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Many sites now invite you to login to them using your Facebook, Twitter or Google account ID. This is tempting as it avoids yet another account/password to remember, but if you are tempted to proceed be aware that by linking accounts in this way you are forming a network of related information which eases the workload on anyone intent on stealing your identity. Also, you probably have to agree to advertisements for one site being endorsements on another as posts under your name.
A billion people have now signed up for a Facebook account, a fact not lost on cybercriminals. The relatively simple old scams of persuading people to download dodgy games or post links on your wall are now being superseded by a message that informs you that a photo has been tagged. You click the link to see who tagged you and are directed to an iFrame malware injecting site before forwarding you on to a random page or error message.
Another scam is to cause a popup message to appear from a trusted friend entreating good folk to give to a charity. The problem is that the link takes you to a credit card details harvesting site before passing you on to the genuine charity.
The unsolicited phone call scam where a representative of a trusted company entices you to let them put remote access software on your PC to resolve performance or virus problems has now developed to one where a 'police officer' calls to warn you of a problem. Because of the aforementioned scams he encourages you to call back on 999 to prove his bona fides. You immediately call back and ask for the officer in question; he then 'helps' you to resolve aforementioned problem on your computer. This relies on the feature of BT lines whereby if the caller doesn't terminate the call first then the line remains open for a short time. So when 999 is dialled the same caller is already on the line and ready to help with your problem. Not.
If it looks, sounds or smells like a rat – it probably is vermin but not necessarily of the genus Rattus.
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