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Every time you pay a bill, data is sent to a credit reporting agency. Errors can be made. It’s important to know where to look to see if your credit information is correct, stolen, or purchased. Today’s guest is Steve Baker. Steve is chairman of the Privacy Rights Institute. He is a lawyer and previously served as a leader at the FTC for over 27 years addressing consumer fraud in areas like telemarketing and spamming. Steve now writes The Baker Fraud Report, a free weekly newsletter covering consumer fraud from around the world. Show Notes: [1:08] - Steve shares what he currently does with The Baker Fraud Report and his career background. [2:46] - In the field of consumer fraud, there is always something to learn. [3:27] - The Privacy Rights Institute is meant to educate people on their rights regarding credit reporting. [5:02] - With tons of pieces of data, errors can occur. [6:05] - Steve shares some of the people who can pull your credit report. [7:34] - One error happens when people with the same name get mixed up. [9:04] - Steve explains how the system is supposed to work. [11:07] - Unfortunately the credit reporting agencies have poor customer service. [12:54] - Credit reports can also be pulled by employees and associates at places like car dealerships. There’s no stopping them from searching anyone. [13:40] - Data breaches are also a concern and can lead to identity theft. [15:27] - The Los Angeles school district recently experienced a data breach through ransomware. [17:25] - There are some alternatives that are starting to come out for security. [18:56] - With the increase in people changing jobs and the economy in its current state, credit reports are being pulled more frequently at the moment. [21:09] - You can get a copy of your credit report once a year. Do this at [22:26] - If you see an error, reporting it to one agency is good. Keep an eye on your credit card bills. [24:24] - Scammers have also been known to alter recordings of your voice on the phone. [26:04] - If you see an unusual charge, don’t try to locate or contact the person who made the charge. [27:48] - Currently, the best way for scammers to get your money is through cryptocurrency. [29:07] - Immigrants are particularly hit hard by scammers and credit report confusion. [31:01] - Keep an eye on your credit reports and periodically check for errors. [32:06] - Steve explains how credit repair works and what to look for. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Baker Fraud Report
Consumer Reports is known for the research and comparisons of products and services, but they also offer a free personalized security and privacy planner. Today’s guest is Amira Dhalla. Amira is the Director of Impact Partnerships and Programs at Consumer Reports focusing on digital privacy and security. Amira works on projects that improve the cybersecurity and privacy products and tools on the marketplace while also tackling topics like discriminatory technologies, deceptive design, trust, and safety. Show Notes: [0:57] - Amira shares her background and her role at Consumer Reports. [3:10] - The internet is incredible, but the quality isn’t always what it should be. [4:26] - Technology has expanded at an unprecedented rate. [6:14] - Amira explains some of the fears that people had in different countries when learning about internet use. [7:21] - Security Planner has been around for a long time and Consumer Reports brought it into their toolset a few years ago. [9:29] - Constant updates as technology changes and trends emerge is crucial. [11:19] - Consumer Reports studies tools people use. MFA is becoming much more commonly used. [12:30] - MFA is also required by many organizations for their employees. [13:40] - Password managers are not trending as more commonly used. [14:14] - Amira shares Consumer Report’s picks for password managers and VPNs. [16:12] - Online shopping has increased since the pandemic and is prime time for scammers. [17:31] - There are ways to be smarter online shoppers. [19:45] - What is a Grinchbot? [20:59] - Once you go to a third party site, you are no longer secure. [23:07] - Amira describes some of the things to look for to determine if you are looking at a fake site. [25:20] - Question yourself on why a site needs the information they are asking for. [27:54] - Charity scams are a huge problem particularly during the holiday season. [29:10] - Always go to the site you know directly. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Security Planner
Criminals and trained to hone in on people who are vulnerable. Listen on to learn how you can protect the people you care about and what signs to look out for. Today’s guest is Louise Baxter. Lou graduated with a law degree and worked for Sussex Trading Standards. She took over as the chair of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's consumer power alliance and is the CTSI’s lead officer of education. She got frustrated by the system in relation to support of scam victims and started what is now the National Trading Standard Scams Teams, and she was awarded an MBE for protecting vulnerable consumers from financial abuse.  Show Notes: [1:10] - Lou shares her background and why she was driven to be more proactive. [3:05] - Her team deals with specific types of scams. [5:19] - If you respond to one letter scam, your details get passed around to more. [6:54] - There are times of mental health challenges that make you vulnerable, such as grief and high stress. [8:40] - There are different types of vulnerabilities and you could experience several at once. [10:51] - There are mental health impacts when learning that you’ve been a victim of a scam. [12:35] - Scams are only reported between 5 and 15% of the time. [14:48] - Even Louise has been affected by situational vulnerability. [16:01] - Louise describes the way a lottery scam increases their web of victims. [18:49] - What support is available for scam victims? [20:35] - Louise shares the types of responses her team receives when they reach out to scam victims. [23:00] - Situational vulnerability creates opportunity for scammers to make their message more believable. [25:35] - At the start of Covid-19, vulnerabilities were at an all time high. [27:13] - Criminals can target constantly. [28:38] - One million people have completed the training Louise’s company offers. [30:19] - As a society, we need to begin supporting victims rather than shaming them. [32:50] - Scams and fraud are forms of emotional abuse. [34:12] - Lou compares the tactics used by scammers to domestic emotional abuse. [35:41] - Louise explains that most criminals are not in the same country as their targets. [37:35] - There has been some valuable international work that’s been done, but every country operates a bit differently in their standards. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest
Once a data breach has taken place, your data can be sold and resold and resold again. It’s important to know how to proactively protect your personal information. Today’s guest is Kevin Roundy. Dr. Roundy received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin where he developed tools by which malware can be analyzed both with detailed statistical analysis techniques and dynamic instrumentation. He has collaboratively developed threat detection tools and has offered several research publications and patents. He also has a background in machine learning and database systems.  Show Notes: [0:56] - Kevin shares his current role and why he has become passionate about keeping people safe from scammers. [2:45] - Oftentimes, scammers take advantage of current events and news stories. [4:02] - Student loan forgiveness is a recent trend in scams as it is a current focus in the US. [5:06] - Don’t click the ads that pop up at the top of your search as scammers will pay money to have their ad placed there. [6:01] - Kevin shares the common things scammers will say to target those looking for student loan forgiveness. [7:20] - Scammers can also just take your information and use it to claim unemployment. [8:50] - Kevin shares some things to help protect your social security number. [11:47] - There are great opportunities to protect yourself and get to these things before someone else does. [12:44] - If a company is breached and they lose your information, they are legally required to notify you so keep your contact information updated. [13:50] - We do not have the best practices with passwords. [15:06] - It’s not possible to have unique passwords that you can memorize. [16:56] - Dark web monitoring is very effective and fast. [17:50] - There are times in the past when your information could have hit the dark web before anyone knew there was a breach. [19:24] - The price of things on the dark web may indicate the level of security your account has. [22:22] - It’s annoying to have to work with two factor authentication, but it is worth it. [24:38] - How do we have conversations with family members to educate them without sounding demeaning? [26:58] - When it comes to having conversations with children, the earlier the better. [31:43] - It’s important to keep lines of communication open with your kids about security and privacy. [33:23] - When it comes to having a phone, Kevin has guidelines for his kids. [35:40] - Once you put something out there, it’s out there forever. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest
Online predators can pretend to be anyone, any age, anywhere. We need to educate and empower our children to stay safe on their devices and not become victims. Today’s guest is Titania Jordan. Titania is the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Parent Officer at Bark Technologies, an online safety company that helps keep kids safe online and in real life. Titania has contributed pieces to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Huffington Post, Fox Business, Daily Mail, USA Today, Vogue, and more. Her first book Parenting in a Tech World was published in 2020 and quickly became a best seller on Amazon. She was also featured in the 2020 documentary Childhood 2.0. She frequently appears as a subject matter expert on nationally broadcast programs such as Today Show, Steve Harvey, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and many others. Show Notes: [1:14] - Titania shares her background and why she was drawn to her field. [3:07] - In her history, Titania has many childhood traumas and wants to help protect others. [5:18] - Kids have access to everything that’s good but also everything that is bad and parents did not have that experience in their own childhood. [7:41] - Kids are being exposed to everything more frequently and at a younger age than ever in history. [9:50] - Parents can feel helpless because there is a fine line between controlling what their children access online and giving them the freedom to use it. [11:37] - The frequency in which negative experiences online happen to children is much higher than you think. [13:09] - Be aware of how you model technology use and talk about “tricky” people. [15:07] - It can happen anywhere, not just in social media apps. [16:21] - Titania shares some of the issues that can arise depending on the age and abilities of a child. [17:29] - There are some apps that appear as something other than what they actually are. [19:34] - Predators can be seemingly upstanding and moral people and some can also be people you know personally. [21:39] - Kid slang changes all the time and could mean something you aren’t aware of. They are designed to overcome algorithms. [23:21] - Titania created a Facebook group about parenting in a tech world. [24:25] - Titania lists some of the things Bark tracks to keep kids safer online. [25:50] - It’s not about keeping technology away from your child, but to go on the journey with them. [27:40] - Titania explains some of the things she talks to her son about regarding privacy [30:17] - When it comes to sharing photos of your child on social media, consider the reason you are doing so and who can see it. [33:00] - Bark is a tool, but does not replace conversations and education. [35:47] - Titania shares some of the feedback from parents who have used Bark. [38:49] - Become familiar with parental controls on all the connected devices in your home.  Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Parenting in a Tech World Facebook Group Parenting in a Tech World by Titania Jordan
Taking online quizzes can be fun and entertaining. Clicking on links in emails and DMs is just plain convenient. Unfortunately, both of these can put your identity at risk for theft. Today’s guest is Patrick Glennon. Patrick has over 20 years of experience in banking and consumer identity protection with roles at companies including JP Morgan Chase, Core Logic, Arthur Anderson, and eBates. He has built software and infrastructure teams from the ground up, managed not only data center cloud migrations, but also managed transitions from legacy to modern engineering standards. Show Notes: [0:55] - Patrick shares his background and his current role at IdentityIQ. [2:15] - We are putting more and more of our personal information online. [4:06] - Credit card numbers can be used for more than purchasing things with your funds. [6:06] - There is a wide variety of ways people can use your identity and every day there seem to be new ones. [8:06] - When something happens once, the same information can be used across platforms and accounts. [9:26] - Online quizzes can be used in surprising ways. [10:52] - There is some organization to the ways scammers take information. [14:56] - There’s nothing we can do to prevent people from trying. But there are many things we can do to help prevent them from being successful. [16:08] - Mix it up and use different security questions on different sites. [17:48] - Don’t click on links in emails or texts. [19:09] - Shred personal mail and credit card offers from the mail. [21:44] - Your information is probably out there. [23:12] - There are so many ways people can get information and then have full access to tons of things. [24:47] - If one thing is compromised, assume that everything is and take the steps to stop access. [26:54] - Depending on what happens, it could take weeks or even months to have this resolved. [28:57] - Time is a big loss for many victims, but there is also an emotional toll. [30:53] - Move to authenticator apps rather than text message two factor authentication. [32:12] - Young people will have a harder time recovering from identity theft. [33:13] - You don’t just want to be educated for your sake. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest IdentityIQ Website IdentityIQ Facebook IdentityIQ on Instagram
It is fascinating to see an investigation using dark web technology showing how criminal syndicates work and the process stolen equipment goes through. Today’s guest is Anthony van der Meer. Anthony is a Dutch investigative journalist and filmmaker. As a filmmaker, he has been focusing on the dark side of the digital world since 2015. For his investigations, he dives deep into the world of cyber criminals by infiltrating using OSINT and ethical hacking. He was recently a speaker at the Global Online Spam Summit on the dark web and cyber crime.  Show Notes: [0:55] - Anthony shares his background and what he does in his current role. [2:12] - While working in film, he realized he really liked documentary and investigative work. [3:42] - Hacking is doing something different with a product than it’s originally designed or intended for. [5:21] - Anthony describes an experience of his phone being stolen and it was done in a very professional and organized way. [7:24] - Anthony’s film on this experience, called Find My Phone, went viral in 2016. [8:51] - Currently, Anthony is working on a television series. [11:03] - Scams are almost always through organized crime. [12:27] - Anthony has even found surprising rituals involved. [14:15] - He describes an experience in tricking a scammer. [16:10] - The groups of organized crime are divided into groups and are very sophisticated and structured. [18:40] - Another surprise was the extremes the scammers went through to establish a believable connection, including cyber sex. [21:14] - In another experience, the scammer in contact with Anthony even offered to have someone pick up money from his own home. [23:41] - In the end, Anthony was able to get the scammer to confess. [25:29] - Because of his work, Anthony has actually received death threats. [27:40] - Anthony shares that some scam companies are making $15,000 per month per employee. [30:01] - During Covid-19 lockdowns, some people took the new opportunity of being stuck at home for money laundering. [33:18] - There is quite a lot of cyber warfare happening in Ukraine. [36:21] - When people are eager for information, it is easy for fake news to be injected. [40:00] - There are many ways to investigate and verify information. [41:11] - OSINT techniques are now being taught to journalists. [42:24] - How are groups that are talking about these topics found? [45:01] - You can find Anthony’s translated films on YouTube. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Anthony van der Meer Website Anthony van der Meer on YouTube
We’ve all heard of dating scams, but realizing that most of them are part of larger criminal organizations working 24/7 to manipulate and defraud you can be a bit shocking. Today’s guest is Jane Lee. Jane is a Trust and Safety Architect at Sift who specializes in malicious websites, spam, misinformation, account content abuse, and payment risk. Prior to joining Sift, she was on the fraud teams at Facebook and Square and also spent some time as a private investigator.  Show Notes: [1:08] - Part of Jane’s responsibility at Sift is to understand new and emerging fraud trends. [2:36] - Jane gets to do the detective work she likes but in a more physically safe tech environment. [3:46] - Pig butchering scams are similar to romance scams but more advanced. [4:25] - Scammers start on dating apps and move targets to another form of messaging. [6:36] - It’s called pig butchering by the scammers. [7:34] - As a dating app user, Jane noticed patterns and decided to investigate. [9:29] - Jane shares the trends in the profile photos and images on dating accounts. [11:58] - Over time, it is easy to see patterns in profiles. [13:55] - Using IP emulators is common for scammers. [15:47] - Machines are better at detecting patterns than the naked human eye. [17:26] - Fraud is largely agnostic. [18:58] - It is the same dance but with different “flavors”. [20:49] - Moving over to another messaging system is one red flag. After that, love-bombing is another common indicator. [23:07] - Covid has given scammers another reasonable excuse for them to use about not being able to meet in person. [24:22] - These types of scammers also talk about investments and even screenshots of bank accounts. [26:46] - To compensate for grammar and language errors, these scammers will mention that they were born overseas. [28:50] - These scammers also may have a fake crypto exchange platform. [30:22] - Jane describes the experience of interacting with the “tech help” line of a fake crypto platform. [35:27] - Jane shares that a lot of these scammers are coming out of Southeast Asia. [36:34] - There is a very sophisticated fraud economy. [39:35] - Deep fake technology is getting more and more advanced. [42:15] - What is synthetic identity fraud? [43:55] - It is necessary to have a little less trust in people you talk to online. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Sift Website Sift Fraud Alert: Pig Butchering Blog Post
Many believe that cybersecurity is for high tech professionals only. It’s important to know that employees at every level can accidentally open the door to your network. Today’s guest is Roy Zur. Roy is the founder and CEO of Thrive DX for Enterprise which is a global education company committed to transforming lives through digital skills training and solutions as well as addressing the human factor of cybersecurity training. Roy is a 15 year veteran of the Israeli Defense Force where he served as a major. Roy also serves as the adjunct professor in Risk Management and Cybersecurity. He is the founder and chairman of the non-profit Israeli Institute for Policy and Legislation and a member of the Forbes Business Council. Show Notes: [1:05] - Roy shares his background in cybersecurity and the different responsibilities he’s had. [2:27] - Roy describes the challenges experienced in the Israeli Defense Force. [3:55] - It’s not just about the training, it’s also about the screening. [6:30] - The rapid changes in cyber security makes maintaining the curriculum a challenge. [9:13] - When finding people that qualify as candidates for this learning, there is a lot to learn. Roy describes parts of the program. [11:47] - Many people are afraid of cyber security because it seems so complicated, but it is more of a human factor issue. [13:08] - There are different groups within an organization that have access to data. [14:34] - Roy defines the groups or levels of an organization. [16:11] - Software developers and engineers have a huge responsibility. [17:08] - Each group has to have an education about security and the type of skills they need will vary. [18:47] - The method of learning is also different per level. [20:21] - Giving employees the information they need and nothing more is crucial so they can spend their time working on their responsibilities. [22:12] - Training for awareness which usually includes everyone in an organization takes about 2 hours a year but people don’t always take it seriously. [24:11] - Phishing simulations are very effective. Roy describes the most effective methods of training. [26:15] - Full bootcamps can be up to 500 or more hours. [27:25] - In Education, Bloom’s Taxonomy plays a big role. [29:11] - When you create new knowledge, you’ve completed the full cycle of truly learning something. [30:58] - For most people, the motivation to complete cybersecurity training is simply for compliance. [33:12] - These trainings have to be tied into the human factor of cybersecurity. [36:36] - Small businesses are actually at more risk of being impacted more greatly by a data breach. [39:10] - On Thrive DX’s website, there are a lot of great resources available. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Thrive DX Website
Talking to our aging parents about their finances can be a tough conversation. But there are ways to educate and protect our parents from being taken advantage of by scammers, charities, and other organizations without being seen as controlling or overstepping.  Today’s guest is Cameron Huddleston. Cameron is an author, speaker, and award-winning financial journalist. She’s the Director of Education and Content at Careful, the first service built to protect and monitor aging adults’ daily finances. Cameron’s work has appeared in a number of publications including Forbes and The Chicago Tribune. Show Notes: [1:09] - Cameron described the experience of caring for her mother with alzheimers. She had not had a conversation with her about her finances. [2:37] - Talking to your parents about scammers is a way to open the door to more conversation about finances. [5:13] - Warn your parents about red flags because there’s no way you can keep them updated on every single scam. [6:29] - As we age, we all experience some level of cognitive decline. [7:38] - Get an idea of how they are doing now so that you will be more aware of changes. [8:56] - You’re not trying to pry or be nosey. This is a series of conversations that open the door to communication about finances for the future. [10:00] - Older adults are more likely to be exploited by someone they know. [11:10] - Nothing has to happen right now except the beginnings of conversations. Cameron lists some things to have in order later. [13:07] - There are things you can do to help prevent a caretaker from taking advantage of your parents. [14:35] - There are some red flags to listen for in conversations with your aging parents and/or their caretaker. [15:43] - If you are concerned about your parent’s credit or finances, you can have their credit frozen and you can monitor everything for safety. [16:58] - Your parents can also sign up for services while they are healthy and add you to the monitoring account for notifications. [18:39] - Cameron shares an experience with her own mother. She was a giving person but with her alzheimers, she wound up donating money frequently. [19:51] - How can you help them get the spending on charity donations under control? [22:21] - One piece of advice for parents is to let all calls go to voicemail and don’t call the numbers they called from. [24:21] - Chris describes an unusual and suspicious new text scam. How can we warn parents about the things that are out of the norm? [27:00] - If you have a parent with dementia, these warnings won’t always do much good. Leave notes and reminders for them. [28:26] - Cameron describes a situation with her mother and she realized that she was no longer safe to live alone. [31:09] - There are a lot of things that parents can have in place in writing while they are relatively young and healthy. [32:33] - Cameron has a lot of great resources on her website Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Carefull Website Cameron Huddleston’s Website
On this podcast, we talk a lot about identifying and avoiding online fraud. But in this episode, our guest is going to share his experiences tracking down the individuals, syndicates, and criminal organizations behind pet scams, how they utilize freelancers, and how they launder their ill gotten gains. Today’s guest is Jack Whittaker. Jack is a Criminology PhD candidate with a specialization in published literature on online fraud. In addition, he has a proven track record of doing media interviews for local and national outlets, lectures, conference speaking, and promo consulting for policy think tanks.  Show Notes: [0:54] - Welcome back to the show, Jack! Check out episode 103 with Jack on pet scams. Jack shares his background and current roles. [1:51] - What are pet scams? [3:36] - These types of scams do not actually have any pets that are being sold. [5:12] - Jack discovered the economy built behind building websites and laundering money. [6:30] - These crime organizations are typically located in Cameroon. [7:21] - Some web developers are hired freelancers to create a fraudulent website. [9:10] - All the web developers in Cameroon know that they are doing something wrong, but they are looked over. [11:05] - The civil war in Cameroon has facilitated people’s willingness to participate in crime. [13:20] - CashApp and Cryptocurrency have made money laundering a lot easier for scammers. [14:31] - Syndicates are better paying clients. [15:52] - Why do people knowingly work for syndicates when they know that they are helping them defraud others? [17:28] - Scammers are now recruiting people from other countries by flaunting their money. [19:05] - Jack shares one of the more intriguing ways scammers launder money. [22:37] - Jack tells the story of a scammer who works for a syndicate and an experience he had with the police in Cameroon. [25:05] - The FBI needs to put more attention on volume crimes. Lots of people stealing small amounts of money from lots of people. [26:14] - Jack explains things to look for in listed apps that could be money laundering. [29:05] - Jack would love to see more research and interviews with cyber criminals. [30:58] - If you are doing research, there are some ethical questions to answer. [32:08] - When interviewing cybercriminals, one of the harder questions for Jack to answer was whether they should be paid for their time. [34:10] - If you want to be a good researcher in crime science, you unfortunately have to get your hands dirty. [35:51] - There is a hierarchy of different scams and cybercrime. [37:46] - In Cameroon, this type of business is accepted. [39:40] - Jack describes some of the things that he has seen sold online illegally that people don’t think about being available. [41:16] - Because of the nature of purchasing things illegally, people won’t report being scammed. [42:10] - Cybercriminals are 97% guaranteed to get away with their crime and in a war torn country, there’s almost no chance of getting caught. [44:12] - There’s a lot of confusion on who monitors domain name registrars. [46:30] - We don’t know if private regulators are legally viable. [48:30] - There have been some successes that Jack shares examples of. [50:51] - Chris and Jack have the idea of paying web developers to report fraudulent sites they create. [53:50] - Cybercriminals that Jack interviewed are very desensitized to the work they’re doing to hurt people. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Pet Scams on Twitter Pet Scams on Instagram Scam Directory
Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, and other payment apps are convenient for sending money to family and friends. But are they really safe to be using? Today’s guest is Michelle Couch-Friedman. Michelle is the founder and CEO of Consumer Rescue. She is an experienced consumer reporter, advocate, mediator, author, and licensed psychotherapist. Michelle has also been a columnist, contributing editor, and former executive director for Elliott Advocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy.  Show Notes: [1:05] - Michelle explains her role within Consumer Rescue and the mission of the company. [2:52] - About 7 years ago, Michelle had a negative consumer experience. [5:12] - Her experience led to her journey in consumer advocacy. [7:56] - Through Consumer Rescue, Michelle assists people in staying calm and logical. Stick with the facts and stand out with brevity. [9:32] - Payment apps have become the preferred method for scammers worldwide. [10:33] - Payment apps will not refund you your money if you are scammed. [12:34] - Scammers set up websites that look professional and legitimate. [13:32] - This is very common with purchasing pets online. [14:35] - There are incremental steps to increase the amount of money sent. [15:50] - The incremental steps are common in romance scams as well. [16:51] - Michelle describes what a Chargeback scam is and how it began with Venmo, but shouldn’t work with Zelle. [18:59] - Don’t send money back if you receive money by accident from a stranger. [21:03] - There are safety nets in place to ensure accidents don’t happen. Don’t be hasty. [22:42] - If you don’t use a payment app or don’t understand how to use it appropriately, don’t have it on your phone. [24:35] - The apps are not a bank. They do not come with the same kind of protections. [26:52] - Payment apps are never going to be the preferred method of payment from any legitimate company. [28:27] - It is always a red flag when someone is trying to get you away from the website or legitimate platform. [30:48] - Look closely at websites and reverse lookup images on Google. [32:23] - Airbnb and vacation listings are common scams. [34:31] - When it comes to property listings, there are steps you can take to ensure its legitimacy. [36:37] - Alternatively, if something is listed underpriced, that could also be a red flag. [39:29] - Airbnb began as shared space rentals only. [41:10] - Make all your payments from the platform. Avoid third party payments. [42:57] - Prevention is best. Once you’re in this situation, you are likely out of your money. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Consumer Rescue Website Elliott Advocacy Website Michelle Couch-Friedman on LinkedIn
With financial payment platforms used more regularly to exchange cash between individuals, scammers have become more creative in using them to defraud users. Today’s guest is John Breyault. John is the National Consumers League Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications, and Fraud. As the director of, John is a nationally recognized expert in fraud, with more than 17 years of experience in educating consumers in advocating for stronger consumer protections at the federal, state, and local levels. He is the author of’s monthly Fraud Alert emails and NCL’s bi-weekly Data Insecurity Digest. He has testified before Congress, federal regulatory agencies, and state legislatures dozens of times about fraud related topics. He is quoted regularly in the press about fraud including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Show Notes: [1:10] - John shares his background and current roles with the National Consumers League. [3:02] - John has been working in consumer advocacy for over 20 years. [4:27] - What are peer to peer payment platforms? Venmo is the most commonly used. [5:53] - The features of peer to peer payment platforms that are attractive to users are also attractive to scam artists. [7:46] - John shares the trends in what scammers have been using to get money through Western Union, Green Dot cards, and gift cards. [9:32] - More needs to be done to make security a priority. [11:09] - John explains the difference between credit card transactions and peer to peer payment platforms. [12:16] - With peer to peer platform fraud, banks can’t do anything about it due to a loophole in the law. [13:38] - When this type of fraud is much more painful to experience than credit card fraud. [14:44] - A huge appeal to these platforms is that they are free. But security needs to be improved. [17:09] - There are a couple of regulations related to the connection of Venmo to a bank account. [19:19] - The responsibility has been put on users and victims to monitor and fight back against fraud. [21:47] - Scammers are very adept at creating a sense of urgency. [23:38] - John shares an example of how this sense of urgency can fool anyone. [24:34] - Cryptocurrency is the next focus of attention for those trying to prevent fraud. [26:40] - These trends tend to follow a pattern. [28:09] - One of the problems in tracking scam trends is the way data is collected. [29:23] - We need to change how we talk about fraud victims. [31:28] - Scams are run as a business these days, which make them much more convincing than in the past. [34:15] - With most overseas scams, the likelihood of getting your money back is slim. [35:50] - As a business, think about how you can make peer to peer payment apps as safe as possible? [37:35] - John shares an example of Venmo transactions that are protected and those that are not. [40:07] - A legitimate business will accept payment in other ways than only peer to peer apps. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest National Consumers League Website John Breyault on LinkedIn
Predators look to take advantage of people during the roughest situations of life. A perpetrator of insurance fraud makes a career out of milking the system thinking it's a victimless crime. Today’s guest is Officer Tony Royall. Officer Royall started in the Virginia Department of State Police in 1986. He worked in Accident Reproduction and then became an agent in Narcotics. Officer Royall has now been working in Insurance Fraud for the past 22 years. Show Notes: [0:47] - Officer Royall shares his background in law enforcement. [2:24] - Over the years, there have been a lot of wild insurance fraud cases for Officer Royall. He describes a recent one that had an unexpected twist. [4:47] - How was this insurance fraud discovered? [7:18] - One of the most prevalent insurance fraud situations is staged auto accidents. [9:01] - Officer Royall describes another case and what the result was for the perpetrator staging accidents and fabricating medical bills. [11:15] - Investigations are geared toward the people who intentionally commit crime. [12:55] - Staged accidents that are insurance fraud are usually committed by multiple people working in tandem. [13:59] - Officer Royall explains another type of insurance fraud case involving a staged slip and fall accident. [15:59] - Sometimes people take the opportunity to purposefully stage an accident in a public place. [17:54] - With every case of insurance fraud, premiums for everyone else could go up. [19:53] - There are times when the police are contacted by insurance agencies, but are mostly contacted about insurance fraud by possible victims. [21:18] - Always make sure your policy is up to date and periodically check on things to be sure it’s active. [22:13] - Read the policy and what is covered.  [23:14] - Keep an inventory of high ticket items in your home and business including serial numbers. Documentation is extremely helpful in the event of fraud. [25:20] - Catastrophic events create opportunities for perpetrators trying to solicit. [26:15] - If you find yourself in an automobile accident, take photos of the damage of both cars and document details. [28:02] - How can you document details of an accident? [29:21] - Be diligent and make as much information known as possible. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest
The instinct to respond immediately to incorrect, negative, or hurtful comments online almost seems to be hardwired. How we respond can lead to unintended detrimental consequences and lead us down a dark path.  Today’s guest is Dr. Robin Kowalski. Dr. Kowalski is a professor of Psychology at Clemson University. She obtained her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her research interests focus primarily on adverse interpersonal behaviors, most notably complaining, teasing, and bullying with a particular focus on cyberbullying.  Show Notes: [0:57] - Welcome to the show, Dr. Kowalski! She shares her focus on cyberbullying and how she found herself interested in this research. [2:27] - Traditional bullying is intended and repeated aggressive behavior. Cyberbullying is similar but there are some differences. [4:24] - Perceived anonymity in the online world gives bullies a great deal of power. [5:42] - People who are involved in traditional bullying tend to also participate in cyberbullying. [7:05] - There are many different reasons why someone bullies another either traditionally or virtually. [9:18] - In the virtual world, anyone can be a victim and anyone can be a perpetrator. [10:31] - Cyberbullying can take several different forms. [11:56] - If it happens once, simply walk away and don’t respond. But what happens if it keeps happening? [13:10] - Young people may not want to be honest with their parents out of fear that their technology might be taken away from them. [15:29] - The feelings involved with cyberbullying range from anxiety to suicidal ideation. [17:22] - Academic issues become a problem as well, even though cyberbullying takes place off of school grounds. [18:58] - Robin describes “mattering” and how this can impact youth in school. [20:38] - Social isolation is a warning sign for a lot of things. Parents need to be on the lookout and open up lines of communication. [22:40] - Anonymous reporting needs to be present, effective, and people need to be educated. [23:51] - Cyberbullying is not limited to youth. It happens in the workplace as well. [26:47] - Through Covid-19, prevalence rates did not change as much as Robin expected. [29:15] - If we receive something negative, Robin advises to pause before responding emotionally. [30:55] - There’s such a familiarity with technology that it has become normalized to cyberbullying. [32:57] - Suicide is a possible and horrible result of cyberbullying. [35:05] - There’s a more permanent feeling to cyberbullying. [36:32] - Employers can also search for evidence of behavior patterns in potential employees. [38:57] - Education is key and victims speaking out about their experience helps people understand the impact. [41:42] - Robin shares about a time she experienced some level of cyberbullying. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Clemson University - Dr. Robin Kowalski Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age by Dr. Robin Kowalski
Smishing texts have increased over 60% in just one year. With scammers spoofing caller ID, how can you trust any communication coming onto your phone? Today’s guest is Giulia Porter. Giulia is the Vice President of RoboKiller, the app that eliminates 99% of spam calls. Since 2017, Giulia has been leading RoboKiller’s vision to create a world without spam calls. And now more recently with spam texts, they’ve introduced Text Killer.  Show Notes: [1:04] - Giulia shares her background and why she was led to a career with cyber security. [2:24] - Caller ID spoofing is when a scammer changes what number comes up on your phone when they call. There is also neighbor spoofing. [4:30] - Technology has allowed scammers to call from any number, including your own. [5:54] - Scammers try to stay ahead of trends. [6:30] - Stir/Shaken is a framework designed to help stop spam call problems. [8:12] - Most United States phone providers did implement this. [10:10] - Giulia explains how this framework works and some of the pitfalls it has. [12:08] - As of May, we are at about 6.5 billion estimated spam calls in the United States per day. About 35-40% of those use caller ID spoofing. [13:19] - Spam texts are on the rise having experienced a 60% increase in one year. [15:01] - Text Killer tries to distinguish between spam and unwanted texts. [16:21] - Giulia describes a court case against Facebook that changed the landscape of notification texts. [18:01] - Some people have a “burner phone” with a separate number that they use for accounts that require a phone number. [21:03] - Giulia shares some of the scams that were trending in the last couple of years and what scammers were targeting. [22:20] - In 2022, there has been an increase in illicit spam texts. [24:27] - Don’t tap links in texts or reply to them. Delete the text. [26:18] - Thinking about your phone number in a more serious way is a way to be more aware of how many people have access to it. [27:56] - Chris shares something you can do about your personally identifiable information online. [29:20] - RoboKiller and Text Killer use AI and machine learning to analyze calls and texts to stop them from reaching you. [30:50] - You can talk to your carrier to find what protection they offer. [32:01] - Another concern is lobbyists paying providers to have select campaign texts to come through. [33:13] - You can report spam texts and notify your carrier. [34:52] - How does Robo and Text Killer make sure the numbers and texts that are blocked are accurate? [38:12] - RoboKiller has to work with different providers and that creates challenges when they all function slightly differently. [40:38] - The next wave of scams are through apps like WhatsApp and Messenger. [43:12] - Organizations need to also consider how much they lose to scams posing as them. [45:12] - RoboKiller is available online as well in the app store on iPhones and Android. There are free services and premium. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest RoboKiller Website
Can understanding someone’s digital footprint really make it easier for it to predict what they’ll be doing using AI? Today’s guest is Daniel Hulme. Daniel has a PhD in Computational Complexity and works in the field of AI, applied technology, and ethics. He is the CEO and founder of Satalia, a Tedx speaker, and educator at Singularity University.  Show Notes: [0:50] - Daniel has already been interested in how humans behave and describes how he got into AI. [2:05] - AI gets grouped into technology but there are a lot of different types of AI. [3:50] - The ultimate goal of AI is to have computers make decisions and learn from the decisions, but that’s not commonplace right now. [5:31] - Someone’s digital footprint can be used to learn a lot about them. [6:51] - The challenges that we are facing with AI are not ethical challenges, they are safety issues. [8:29] - AI is super complex and is becoming more difficult to test. [10:03] - AI’s learning isn’t usually the problem. It’s the framework put in place. [11:36] - Machine learning is a generalization of the world which can create biases. [14:26] - Building explainable systems is incredibly important. [16:20] - Daniel gives an example of how AI can use data but why human decisions are still important. [18:16] - It’s much more cost effective to have simple solutions than complex ones. [20:35] - What is the effect of building a super intelligence? We don’t know. Daniel explains the singularities involved. [21:45] - These technologies are replacing people in completing some tasks. This is arguably a good or bad thing, depending on how you think about it. [23:47] - There are different safeguards against each of these singularities. [24:56] - Daniel shares what he thinks will be the solution. [28:07] - Who is going to make this “glorious future”? [29:36] - As AI takes the roles of employees in some companies, Daniel believes it will balance out again. [32:01] - There are jobs that may be impacted more than others. [33:46] - Something else that Daniel thinks may happen is a new economic structure. [35:12] - The highest cost for many organizations is human labor. [36:42] - There’s a possible paradigm shift that will have to change the way we think about work and money. [39:30] - Daniel is optimistic that we’re headed in the right direction. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Satalia Website Daniel Hulme on Twitter Daniel Hulme on LinkedIn
Advertisements can manipulate us and depict a product that doesn’t actually work. The challenge is knowing if the technology does what they say it does. Today’s guest is Ken from Computer Clan. Ken, or commonly known as Crazy Ken, has been running the Computer Clan YouTube channel since September of 2007. He posts tech videos about rare and retro tech, new tech, and even has a series about scammy tech products. Whether you are a tech whiz or a beginner, it doesn’t matter. Ken will bring the knowledge, science, entertainment, and even debunk a few scams along the way.  Show Notes: [0:51] - Computer Clan is one of the longest running tech focused YouTube channels. Ken shares the channel’s background. [2:28] - The channel is celebrating its 15th anniversary and now is Ken’s full time job. [3:06] - Ken shared how a tech product advertisement gave him the idea to debunk false advertisements in videos. [4:27] - When he was younger, Ken made a purchase and experienced the disappointment of advertisements that promise more than they offer. [7:38] - A big red flag to look for is the cheesy video ad that promises things that seem miraculous. [8:40] - Another ad feature that can be used ethically, but can also be abused are those fake countdown timers on websites. [9:47] - Review sections of a product are not always accurate. If you take a closer look, some of the comments are the same. [11:45] - If there is a bad experience, even if there isn’t a review, people do tell their friends. Be careful about perfect reviews. [12:37] - Ken shares a story about ads that steal video footage from other companies. [14:10] - There are a lot of ways to find stock footage, but many fake ads pull footage from copyrighted material. [16:57] - Some of the products might not be odd, but Ken says that some of the clickbait ads are strange. [18:21] - In the early days of Covid, people took advantage to create ads that claim more than is possible. [20:25] - Ken shares some products that he thought would be a scam that actually turned out to work fine, but the ads were misleading. [22:40] - During his videos, Ken even sometimes has a fire extinguisher handy. [24:19] - Urgency could be a red flag. [25:30] - Ken shares some of the products he is looking at to debunk the ad and the product. [27:20] - The educational element of the Computer Clan YouTube channel can show you that although not all products are fake, they may not be what you need. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest The Computer Clan’s New Upcoming Website Computer Clan YouTube Computer Clan on Twitter
Working from home has increased the ability for cyber criminals to exploit companies. Listen on for how to be sure that the email you received isn’t from someone impersonating someone else. Today’s guest is Eric O’Neill. Eric is a security expert and author that presents keynotes internationally about espionage, national security, cyber security, fraud, corporate diligence and defense, and of course, hacking. Eric has worked as an FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative, national security attorney, and a corporate security consultant. He founded The Georgetown Group, a premier investigative and security business firm. Eric is also the national security strategist for Carbon Black, the leader in next gen endpoint security and serves on the general council for global communities and international security. Show Notes: [1:05] - Eric shares his background and how he got involved in cybersecurity. He describes his previous role in the FBI. [2:47] - Moving on after his career in the FBI, Eric currently wears many different hats in various roles. [4:58] - Using his interest in hacking, he was able to catch the biggest FBI spy in history. [6:48] - Everything changed about how we work since the pandemic. [7:46] - In many cases, people were working and kids were learning from mobile devices. We weren’t ready for this to happen. [9:09] - The massive increase in people working from home, increased the number of attacks. [10:25] - Eric shares some statistics of reported cyber attacks in the last couple of years. [11:38] - Romance scams are the second-highest attack trend since the start of the pandemic. [12:50] - One of the positives that came from this change to remote, is in hiring talent from around the world. [14:10] - Eric thinks we will see more scams of people impersonating CEOs or higher ups in a company. [16:27] - Passwords are useless without multi-factor authentication. [18:03] - SMS authentication isn’t great, but it's better than nothing. [19:53] - Eric shares how people can mine data they purchase from the dark web and how easy it could be. [22:48] - Cyber criminals want to take down an entire critical infrastructure. [24:42] - Criminals are getting much more clever in throwing people into chaos by attacking critical infrastructure. [25:32] - Eric believes that cyber attacks will be the method of attack in the next major war. [28:05] - He uses the example of the colonial pipeline to demonstrate what chaos these attacks can create. [30:10] - There is some speculation of possible attacks on critical infrastructure and the possibility of them maintaining presence. [33:19] - Chris shares the issues with power in his area. [35:25] - Jokingly but accurately, Eric shares that your children are great hackers. [38:42] - Some apps change the location of numbers for entering a PIN so people can’t pick up patterns. [40:54] - There are some medical devices that could be compromised. [42:50] - The average person doesn’t think about the ways someone can have malicious intent. [44:41] - Cyber espionage is definitely a problem, but cybercrime is what the average person needs to be aware of. [46:09] - Don’t click on links. Known vulnerabilities are the most commonly successful attack. [48:20] - The Dark Web is the third largest economy in the world. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Eric O’Neill’s Website Eric O’Neill on Twitter Eric O’Neill on LinkedIn
The thought of your computer getting a virus implies something biological, but the fear of infection is real. Are there prevention techniques that you need to be implementing now? Today’s guest is Ran Levi. Ran has been podcasting since 2007 and started with a podcast regarding history and technology. He is the co-founder of PI Media LTD, helping other people do podcasts. He is the editor and host of the popular podcast Malicious Life that tells the stories of the histories of cyber security with commentary by hackers, security experts, journalists, and politicians.  Show Notes: [1:02] - Ran is a podcaster from Israel and he shares his background and podcast beginning. [2:18] - Through podcasting, Ran was asked to begin another podcast about cyber security which was a topic he was passionate about. [4:36] - Knowledge is important but the stories are the key to an impactful podcast. [5:56] - In the early days, pirating games and media was commonplace and through personal experience, Ran became very interested in the history of cyber security. [7:03] - Cyber security professionals are used to the idea of autonomous software, but for the public at large this is a weird idea. [8:50] - The terms used in cyber security suggest something biological and can be confusing. [10:45] - People have rediscovered how to create and replicate computer viruses hundreds of times over the decades. [12:54] - Computers and emotions intersect when it comes to scammers and viruses. [13:35] - Ran shares one of his favorite cyber security history stories from Israel. [14:48] - The feeling of anonymity is something very appealing about the internet. [16:08] - One of Ran’s favorite interviews was with Steve Wozniak. [18:25] - Some hackers decide to go commercial. [20:14] - Ran shares the wildest story revolving around the Equifax breach. [22:02] - AI has extreme potential and we haven’t seen its impact yet in cyber security. [23:31] - The human element is sometimes easy to detect a scam, but when AI learns to scam, things can get scary. [25:41] - Right now, the script or content from AI is written by people. [26:33] - You can easily gather a lot of information about almost anyone. [29:04] - Ran says never to trust an organization with your information. [30:06] - Working on his show and writing his book has created some level of cynicism. [31:20] - Things used to be a lot more “fun” online without being as fearful of being hacked. [32:28] - Scam calls are not as common in non-English speaking countries. [34:42] - Social media isn’t evil. But the scammers are using organizations like Facebook and others to help them gather the data they need to scam you. [36:47] - For many companies, client data is a liability. [40:05] - For every modern company, information is their lifeblood. [42:03] - Ran shares the story of, as a newer employee of a company, he was able to get into systems he shouldn’t have been able to access. Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.  Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Ran Levi on Twitter Malicious Life Podcast
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Easy Prey

Jul 9th
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