead of verifying the information through the actual Venmo site, the fake Venmo was contacted through information in the email. This time, the result was more serious. The fake Venmo contact got the client to send them a copy of their driver’s license.

The second client had to take the following action:
1.    Contact the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)
2.    File a police report.
3.    Contact their bank.
4.    Freeze your credit.

If you ever have to do this, you’ll need at least your social security number, your birthdate, address and possibly a former address.

To freeze your credit report, you will need to contact each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — individually to freeze your credit. You will need to create an account for each:

Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or click here to go to the Equifax website.

Experian: Call 888‑397‑3742 or click here to go to the Experian website.

TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or click here to go to the TransUnion website..

Click here to alert the FTC for possible identity theft.

Click here to get a background check to make sure all your information is correct and the scammers have not changed anything. TN offers them through the TBI for a nominal fee.

Get a replacement driver’s license before driving.

Run a free Dark Web Scan.

Consider identity theft protection through a reputable identity theft protection company (i.e. Legal shield /ID Shield, LifeLock, etc.)

All the best and stay well,
Jim Nay

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