Another Scam Alert – USAA

So I don’t usually post multiple times in a day, but for some reason this one just annoyed me so I felt the need to call it out. As always, these are posted as examples for you – the reader of this blog – to pass on to others. I understand that it is likely that you already know about this and other scams I mention in the blog, but your friends, neighbors, and relatives might not. If you can save somebody the headache of dealing this kind of thing, it’s worth the share! A few things of note with this one:

1) The “From” says USAA, but the email address associated with it is not from there.
2) The “To” recipient is not even to my personal (or work) email address.
3) There is no identifying graphic or bank-related information on the email
4) The Logon link is definitely not the USAA website.

Bottom line – a real financial institution should NEVER ask you to click and log into their system like this. If you get an email like this where even steps 1-3 are correct and don’t know how to check the link to see if it is legit, just go to the actual website in a browser. Don’t click on a questionable link in an email.

Here’s the one I got today:

New Scam Alert – DocuSign

Hey all…just a quick heads up. Got a new type of scam today…some of you might not have seen it, and for you business people out there, be aware. It looks like an official document to sign from DocuSign. People that are awaiting business documents, purchasing a home, expecting invoices, etc. could very easily click on this without thinking about it. However, if you roll over the button, you’ll see that it’s going somewhere else entirely. Do NOT click, just delete. Be vigilant and remember that it’s better to be cautious and take that extra second to check – don’t just assume and risk compromising your system!

Here’s a screeshot of what the email looked like:

Massive Ransomware Cyber Attack Spreads Around the Globe

Although a majority of the attacks targeted Taiwan, the Ukraine, and Russia, web security firm Avast has tracked more than 75,000 ransomware attacks in 99 countries.

Ransomware locks down all files on an infected computer and “asks” the user to pay a ransom in order to regain control over the files.

This particular variant which goes by the name “WannaCry” is spreading through a Windows exploitable vulnerability. Microsoft released a patch for this exploit back in March of this year, but any Windows system that has not applied the patch is at risk.

Kurt Baumgartner, a researcher for Kaspersky Lab has been quoted as saying, “Affected machines have six hours to pay up and every few hours the ransom goes up…Most folks that have paid up appear to have paid the initial $300 in the first few hours.” Kaspersky Lab has also cautioned that while non-patched computers are the most vulnerable, even patched systems can be at risk. What makes this malware even more diabolical is the inclusion of a “hunter module” allowing it to scan for additional systems on an internal network. This means that an infected computer could compromise other computers sharing the same network – the significance of this is great with the vast number of people who use WiFi networks at coffee shops, restaurants, airports and the like. The ransomware has even affected National Health Service (NHS) organizations in the UK and the Spanish telecom Telefónica.

The bottom line: While it may be an inconvenience, make sure you keep your computer systems patched will all of the most recent security updates and have virus protection turned on.


Anti-Phishing Tip

This is just a short tip on how to tell if something is likely a fake email designed to get you to give someone else important account information. Often times, even if an email looks legit it might not be. How can you tell If it looks “real”?

One of the easiest ways to check is to simply roll your mouse over a button or clickable image on the page. If the link does not go to the site itself, the chances of it being fake are high.

There are other ways that we will explore in future posts…but this just came through today! Be sure to pass this on and subscribe if you like!

Email Scams – You Win!

These scams have been around for years and they all promise something for (almost) nothing. I felt the need to post this as today was one that I had not seen. I have posted the email below in its entirety so that you can get a chuckle out of it.

The main point is this: The chances that you have a rich relative with the same last name, a Ugandan Prince, a US Customs Official, a DHS employee, or in this case, the Director of the FBI contacting you directly are pretty darn small. All they are asking for in return for millions and millions of dollars are the means to steal your identity at best, or at worst, gain access to your bank accounts.

Our advice, don’t even give them a sarcastic reply – at that point they will have verified you are a real person – just trash the email. And NEVER give them the information they request – no matter how good of a deal it seems to be.

And now for your entertainment:


Dear Beneficiary,

We hope this notification arrives meeting your good health and mind. (FBI) Washington, DC in conjunction with some other relevant investigation agencies here in the United STATES of America have recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network that you have an over-due payment in tone of USD 10.3M with Citibank. It might interest you to know that we have taken our time in screening through this project as stipulated on our protocol of operation and have finally confirmed that your payment/transaction with Citibank is 100% genuine and hitch free from all facets and of which you have the lawful right to claim your fund without any further delay. Having said all this, we will further advise that you go ahead in dealing with the Citibank officer who is directly incharge of the fund, Also, accordingly as we will be monitoring all their activities with you as well as your correspondence at all levels.

NOTE: There are numerous scam emails on the internet, imposters impersonating names and images. We therefore warn our dear citizens to be very careful with any claim email you receive prior to these irregularities so that they do not fall victim to this ugly circumstance anymore. And should in case you are already dealing with anybody or office claiming that you have a payment with them, you are to STOP further contact with them immediately in your best interest and contact the real bank (Citibank officer) only where your fund is laying, with the below information:

Bank Name: Citibank
Address: 815 D Pelham Rd, Jacksonville, AL 36265.
Attn: Lambert Huddles
(Remittance Director)

Contact the Citibank officer whom is incharge of your funds today and furnish them with the information below
for processing of your payment/funds accordingly.


NOTE: In your best interest, any message that does not come from the above email address with phone number should be nullified and avoided immediately for security reasons. Meanwhile, we will advise that you contact the officer incharge of your funds in Phenix City Alabama Citibank immediately with the above email address and request that they attend to your payment file as directed so as to enable you receive your payment/fund accordingly.

Ensure you follow all directives from Citibank as this will further help hasten up the whole payment process in regards to the transfer of your fund to you as designated. Also have in mind that the Citibank equally has their own protocol of operation as stipulated on their banking terms. All modalities has already been worked out before you were contacted and noted that we will be monitoring all your dealings with them as you proceed you don’t have anything to worry about.

All we require from you henceforth is an update so as to enable us be on track with you and the Citibank officer incharge of your funds. Without wasting much time, we want you to contact them immediately with the above email address and phone number so as to enable them attend to your case accordingly without any further delay as time is already running out.

Should in case you need any more information in regards to this notification, feel free to get back to us via email so that we can brief you more as we are here to guide you during and after this Transaction has been completely perfected and you have received your payment/fund as stated.

Thank you very much for your anticipated co-operation.

James Comey
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
J. Edgar Hoover Building
601,4th Street,
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.
20535-0001, USA