BBB News Alert! – Two Important Warnings About Scams

Two Important Warnings About Scams!

A Warning from Sylvia at Central Kennels in Sylvania:

“I received a disturbing call earlier today and it sounded like a real call. They claimed to be the Toledo Edison and they said they were the repair team and were on their way to work on the meters and remove them since we hadn’t paid our bill in July and it was past due 90days so they were going to turn off the electric service.

Of course I protested and the man told me to call his supervisor to get the order number and proceed from there. He also said they had sent out notices in August and September about the service call if the bill wasn’t paid within 90 days. I said I never received any notices. Then he says a lot of people haven’t received them.

I call the number 888-674-0050 ext305 and it sounded like a legitimate Toledo Edison recording. The man answers and goes into the whole thing with the service guy is on his way and if I don’t want my electricity shut off I need to go make a payment of $498.12 at their address 300 Madison Ave #1600 , Toledo, OH 43604 before the end of the day or I could go to the pay stations at CVS, Rite aid, Kroger’s, and pay there. He said they didn’t take credit cards they would take a bank acct or check.

I was furious and upset and at the end of the call I told him I would come down to the office to give him the money, so he wouldn’t turn off the power.

Of course I didn’t and immediately called the Toledo Edison to straighten this out and find out what was going on and they said it was a scam for sure and I should file a police report and let BBB know this is going on. I did call that number back *67 my number and when the recording asked my name I said George, someone did answer sounding official again so all I said was” nice scam you got going on there, the police and the BBB have been notified, and I hung up.

I was so upset that someone would call a business and threaten to shut off the power was disturbing and I really hope someone stops these people.”

NEXT: RANSOMWARE is one of the most serious online threats facing people and businesses today — and the most profitable form of malware criminals use. Hackers hold your files “hostage”— often encrypting them — then demand payment, typically in bitcoins, for you to get them back.

How to defend against ransomware:

  • Update your software. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Set your operating system,
  • web browser, and security software to update automatically. On mobile devices, you may have to do it manually.
  • Think twice before clicking on links or downloading attachments and apps. According to one
  • panelist, 91% of ransomware is downloaded through phishing emails. You also can get ransomware from visiting a compromised site or through malicious online ads.
  • Back up your important files. From tax forms to family photos, make it part of your routine to back up
  • files on your computers and mobile devices often. When you’re done, log out of the cloud and unplug external hard drives so hackers can’t encrypt and lock your back-ups, too.

What if you’re a victim of ransomware?

  • Contain the attack. Disconnect infected devices from your network to keep it from spreading.
  • Restore your computer. If you’ve backed up your files, and removed any malware, you may be able to
  • restore your computer. Follow the instructions from your operating system to re-boot your computer, if possible.
  • Contact law enforcement. Report ransomware attacks to the Internet Crime Complaint Center or an
  • FBI field office. Include any contact information (like the criminals’ email address) or payment information (like a Bitcoin wallet number). This may help with investigations.

Should you pay the ransom?

Law enforcement doesn’t recommend paying the ransom, although it’s up to you to determine whether the risks and costs of paying are worth the possibility of getting your files back. If you pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your files back. In fact, agreeing to pay signals to criminals that you haven’t backed up your files. Knowing this, they may increase the ransom price — and may delete or deny access to your files anyway. Even if you do get your files back, they may be corrupted. And you might be a target for other scams.

 

Dick Eppstein, BBB