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ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

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Criminal Hackers Had Their Best Year

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Identity Theft Expert Robert Siciliano

The FBI reported that last year, organized criminals made double what was reported in 2008. Phishing emails containing the name and logo of the FBI were one of the top money makers for scam artists.

Successful scams included auction scams where products were bought and paid for but product was not delivered. Advanced fee scams also topped the list.

Scammers will say and do anything to get a person to part with their money.

Never automatically trust over the phone or via the internet. Unless the business is one that is well established online; don’t ever send money that you can’t get back. Never send money in response to an email or a phone call or even a classified ad. Money orders and wiring money have less security than a credit card does.

Anytime the transaction involves wiring money, that’s a dead giveaway. In any virtual transaction, I’d suggest using a credit card, but not without first checking the legitimacy of the business or the individual. A quick scan online of a company, individual, or even the nature of a transaction can often provide enough information to make an informed decision.

Scareware was also a big player. Studies show that organized criminals are earning $10,000.00 a day from scareware. That’s approximately 200 people a day getting nabbed. Some “distributors” have been estimated to make as much as $5 million a year.

What makes the scam so believable is there is actual follow through of the purchasing of software that is supposed to protect you. There is a shopping cart, an order form, credit card processing and a download, just like any online software purchase.

The software is sometimes known as “AntiVirus2009” “WinFixer,” “WinAntivirus,” “DriveCleaner,” “WinAntispyware,” “AntivirusXP” and “XP Antivirus 2008.” These are actually viruses or spyware that infect your PC, or just junk software that does nothing of value.

Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing Ransomeware on Fox Boston.

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

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