The Importance of Using a Strong Password
- Create a long password.
- Use punctuation and capitalization.
- Do not make passwords easy to guess.
- Do not share your passwords.
- Be alert for attackers trying to trick you into revealing your passwords through emails or calls.
- Enable a multi-factor authentication, when available. Multi-factor authentication requires a second way of authenticating the user, such as a text to the users pre-registered phone number.
How Criminals Lure in Victims
The following messages from the Federal Trade Commission are examples of what attackers may email or text when they are phishing for sensitive information.
- We suspect an unauthorized transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below, and confirm your identity.
- During our regular verification of accounts, we could not verify your information. Please click here to update and verify your information.
- Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. You must call us within seven days to receive your refund.
Simple Tips to Keep Information Secure
Links in email and online posts are often the way cyber criminals compromise a computer.
Unsure exactly who an email is from? Do not respond, and do not click on any links or attachments found in that email.
Be cautious of generic greetings such as “Hello Bank Customer,” as these are often signs of phishing attempts. If you are concerned about the legitimacy of an email, call the company directly.
Think before you act. Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately. Many phishing emails attempt to create a sense of urgency, causing the recipient to fear their account or information is in jeopardy.
Protect personal information, when in doubt call the company directly instead of them calling you.
Secret Shopper Scam
On October 10, an Anoka County Sheriff's Deputy took a phone call fraud report.
The victim informed the deputy that she had received a letter in the mail saying she was selected to be a secret shopper. The letter requested her to fill out some forms to gather some personal information. The letter also included a check in the amount of $2,420 and the victim was instructed to purchase $2,000 worth of gift cards, scratch off the codes on the backside of the cards, send the codes via text, and then she could keep the rest of the money.
The victim purchased a total of $2,000 in Walmart gift cards and followed the rest of the instructions given by the scammer.
The victim later looked at her bank account and learned the check for $2,420 was denied and the gift cards were no longer valid.
Join the Blaine Crime Fighting Team
The holiday shopping time is approaching. Package thieves are eagerly awaiting for the busy delivery season.
Blaine residents with a doorbell camera or other security camera, can register it with the Blaine Police Department to potentially help catch a thief.
The police department will have no direct access to the camera. But, if a crime occurs in your area, officers or detectives may ask you to check the footage from the camera.
Participation is completely voluntary.Camera Registration Information