Here Are the Top 3 Online Scams and How to Avoid Them

The recent Federal Bureau of Investigations Internet Crime Report shows that cybercrime has spiked, leaving hundreds of thousands of victims and costing more than $4 billion. The FBI received a record number of reports last year totaling 791,790, a 69% growth from 2019. Moreover, losses due to internet crime increased by $700 million, growing from [...]

Your New Stimulus Check Might Not Be Safe From Cybercriminals

COVID-19 brought on many unexpected consequences, including what some are calling the cyber pandemic. Cybersecurity threats soared to all new highs last year and continue to increase as many professionals move to remote work and Americans increase their online presence in an attempt to social distance. A New Threat Now, cybercriminals have their eye on [...]

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Post a Photo of Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card Online

You may have noticed that nestled in with baby announcements, social-distancing birthday photos and dog snaps, social media posts are now also featuring people celebrating getting their COVID-19 vaccinations. It’s natural that after a year of living under pandemic restrictions people are eager to share their experiences with the shot. One thing you should avoid [...]

Looking for Love Online? Be Aware of Scammers and Fraud

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are trying online dating for the first time. Unfortunately, scammers are looking to take advantage of that. Especially during Valentine’s Day and the season of love, singles looking to make that special love connection via an online dating app need to be particularly aware of online romance scams. MatchGroup, [...]

Cybercrime and Fraud on the Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a direct correlation with the rise of online activity, data breaches and identity theft. As many Americans' personally identifiable information goes digital, it’s becoming increasingly vulnerable to hacks and theft by cybercriminals who profit from access to online accounts. This past year, in particular, internet services have experienced anywhere [...]

Don’t Fall Victim to COVID-19 Vaccine Phishing Schemes

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to become available to more people, be aware of potential scams related to the vaccine. It’s important to stay vigilant to certain warning signs that can help you avoid being scammed. Two vaccines to prevent coronavirus infections have now been granted authorization for emergency use. Every day thousands of more [...]

Fake Employer Scams Soar During Coronavirus Pandemic

As unemployment numbers continue to climb, so do fake employer scams that are preying on those searching for work. In fact, there have been triple-digit increases in fake employer scams that aim to gain access to personal and financial information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online human resources schemes where criminals pose as potential employers have [...]

With Job Scams On the Rise During COVID-19, Here Are Tips on How to Help Avoid Falling Prey

Work-from-home jobs have always been a target of scammers. Now, amid the COVID-19 crisis, these jobs have become even larger targets. Complaints about scams for certain business and job-related opportunities have spiked this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau (BBB). This uptick comes as the United States [...]

Phishing Attacks Targeting Employee Credentials on the Rise During COVID-19

A recent report by cybersecurity company GreatHorn found that companies experience an average of 1,185 phishing attacks every month. Even though the success rate of these phishing attacks is at a deceivingly low 6%, it means 71 of those are still successful and in need of remediation. The report found that 15% of organizations are [...]

How Teletherapy Can Help Gig Workers & Others

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought a lot of uncertainty into the lives of many Americans. Over the span of just a few months, the number of unemployed individuals rose by 14 million. In response, many people have turned to the “gig economy” for supplemental income. The Labor Market The gig economy refers to the share [...]

Google and Amazon Customers Top List of Brand Phishing Targets

Scammers are now targeting Google and Amazon customers the most frequently with brand phishing attacks, according to a new report. A recent study by security company Check Point found that Google and Amazon customers tie for the most phishing attempts aiming to steal their personal information at 13% of total attacks during the second quarter [...]

How to Avoid Coronavirus Contact Tracer Scams

Across the country, states have implemented contact tracing programs to help track the spread of the coronavirus. Contact tracing is the process of finding individuals who have come in contact with a person who has COVID-19, learning about their movements and asking them to quarantine or monitor their symptoms. Contact tracers are hired by their [...]

Can Losing Your Job During the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Your Credit Score?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the unemployment rate to surge. As those facing unemployment worry about their loss of income, finding a new job and even unemployment scams, they also may have concerns on how unemployment affects their credit. Luckily, your current employment status does not appear on your credit report or directly affect your [...]

Cybercriminals Targeting Healthcare Industry Along with Coronavirus-Related Scams

As headlines focus on coronavirus-related scams, the related healthcare industry also continues to be a top target for cybercriminals. This year alone more than 3 million patient records have been exposed. Here are the top-five healthcare data breaches so far this year. 1. Health Share of Oregon More than 654,000 patients had their records breached [...]

Tips on Bringing in Additional Income During COVID-19

There’s no surprise that COVID-19 has impacted people and businesses in all kinds of negative ways within the past couple of months. Unemployment rates have risen quickly, and many businesses have had to close due to inactivity. To help those looking for additional income, here is a list of survey-taking jobs that are easy to [...]

What to Do with Credit Card Travel Rewards During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has canceled travel plans across the globe, and it’s likely to disrupt normal travel for some time. For the time being, there’s a good chance your vacation plans are canceled, and you’ll be stuck at home instead. If you have a travel rewards credit card, you may be wondering how to get [...]

Mortgage Lenders Tighten Borrowing Requirements in Response to Coronavirus

The coronavirus continues to upset the economy, and the housing market is no exception. As of last month, around 4 million homeowners have already requested mortgage forbearance with their lenders through the CARES Act forbearance program. Mortgage lenders are responding to the economic uncertainty by tightening credit requirements and making borrowers jump through more hoops [...]

Bank of America Discloses Payroll Protection Program Data Breach

Business clients applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with Bank of America may have had their personal and business information exposed in a data breach, according to a letter the bank sent to affected customers. The data breach occurred on April 22 as Bank of America uploaded customers’ PPP loan applications to the Small [...]

Finding an Easy-to-Use Budget and Bill Tracker App Can Help Save Money

The coronavirus pandemic has left us with many unknowns, including concerns over our personal financial future. In fact, if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to budget for an emergency savings fund to plan for the unexpected. One way to make sure your financial future, including an emergency savings fund, is on [...]

How to Avoid Unemployment Benefits Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has created astonishing unemployment numbers, with nearly 39 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits since mid-March. States have struggled to keep up with the demand for unemployment benefits, resulting in glitches and long wait times to process applications and receive benefits. This dramatic increase in activity has provided scammers an opportunity to [...]

Glitch Causes Data Breach for New Illinois COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment System

Illinois residents filing for coronavirus-related unemployment using the state’s new online system might have had their personal information exposed. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D,  announced the Illinois Department of Employment Security experienced a system “glitch” after launching this week. The system, a new online portal, has been set up for contractors and self-employed residents filing for [...]

FBI and Cybersecurity Agency Issue Warning China is Hacking Organizations and Companies Working on COVID-19 Research

The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have issued a warning that China is attempting to hack the networks of U.S. organizations, pharmaceutical companies and health care professionals working on coronavirus research and vaccines. The federal agencies called research institutions, companies and others working on the COVID-19 response “prime targets” for Chinese cyberattacks. Federal [...]

How Early Detection Can Minimize the Damage Done by Identity Theft, Especially During COVID-19

Protecting your identity is an essential aspect of maintaining healthy credit and financial security. This is especially true in the age of COVID-19 scams, data breaches, cybersecurity threats and identity theft, when becoming a victim of fraud can do lasting damage to your credit and finances. The longer that identity theft continues unnoticed, the greater [...]

Zoom Acquires Startup with Encryption Expertise as it Aims to Increase Security During COVID-19 Pandemic

Zoom has acquired Keybase, a social networking service startup with encryption expertise, as part of the videoconferencing service’s plan to increase security during the coronavirus pandemic. Zoom CEO Eric Yuan recently announced the acquisition, calling it “another milestone in Zoom’s 90-day plan to further strengthen the security of our video communications platform.” Zoom did not [...]

Coronavirus Researchers Targeted in Cyberattacks

Cybercriminals are targeting research labs working on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Three research firms have recently experienced data breaches, including the Wuhan lab at the epicenter of the pandemic. Hackers attacked the Wuhan Institute of Virology to gain access to employee email credentials. The credentials have been leaked online. The Wuhan Institute of Virology attack [...]

Beware of Scammers Using Coronavirus Website Domain Names

Scammers have been registering coronavirus-related domain website names daily in order to commit fraud, according to new reports. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have been registering malicious sites with names that include “coronavirus” and “COVID-19”. They also are using combinations of the pandemic names and the word “vaccine”. Reports are showing malicious [...]

Missing Your Stimulus Check? Another Option Might Help

Many Americans are depending on stimulus check payments to help them through unemployment, decreased hours and other financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic. While the IRS has begun distributing stimulus check payments, there are still about 60 million people who are eligible for stimulus payments who have yet to receive their checks. What can you [...]

Small Business Association Data Breach Exposes Data of Nearly 8,000 Emergency Loan Applicants

A data breach in the Small Business Association (SBA) loan application portal may have exposed the personal information of thousands of businesses last month as they submitted emergency loan applications during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials recently announced. The SBA has seen a large influx of applications from struggling businesses seeking emergency loans due to the [...]

Hackers Preying on Pandemic: 5 Common Sense Tools to Protect Yourself

With hackers and scammers going to unprecedented lengths to steal information during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to know about tools you can use to help make it more difficult for criminals to access your information. While data security and identity theft are complicated issues, taking steps to reduce your exposure doesn’t have to be. [...]

FTC Reports $9 Million in Losses from Coronavirus Scams

From fake coronavirus vaccines to scammers targeting stimulus checks and small businesses seeking financial assistance, fraud involving COVID-19 fears is rampant. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported from January to April 15 it has received more than 18,000 complaints regarding coronavirus-related scams with about $9 million in losses. The complaints include sellers claiming to have [...]

Scammers Targeting Small Businesses Seeking Financial Assistance During Coronavirus Pandemic

Scammers are preying on small business owners looking for financial assistance to help survive the shutdowns during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Office of Inspector General has reported an increase in grant and loan frauds and phishing email scams falsely claiming to be a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) economic stimulus programs. [...]

4 Tips for a Smarter Emergency Savings Fund

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, having an emergency savings fund is important for handling unexpected expenses. From job loss to reduced income to other unplanned issues, it is important to save up a few months’ worth of expenses to weather financial storms. Building a strong emergency savings fund takes more than slipping a [...]

What Small Businesses Need to Know About the Paycheck Protection Program

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched the Paycheck Protection Program – part of the $349 billion COVID-19 economic stimulus package – to provide up to 100% forgivable loans to eligible businesses so they can keep workers on the payroll. Here’s helpful information for small businesses on the Paycheck Protection Program. 1. What are the [...]

How to Avoid Missing Bill Payments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused enormous financial insecurity across the country, with more than 10 million Americans applying for unemployment last month alone. If you’ve been financially affected, you’re probably worried about how you’re going to pay your bills. Timely bill payments aren’t just important to maintain your housing, services and other essentials. You [...]

Watch for Scammers Trying to Cash in on Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check

The federal government has approved stimulus checks as the country deals with the devastating fallout from the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, these relief checks are giving scammers another avenue to try to steal your money and your personal information. For the stimulus package, relief checks for $1,200 are being sent to tax filers with an income [...]

Working From Home? Make Sure Your Data is Secure

As many of us are working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, now is the time to be especially vigilant when it comes to protecting personal and business data online. Here are three tips to help secure your data. 1. Use a virtual private network (VPN). Securing employee access with a VPN can give [...]

How to Receive Financial Assistance and Relief During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has already dealt a severe blow to the American economy and has caused financial insecurity for countless citizens. The situation seems poised to get worse before it gets better. If you’re experiencing financial hardship – such as a job loss or reduced income – because of COVID-19-related circumstances, there are local, state [...]

Carnival Corp. Cruise Lines Doubly Hit by Data Breach and Coronavirus

Cruise lines Princess Cruises and Holland America Line recently revealed they suffered a data breach, another hit to the cruise line industry that has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Officials for the cruise lines, both owned by parent company Carnival Corp., said in May 2019 they identified suspicious activity on their servers and launched an [...]

4 Tips on How to Avoid Coronavirus Scams

As the COVID-19 pandemic has many people quarantined in their homes and worried about stretching their finances during this difficult time, some scammers are using coronavirus fears to take advantage of others. Here are 4 helpful tips on spotting scams capitalizing on the coronavirus, so you can avoid becoming a scam victim. 1. Be on [...]

How to Stretch Your Finances During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has already caused major disruption in the United States. The economy is suffering, businesses are reducing services or closing their doors and Americans are hunkering down to avoid spreading a global pandemic. The turmoil can put an enormous strain on the finances of millions of people. Many Americans may experience job loss, [...]

Cyberattack Aimed at U.S. Health Agency Suspected of Trying to Slow Coronavirus Response

Federal officials say the goal of a recent cyberattack on the U.S. Health and Human Services Department was to spread disinformation and disrupt the agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The cyberattack aimed to overload the agency’s servers by using automated users, or bots, to create millions of hits over a short period of time [...]

Hackers Using Coronavirus Fears to Spread Malware

Hackers are launching email and web-based cyberattacks using the growing fears of the coronavirus as clickbait. Security experts have discovered new malware campaigns that are offering the promise of everything from educational content on the coronavirus to conspiracy-theory cures that instead infect devices with the goal of causing damage or stealing data. The campaigns are [...]

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