Archive for Individuals

Social Engineering Attacks Increase Risk to your Security Posture

Hackers are getting more clever with social engineering tactics, especially through COVID-related campaigns, putting you and your organization at risk of handing over sensitive data and credentials.

Simply put, social engineering is the non-technical strategy cyber attackers use to manipulate people into giving up confidential information. Instead of exploiting vulnerabilities in an application, they find vulnerabilities within humans.

Even with the most sophisticated security technologies in place, falling victim to social engineering tactics puts your business or yourself at a higher risk of bad actors achieving their goals.

Social engineering is nothing new – however, the pandemic has created a huge surge in people’s reliance on IT, from communicating with family or friends to maintaining productivity at work.

This increased dependency on work-from-home and online footprint has made us a much easier target for social engineering attacks, so it is important now – more than ever before – to be mindful of who we are interacting with over the phone and over the Internet.

Common social engineering hacks that have risen during COVID:

  • Emails or calls posing as someone in your organization’s IT department which ask you to click a link or provide a two-factor authentication code and bypass multi-factor authentication (MFA) controls.
  • “Officials” from your local government or healthcare agency, or insurance carrier, who ask for personal information.
  • Unsolicited requests for account changes or information via email alone.

A few recommendations for you:

  • Closely inspect any unknown email address to verify it is legitimate before clicking on links or attachments.
  • Do not provide information about your organization to outside entities without proper authorization.
  • Double check a request’s legitimacy by calling or contacting the company or internal department directly.

Awareness that social engineering attacks are increasing alone is an instrumental step towards protecting yourself and your organization against a successful cyber attack. If you are suspicious about an email, report it to your IT organization’s staff immediately and don’t answer any calls you are not expecting.

Posted in: Business, Government, Individuals, Securing the Human

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USSS/CFTF FinCEN Alert Unemployment Fraud Indicators

The United States Secret Service, along with other state and federal agencies, is investigating an extensive fraud scheme that involves the use of stolen personal identifying information to fraudulently claim unemployment benefits that are then paid out by state governments. Perpetrators apply online with the stolen identifying information, and direct payment of the benefits to a financial institution or debit account of their choosing. After funds are deposited in the identified account, they are then withdrawn at locations around the country and transferred to other accounts, including accounts overseas.

The most common indicators of this fraudulent scheme are:
 Account holder name and ACH ‘remit to” name do not match;
 Unemployment deposits are in excess of $5,000;
 Unemployment deposits are paid to account holder who resides outside of the issuing state;
 Multiple unemployment deposits into one account from the same issuing state or multiple issuing states.

Washington and Other Impacted States
The Secret Service has identified multiple states who have suffered significant fraudulent activity. If your financial institution has identified fraudulent transactions that originated from other states, these impacted states have requested that the funds be returned.

If your financial institution is able to reverse or return the fraudulent ACH transaction, then it should be done in accordance with AML obligations or normal banking procedures. If any of the funds have been withdrawn and the ACH cannot be reversed, the Secret Service requests the remaining funds be preserved. Your financial institution should contact their local Secret Service field office to assist in the recovery of funds.

In some instances, federal law enforcement may directly reach out to affected institutions to share or request additional information. If you have already been in contact with Secret Service representatives regarding this matter, no further notification is required at this time.

Please notify the Secret Service once you have filed a SAR based on the movement of fraud proceeds through accounts at your institution.

Please preserve any information regarding the accounts associated with fraudulent activity related to this issue, including account opening information, transaction data, and especially any surveillance photos or video that may be available between February 15, 2020 and the present.

Table 1 reflects ACH details for some of the states currently affected by this fraud. This may assist in identifying fraudulent payments.
Table 1
State Identifiers
Company ID: 1911762161
Keybank Account: 479681233389

Rhode Island “RIDLT-UI UIDD”
Massachusetts “MA DUA CARES ACT”
Company ID: C046002284
Company ID: 2146000422


Company ID: 7561545517
Oklahoma Company Name: Conduent
Company ID: 7131996647

Maine “Maine Dept of Labor UMEMP COMP”
Company ID: listed as 1716000001
Company ID: 1382538297
Minnesota “MN DEPT OF DEED”

Company ID: 1411681137

Montana “STATE OF MONTANA MT30999”

Company ID: 6602Y00000


Company ID: 1031301024


Company ID: 1426004546

Company ID: 2586002009
ACH ID: 1272818119

New Mexico “New Mexico DWS UI BENEFIT”
Company ID: 1456000565


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Please contact your local USSS Field Office with any questions and/or assistance in the recovery of funds. Contact information for your local field office can be found at the following link:

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation in this matter.

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Keeping Kids Safe Online – During and After COVID

COVID has forced schools across the country to shut down and move their education online. As living rooms turned into classrooms, it has become critical for parents to understand that their children need similar safety precautions with the Internet as they would out in public.

With kids’ increased online presence, there are a number of available resources at your disposal to better educate children and adults on practicing safe Internet hygiene. COVID aside, these best practices will be beneficial for us to follow even if and when schools reopen.

Below are a few actions we can take to protect kids online.

  • Have an open and honest conversation with your kid about what information can or should not be shared online. See here to a link on some example Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data they should keep private.
  • Adjust the privacy settings and parental controls of the applications and websites that your child is using. Enabling safe search and keeping your webcam covered when not in use are also another easy layer of protection.
  • Encourage and monitor appropriate behavior online – stress to them that what they share online can potentially remain on the Internet forever.

These past few months have been an adjustment period for everyone, but teaching your kids to practice being #CyberSafe will ultimately benefit them in the long run. 

Additional links for your reference:

Cyberbullying Resources from Clark County School District

Free At-Home Cyber Best Practices & Activities from NICERC and Dept of Homeland Security

Nevada Attorney General on Internet Safety

Posted in: Individuals, Kids, Parent & Educator Tip Card, Parents and Educators

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Cyber Security Tips for Working Remotely

One of the primary methods for reducing the spread of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is social distancing.  For many people that means working from home instead of going into the office.  As the Nevada stay-at-home order extends into May, it’s important to continue to keep cybersecurity in mind.  Malicious actors are still trying to take advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding this pandemic.  Here are a few tips to help you stay cybersafe while working from home:

  • First and foremost, ensure your operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.) is up to date
  • Make sure your anti-virus/anti-malware application is installed and up to date.
  • Ensure your Wi-Fi connection is secure.  For tips on how to do that, check out this article from Wired magazine:
  • As always, remember to stop and think before you click a link, or provide confidential data over the phone.  Malicious actors are building websites about COVID-19 to manipulate people into clicking on malicious links or giving up personal information.

For more on staying #CyberSafe when working remotely, check out the Internet Security When You Work From Home course from  Be #CyberSafeNV and we’ll get through this together!

Posted in: Individuals, Securing the Human

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Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich Form Nevada COVID-19 Task Force

Las Vegas, NV – On April 13, 2020, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford and U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich announced the formation of the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of local, state and federal investigators and prosecutors with significant experience in handling complaints and cases related to general fraud, heath care fraud, Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud and cybercrime, among others. Together, they will share information and resources to protect Nevadans from those using the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of consumers.

All participating agencies will take information, tips and complaints from the public, as well as other local law enforcement agencies seeking the Task Force’s assistance. The Task Force will share resources to monitor, identify and investigate misconduct most effectively and efficiently as possible.
“Sadly, it is all too common for fraudsters to take advantage of the public during times of great distress and hardship,” said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. “From day one, I’ve focused on protecting Nevada families and consumers, and I’m proud that my office continues to be on the front lines of fighting fraud and helping Nevadans in need. With a united front, we’re showing fraudsters they have no business taking advantage of Nevadans.”

“Our top priority is protecting Nevadans during this public health crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich. “I am committed to marshalling the full spectrum of capabilities my office and our federal law enforcement partners can bring to support the Task Force’s important mission of protecting our vulnerable populations from fraudsters. I urge citizens to contact the Task Force with information and tips.”

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office caution residents to be wary of potential scams such as these:

Diagnosis Testing Scams: Scammers offer fake COVID-19 testing kits, particularly door-to-door.
Treatment/Cure Scams: Scammers offer fake or unproven treatment regimens that are particularly dangerous because they have the potential to do more harm than good.
Charity Scams: Virtually every time there is a disaster or emergency, scammers set up fake charities to solicit donations that they then spend on themselves.
Overinflated prices: The Task Force will use every tool available to hold sellers accountable who unlawfully use the COVID-19 pandemic to unreasonably inflate prices.
Investment Scams: Scammers make false claims about tests, cures and other matters related to COVID-19 in order to entice victims to make investment decisions based on those false claims that allow the scammer to steal money and assets from Nevadans.
Cyber Scams: Scammers send victims emails related to COVID-19 that appear to be from the victims’ banks, health care providers, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others for the purpose of obtaining the victims’ personal identifying information and exploiting it for the scammers’ own benefit.
App Scams: Scammers are creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of COVID-19 to insert malware that will compromise users’ devices and personal information.
Insurance, Workers’ Compensation and Medicaid Fraud: Businesses and government agencies are not immune to scams. They should also be vigilant to ensure scammers do not take advantage of their businesses or customers during this pandemic.
Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks): Scammers pretend to be government officials offering false payments in order to obtain personal identifying information including social security and bank account numbers

Fifteen agencies are a part of this Task Force including:
• Office of the Nevada Attorney General
• U.S. Attorney’s Office
• Federal Bureau of Investigation
• U.S. Secret Service
• Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation
• Drug Enforcement Administration
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General
• Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General
• Department of Education Office of Inspector General
• Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General
• U.S. Postal Inspection Service
• Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
• Nevada’s Secretary of State’s Office
• Washoe County Sheriff’s Office
• Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

If you are in danger or experiencing a true emergency, please call 911. If you have been victimized by any crime related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please report your experience to the Attorney General’s Office ( and the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or by e-mailing the NCDF at [email protected] In your email, please provide the following information:
• Your full name and contact information;
• The dates on which you were victimized;
• The location of the incident (including city and state);
• A brief description of the crime; and
• The name(s) and contact information of the perpetrator(s) (if known).

Tips on how to avoid falling victim to these scams:

Posted in: Business, Government, Individuals, Kids, Parent & Educator Tip Card, Parents and Educators, Seniors, Students

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