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Internet Crime and Taxes are two of life’s certainties

cybercrime-freakingnewscom[1]

 

 

 

AVG (AU/NZ) reminds consumers and small businesses to be alert to the latest online scams and phishing attacks targeting this tax return season.

 

 

 

MELBOURNE, 13 June 2012 — Ahead of this year’s tax return season, AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd, distributor of AVG Technologies’ award-winning AVG Internet and mobile security software in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, alerts consumers and small businesses to the latest attempts by cyber criminals to gain access to lucrative identity and financial information. With upwards of 2.5 million individuals using the Australian Tax Office’s e-Tax electronic tax return service, cyber criminals have a huge, potentially receptive audience for their activities. Security Advisor at AVG (AU/NZ), Michael McKinnon, said: “Internet crime and taxes are now two of life’s certainties. Cyber criminals are starting to release this year’s crop of end of financial year scams to trick taxpayers into revealing highly valuable personal and financial information. As younger members of the community join the workforce and others shift from paper-based to online tax return processes, there is always a new audience for inventive tax season scams.” There’s a certain inevitability about June 30: it will bring new ways to scam the unwary and new phishing frauds asking for your credit card details including: [unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • Offers of government grants needing to make payments prior to the end of the financial year.
  • Prompts for baby bonus applications.
  • Assistance to find lost superannuation funds.
  • Notification that your company tax rate has changed.

[/unordered_list] The Government’s SCAMWatch website is currently alerting Australians to be aware of Carbon Price scams seeking your personal banking details to pay carbon tax compensation into your bank account or offering to sell you fake carbon credits. Many of us now communicate directly with tax advisors via email so other tricks include sending phishing emails that ask you to open what appear to be legitimate attachments to fill out personal details. The simple act of clicking on that attachment could redirect you to a malicious website, or deliver to your computer an infection that could launch an attack on your accounts and extract financial details. McKinnon said: “When you consider all the information included in your return – your tax file number, details of investments, retirement accounts, employment, the property you own – in the hands of cyber criminals, your identity and more could be at risk. And if you see an offer that looks too good to be true – avoid it. Any offer of an online refund will absolutely be a scam because that’s not how the ATO or any other Australian government agency operates.” Some top tips to help you safely file your tax return this year:[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • Use the end of financial year to review your personal or business online security systems to ensure your protection is fully and automatically up to date – on all computers, phones, other mobile technologies, plus USB and other memory devices from which you will gather, store and send your financial information.
  • Do your homework by reviewing the ATO and SCAMWatch online security pages.
  • In communicating with your tax advisor, consider creating a password protected Zip file of your financial data.
  • Always open your e-Tax filing directly from the ATO’s site (www.ato.gov.au); never click through to the site from an email invitation. The filing of tax returns directly via the ATO’s e-Tax service is secure.
  • Always use a trusted WiFi or Ethernet connection from your home or office to file your tax return – never use a public WiFi without a firewall in place and Internet security installed.
  • Be cautious of anything that you haven’t directly requested and only respond to those communications you’ve initiated.
  • Delete all related emails from your server once you’ve filed your return.
  • While the ATO uses emails and SMS for service alerts, it will never request the confirmation, update or disclosure of confidential personal details. If you receive suspect communication from ‘the ATO’ or any other ‘government department’, do not click on any links in an email or answer phone questions. Report it immediately to the ATO.

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Tax Time Cyber Crime Assistance[unordered_list style=”tick”]

  • Examples of current Tax Refund scams: http://www.ato.gov.au/onlinesecurity
  • e-Tax Essentials from the ATO site: http://www.ato.gov.au/etax
  • The Australian Government’s cybersecurity website, Stay Smart Online, provides information for Australian Internet users on the simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online.
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s SCAMWatch provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.

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Original Article http://www.avg.com.au/news/tax-scams/

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How Can You Find Out If Someone Is Hacking Your Computer?

Computer-Hacker

 

Here is an interesting article about what signs to look for to determine whether you may be infected with viruses/malware that allow a hacker to take control of your PC. 

 

 

 

How Can You Find Out If Someone Is Hacking Your Computer?

by Gaurav Srivastava

Many of you become innocent victims of hackers who break in your computers and steal all they can from the credit card details, bank information, emails, passwords, to professional documents among other critical things. You cannot really avoid hackers, their viruses and malware software when you are online but yes you can certainly avoid being a victim. This free virus removal support guide discusses how you can find out if someone is hacking your computer.

Step 1

When you reboot your computer, it reboots twice instead of once. It happens because the hacker has to boot his server in order to keep accessing your Windows or Mac computer. Thus, your computer quickly reboots after you reboot it and the startup screen appears twice. Another symptom of being hacked or virus-infected is when your computer reboots or shuts down on its own time and again. It means it doesn’t seek for your mouse or keyboard prompts to be shut down or restarted. When you attempt to access a program on your computer, you are not able to do it. You cannot access Task Manager, the Start menu or anything on your computer.

Step 2

When you open your web browser, some other website loads up but not your regular home page. When you search for something in your search engine, you are being redirected to websites that you have never browsed or even heard of. These can be adult or malicious websites prompting you to download adult materials or fake virus removal tools. If your web browser has a new toolbar, add-in, or plug-in that you did not install, it indicates that your browser and computer has been hacked. You do not see your usually plug-ins, add-ins, or toolbars when the browser is hacked. Besides, if your internet speed is really slow, it indicates your computer has a virus.

Step 3

If your CD- or DVD-ROM drive opens up without your action. Your computer has missing icons like Network Places, antivirus, or Outlook etc. However, you see new programs like virus removal tool (that you didn’t even download), music file etc. showing up on your desktop. If you see that your computer clock shows a different date & time, time zone settings, and daylight savings etc. (unless you have changed them), it has a stubborn, dangerous malware.

Step 4

If you have a firewall program like ZoneAlarm installed on your computer, it can tell you if someone has tried hacking it. Open ZoneAlarm or the firewall program you have and check if it has logged any malicious program entry that was attempting a server setup on your computer. If your firewall or antivirus program takes forever to scan your computer, it indicates that it has been compromised. If your antivirus icon is missing from your computer and it does not even open once you have found it, it has a virus that has disabled it to prevent itself from being removed.

Step 5

If you run a virus scan from your antivirus software, it shows multiple infected files and programs that you never even downloaded to your computer. All of a sudden you have multiple files with weird names like mslove.exe, abcd1234.exe, or giaehi45.jpg etc. in your computer. all of a sudden your computer starts taking forever to open a small program like Run or Command Prompt etc. The CPU usage shows 100% (maximum) for a small process like explorer.exe.

Step 6

When your friends tell you about the new links or posts you have shared (that you have never actually shared) on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter profile. When your friends or relatives receive bogus emails containing adult or objectionable materials, link etc. from your email address. When your credit card or online banking does not accept your password despite that you have it correctly and have not changed it in the recent past.

The Author of this article is associated with V tech-squad Inc, V tech-squad Inc. is a cloud based technical support provider to consumers and small businesses. if you have any problem while performing the above steps and need technical assistance for online virus removal, You can reach V tech-squad online technical support at their Toll Free No +1-877-452-9201.

About V tech-squad Inc.

V tech-squad Inc. is a cloud based online technical support provider to consumers and small businesses. V tech-squad provides support to users for issues with their PCs, Mac’s, Tablets, Phones such as iPhone and Blackberry and devices such as MP3 players, Printers, Scanners, Fax, Wireless networking gear, Netflix, Roku boxes and TVs. With an obsessive focus on quality and building technical expertise, V tech-squad continues to maintain an issue resolution rate of more than 90%. V tech-squad’s credibility has been tested by more than 10,000 customers. Currently V tech-squad provides support services to consumers and small businesses in United States. For more information on V tech-squad, Inc. visit vtechsquad.com.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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Scareware Part 2

Malware/Scareware Threatens to Sue BitTorrent Downloaders.

BitTorrent Scam

A new malware scam is trying to trick BitTorrent users into paying for illegally downloading copyrighted material.

The malware displays a box with the message “Warning! Piracy detected!” and opens up a web page supposedly run by a Swiss company which states thet are “committed to promoting the cultural and economic benefits of copyright.”

The fake company, the ICCP Foundation, claims to be sponsored by the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and others. TorrentFreak, which was the first to discover the malware, wrote that, “It appears to scan the user’s hard drive for .torrent files and displays these as ’evidence’ of an earlier infringement”.

Victims are warned of possible imprisonment and fines, and given the option of “settling” the “case” for a one-time payment of $400, by credit card.

Obviously you would be crazy to hand over your Credit Card details, but it only takes a small percentage of victims to fall for the scam to make some serious cash, which is why the scammers go to the trouble.