July 12, 2018 – Protecting Yourself From Scams

A Message from the Common Table

I hope all of you had a great month. We had a great time at our annual PCCC Picnic in the Park in June. Thank you to all who came out, not so “hot” as it was last year.

At our last indoor meeting in May I showed you how to clean your computer on the outside and Bill B. showed how to clean your computer data on the inside. I hope you “cleaned” up at home. I did this to several of mine recently and I could not believe how much dust had gathered inside in the last year.

This month we will talk about “Protecting Yourself from SCAMS”. I know, I know, Maryanne presented on this in the last year. We still need to be reminded on all of the assaults on us to take advantage of us. There are a few new ones or variations on the SCAMS that Maryanne talked about. Just recently I heard about several scams that were applied on folk I know.

We will also be open to other conversations about computing and any questions you have. Microsoft just released the semi-annual “feature” update to Windows 10 on April 30. This time it is called the Spring 2018 update (1803). Everyone will be getting this update in the future. You probably have the update by now. How did this update go for you? I know a lot of issues popped up for some. Did yours go OK?

I noticed that the Apple Users Group is also having a discussion on “open” computing questions this month. Their meeting is this Tuesday at 7:00 PM at the Matthews Community Center, join them if you have an interest in Apple computing gear. I know that some of you have Apple gear.

Just a reminder, we are back to meeting at Pritchard at South End (Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church), 1117 South Boulevard.

I hope to see all of you at the meeting.

Galen Bolin
President PCCC

Quote without comment
“For entertainment purposes [on portable devices] the HD/4K image is a just a waste of bandwidth.”

We meet the second Thursday of most months at Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church in Dilworth (directions below). Please bring your healthy bag supper and join us about 5:45 to chew the fat or come for just the program promptly at 6:30. Join us also for the Board meeting, which is generally the Tuesday after the General meeting but check the announcement at the General meeting or in a special newsletter.

In The News

Social Engineering

(Because most contemporary scams are seeking access to money and valuable personal or corporate information, they are often able more reliably to target individuals by leveraging a little specific knowledge of them. This is what is known as phishing. Here is a primer I came across recently:)

Social engineering is a technique used by scam artists to trick people into providing confidential personal information, which is then used to commit fraud, including debit and credit card fraud, and identity theft. Often, victims of social engineering do not realize they have fallen prey to a scam artist until their money or identity has been stolen.

Social engineering can be in the form of emails, phone calls, or text messages where the scam artist pretends to be a representative of a legitimate company or financial institution to manipulate the victim into providing his or her personal information, card or account number, PIN, or other confidential information. As technology advances, the means of social engineering attacks may change (social media and new apps/software).

The following tips can assist with avoiding social engineering scams:

  • Be wary of emails that include links
  • Do not respond to suspicious emails or text messages
  • Do not provide information requested by an unsolicited email or text message without validating the source by reaching out to the company separately
  • Confirm phone calls by disconnecting the call and calling a phone number verified through an alternate source such as the company’s website

SECU will not request members’ account information, PINs, or passwords via email, phone, or text message. If you are unsure about a communication from SECU, please contact us
by calling the number on the back of your card (member services), or your local branch. These numbers are located within the ‘Contact Us’ and ‘Locate Us’ links on the website at www.ncsecu.org.

credit: “Grassroots.” Newsletter of the NC State Employees’ Credit Union, June 2018.

Here’s a personal example of one way to thwart a possible social engineering attack:

I recently applied for Social Security benefits and the confirmation indicated my application had been transmitted to their Durham office which might call me if they needed more details. Sure enough, I got a phone call with caller ID displaying “US Gov’t” and a 919 number. When I answered, the caller said he was from Social Security and asked for my SSNumber.

My response was “First prove you really are from the US Gov’t. Give me some information to prove you have my application in front of you.”

Without offense or hesitation, he responded with the dates I started and completed my application. Then, we continued the conversation.

Bill Barnes, PCCC

The PCCC meets at
Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church at 1117 South Blvd.

Maps and directions are below.
Join us with your bag supper at 5:30 or the meeting at 6:30.

The PCCC meets the second Thursday of most months at Pritchard in Dilworth. The location is 1117 South Blvd., Charlotte.

Room and Parking information:
We are meeting in a different room in the same building as the big hall. Come in the atrium and look for us in the first room on the ground floor down the hall to your left. If the parking lot closest to the building is full, park in the deck directly across the street. Do not park in the upper lot!
If you are lost, locked out, or wish an escort from the parking deck, call 704-607-6461.

Click on map for Google directions (https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2167865,-80.8507889,18z) .
Find it at What3Words (https://map.what3words.com/chef.pens.with)

MEMBERS: send your free, non-commercial ad to editor@pc3.org. Commercial advertisers: contact treasurer@pc3.org to join the appropriate membership level at https://pc3.org/membership.

Contact us: Get more information at https://PC3.org or email editor@pc3.org.