Live 5 Scambusters: Privacy Awareness Week

Live 5 Scambusters: Privacy Awareness Week
Consumer advocates around the world are sharing scams alerts as part of Privacy Awareness Week. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Protecting your money and identity should always be a top priority and responsibility.

Consumer advocates around the world are sharing reminders of various scams as part of Privacy Awareness Week. The theme for 2019 is “Protecting Privacy is Everyone’s Responsibility.” The Federal Trade Commission put out a release to highlight scams and the ongoing efforts to stop them.

The FTC highlighted a cryptocurrency blackmail scam. Mount Pleasant Police put out a warning about this a couple of months ago. Scammers sent out letters threatening to release embarrassing information unless victims pay up using Bitcoin. The letters even go into great detail on how to use the cryptocurrency. Scammers have also sent the same messages through email.

Tech support scams are another common way scam artists convince you to hand over personal information. You may get a pop up ad or an email alerting you of a virus attack. The alert may include a number to call or a link to click to connect to tech support. These alerts are not real and will connect you to a scammer who may convince you to give them remote access to your computer. This would allow them to install malware and steal personal information. Contact your software company directly if you’re concerned.

Any time a massive data breach is reported, like the Facebook breach in September 2018 or the more recent revelation about compromised data on Instagram, your information could be at risk. You can always check haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email account has been affected by a data breach. If it has, you should change your password immediately.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at Scams@live5news.com.

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