Big Bear News – Big Bear, CA – Recently, several Big Bear Valley residents, businesses and agencies have fallen prey to cybercrimes. In some cases, cyber thieves have “hacked” into email accounts and mirrored invoices to make them look legitimate, but changing pertinent bank information to redirect funds to the account of the perpetrator(s). In other instances, fake lottery winning notifications are being used to entice the victim to provide personal information or money up front as “pre-payment of taxes.” Don’t be fooled by these scams! We should all be cautious of anyone asking for sensitive and personal information to gain access to our individual or business accounts and/or life savings or retirement accounts. Genuine government agencies, state lotteries and other financial institutions do not ask for personal information such as tax identification numbers or Social Security numbers on email or telephone communications. If you ever have questions about the legitimacy of someone trying to gain access to your personal information, don’t hesitate to contact the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station or the actual institution requesting the information.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF SCAMS!
Below is useful information to help keep you from becoming a target:
Businessdictionary.com defines a “Scam” as: A fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group or company in an attempt to obtain money or something else of value. A “Scam” can also be used to steal your identity and other information about you and your family.
Remember that scammers:
• Will try and gain your trust by claiming to be from a well-known business or impersonate someone you know
• Direct you to websites they have created or to call numbers they have provided to get you to give them your
• They will often appeal to your emotions
Ten Most Common Scams:
- Advance Fee Fraud – A scammer requests fees upfront or personal information in return for goods, services,
money or rewards that they never supply.
- Lottery, Sweepstakes and Competition Scams – An email, letter or text message from an overseas lottery or
sweepstakes company arrives out of nowhere.
- Dating and Romance Scams – Scammers create fake profiles on legitimate dating websites. They use these profiles
to try to enter into a relationship with you so they can get ahold of your money and personal details.
- Computer Hacking – Phishing emails are commonly used by scammers to trick you into giving them access to your
computer. They ‘fish’ for your personal details by encouraging you to clink on a link or attachment.
- Online Shopping, Classified and Auction Scams – Scammers like shopping online for victims. Not getting what you
paid for is a common scam targeting online shoppers.
- Banking, Credit Card and Online Account Scams – Scammers send email or text messages that appear to be from
your bank, a financial institution or an online payment service.
- Small Business Scams – If you own a small business you can be targeted by scams such as the issuing of fake bills
for unwanted or unauthorized listings, advertisements, products or services.
- Job and Employment Scams – These scams involve offers to work from home or setup and invest in a business
- opportunity. Scammers promise a job, high salary or large investment return following initial upfront payments.
- Golden Opportunity and Gambling Scams – Scams often begin with an unexpected phone call or email from a
- scammer offering a not-to-be-missed high return or guaranteed investment in shares, real estate, options or foreign
- currency trading.
- Charity and Medical Scams – Scammers are unscrupulous and take advantage of people who want to donate to a
- good cause or find an answer to a health problem. Charity scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to
- work for a legitimate cause or charity or a fictitious one they have created. Often scammers will exploit a recent natural
- disaster or crisis that has been in the news.
- For more information regarding privacy, identity and online security, and to register for the National Do Not Call Registry
- visit the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0108-national-do-not-call-registry.