Lifestyles Report…Big brother IS watching

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DEBBIE NORRELL

Congratulations!! Up to $5,000 overnight for Debbie Norrell. This is just one of the spam emails that I received last week. Each day my spam folder is full of fraudulent emails; some of them are even from me. Late last year I received a phone call from a man alleging to be from Microsoft. He said my computer had a virus and he wanted me to log on to my laptop and he would guide me from there. It was a scam. I just read on a Federal Trade Commission website that some of these fraudsters have been captured. Here is what the FTC had to say:

Two operators of alleged tech support scams have agreed to settle FTC charges and give up their ill-gotten gains. According to the complaints, Mikael Marczak, doing business as Virtual PC Solutions, and Sanjay Agarwalla posed as legitimate computer security companies to deceive computer owners into believing that their devices were riddled with viruses, spyware and other malware. As part of its investigation, FTC staff discovered Marczak also was telemarketing a debt relief program that allegedly violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule. While the stipulated final orders resolve the FTC’s claims against Agarwalla and Marczak, litigation continues against the remaining defendants in the actions related to the TSR.

So how do you think these people are being caught? Phone records and Internet records have to be monitored. The phone and Internet is how these modern day thieves are getting into your account. If you have ever been a victim of debit card fraud you know this is not fun. You wonder how did this person gain access to your account when your debit card is still in your wallet, but transactions are being made thousands of miles away in another country?

This issue is one that I hoped our government would tackle. These Internet thieves are costing our banks and credit unions billions of dollars. For someone to “blow the whistle” on an operation that is helping catch thieves is crazy. The situation is being made worse by talk show hosts feeding the flame by talking about how our privacy is being compromised and that big brother is alive and well. It has been reported that George Orwell’s “1984” is flying off the shelves.

I’m amazed how naïve the public is on this issue. How do they think companies that catch fraud work? They monitor your account that’s how. I’ve had a lot of experience with banking fraud and each person who has been a victim wants the thief caught and put behind bars. Unfortunately, Internet fraud and cyber-crime is how we are being attacked by other countries.

What did this whistle blower hope to accomplish? I don’t know. However, I wish our government would let the public know what is really at stake here.

Readers please keep a close eye on your banking accounts. Check your account daily and call your bank right away if you see a transaction you did not make, do not answer every email that you receive, it just might be spam.

(Email the columnist at deb­bienorrell@aol.com)

 

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