Beware of phone, online scams

Now that the year 2019 is here, very soon, if you have not gotten them already, you will be getting phone calls – scams – telling you that you owe a bill; they are from the government; you have won an all expense paid vacation. There are a lot of them out there. As I have reported before, the caller ID numbers on your phone shows them as local calls. Do not be fooled.

Here is some information on scam calls.

With every passing year, more and more American lives are lived online. Why drive to the bank or the DMV when you can deposit checks with your cell phone and renew your driver’s license from home? Adults socialize with friends, pay bills and file their taxes online. High school seniors average a whopping six hours a day online – 1  texting, playing games, and on social media. All this internet activity means we’re safer in some ways – we can’t lose our wallet in our living room or get into a traffic accident at our desk. But the online world carries its own dangers, and cyber-crime is unfortunately exploding. A 2018 Forbes article, listed these five statistics:

  • Every minute, 1,861 people fall victim to cyber-attacks and $1.14 million is stolen.
  • Over the next five years, 146 billion records will be breached – four times the current rate.
  • Ransomware attacks are increasing 350% per year, and damage costs will be $11.5 billion in 2019. (This is when hackers gain control of a person’s or company’s computer, lock out the owners, and demand a ransom to let them have access again.)
  • In a survey of IT decision makers, 56% cited phishing attacks as their biggest cyber-security threat, and more than a million new phishing sites are created every month.
  • Close to 60 million Americans have been victims of identity theft.

Till next week, praying for all service members.


– Charles Castelluccio