September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5 INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D Kelly "Rags" Ragland is the owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to customized ap- parel. Read his blog at T he Internet provides us with a wonderful channel to com- municate, market our businesses, and research literally any subject, product, or service we can imagine. Unfortunately, it also gives criminals a virtual highway to try and take advantage of unsuspecting users of online experiences. 419 ADVANCED FRAUD Formerly the most common Internet scam out there, the 419 ad- vanced fraud email still lands in inboxes around the world and has even evolved into social media. The 419 advanced fee hoax was derived out of Nigeria, and is named after the relevant section of the Nigerian Criminal Code specifically written for offenders us- ing this scam. Strategies for executing 419 fraud range in content, as exampled here: 1. Someone in a highly respectable position has passed away and left an inheritance of millions in a bank, waiting for claim. Your assistance is needed in order to play the role of the benefactor and release these millions, and you are offered a large percentage in return for helping. 2. Someone of significance is ill, perhaps even near death (creating a sense of urgency) and has millions to distribute per your assis- tance in getting said fortune out of their country. Again, you are offered a large percentage in return for the help. 3. You have been randomly selected as the winner of an overseas lottery, having never purchased a ticket. 4. Religious organizations and church committees in need of funds for schools, education, medicine, and/or other needs are often fraudu- lently impersonated this way. If it sounds too good to be true, it is, and non-profit organization claims need to be verified for authenticity when seeking monetary aid. 5. Recently, the 419 advanced fee scam has evolved into today's social networks. This is most commonly carried out by a hacker on a friend or connection's so- cial media page. Someone will pose as a friend of an acquaintance reaching out with an emergency. It is an easy scam to fall for, as the direct contact is com- ing from a verified and trusted account. The "friend" is perhaps stuck in another state with no gas money, is traveling outside the country and had their credit cards stolen, or some other random reason to need your financial assistance. Common subtleties included in these emails and DMs are poor grammar and spelling, use of a free email account such as Yahoo! or Hotmail, and the heightened sense of urgency in regards to the transaction. If these emails are replied to, the victim is next contacted by someone else impersonating a barrister or banker who will ex- plain some very expensive fees that need to be wired without delay. The recipient of the fees will be another person, not yet identified. If asked to email proof of identification, these hackers will produce fake documentation. PHISHING Always adapting, Internet criminals are getting smarter with their tactics. Phishing refers to emails sent out impersonating a credit card company, eBay, PayPal, bank, or other financial institution. These emails are sent out using the exact template that the actual organiza- tions use in order to create the illusion that it really came from their servers. Within the email body, they will inform victims that an ac- count needs to be updated, and perhaps has even been suspended or breached in some way. Users are invited to click on the link, which appears to be authentic as well, where anoth- er expertly designed copy of the actual orga- nization website pops up in order to login and provide sensitive private account details. These Phish emails look very authentic and should never be followed or responded to. If for any reason you should login to any financial account to check on it, do so from the "front door" of the website off a secure browser. The fake websites can easily trick a distracted reader, and before realizing the scope of what's been done, your username, password, and other important details are exposed for malicious intent. NEW FRAUD METHODS Newer scams include emails regarding a question about an item on eBay that was never asked, a payment receipt from PayPal for some- thing not ordered, and other ploys similar to these, engaging people Online Fraud Awareness

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