Easy Prey

Easy Prey

Chris Parker, the founder of WhatIsMyIPAddress.com, interviews guests and tells real-life stories about topics to open your eyes to the danger and traps lurking in the real world, ranging from online scams and frauds to everyday situations where people are trying to take advantage of you—for their gain and your loss. Our goal is to educate and equip you, so you learn how to spot the warnings signs of trouble, take quick action, and lower the risk of becoming a victim.... Show More
March 26, 2020 28 min

With the worldwide virus pandemic, we are seeing things on Facebook, Twitter and in our email multiple times a day already. We are focused on remaining vigilant so we don’t contract the virus, but we also need to become vigilant so that we don’t become victims of the various cons, schemes, and scams that are already starting to surface. 

During uncertain times we often see scams on a personal level, business level, and national geopolitical level.  It is important to be informed so that we can be protected in all areas.  

Frank Figliuzzi is the former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Figliuzzi was previously the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland Division which includes all of northern Ohio, and the major cities of Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown, Akron, and Canton. Following his FBI service, Figliuzzi joined General Electric and served for five years as Assistant Chief Security Officer for investigations, insider threat, workplace violence prevention, and special event security for GE's 300,000 employees in 180 countries. Figliuzzi is currently a frequent National Security Contributor for NBC and MSNBC News.

A national pandemic is a target-rich opportunity for cons, schemes, and scams.  We have to make ourselves harder targets for the bad guys. It is really important that we don’t do things out of panic without researching, talking to people and seeking the right advice from the right people.  

What do we need to be looking for in an uncertain time to avoid being a victim of a scam or scheme?  Listen in as Frank and I discuss warning signs to look for and trusted resources you can turn in this very uncertain time.  

Show Notes:

  • [00:55] - We are all so squirrely focused on remaining vigilant so we don’t contract the virus, but I’m here with a slightly different message which is that we have got to become vigilant so that we don’t become victims during the virus of various cons, schemes, and scams that are already starting to surface. 
  • [02:15] - When you see something that doesn’t look or sound right go ahead and research it, find out if it’s wrong, and if it is wrong politely post your research.  
  • [02:52] - Frank puts these scams in three different buckets.  There are scams for coronavirus on the personal level, business level, and national and geopolitical level.  
  • [04:01] - It is really important that we don’t do things out of panic without researching, talking to people and seeking the right advice from the right people.  
  • [04:48] - We have got to look out for each other on this. If you have elderly family or neighbors we have to pay extra attention to them. 
  • [05:36] - If it is too good to be true, it’s not true. Trust your gut! Run it by 2 or 3 other people that you trust.  
  • [06:53] - When it comes to charities, Frank’s advice is to stick with the well-established charities that you already donate to.  Charity Navigator will do the vetting for you.  
  • [8:13] - If anybody is asking for your money or your personal identifiers right up front the alarm bells should go off.  
  • [9:58] - Many businesses are not equipped from a cybersecurity perspective to deal with work from home.   
  • [10:34] - We are going to see a huge increase in accounts payable fraud. 
  • [11:51] - Get your IT people together and pay now for the increased security or you’re going to pay later.  Maybe some sensitive functions should not be functioning at home.  
  • [13:00] - Testing is a great thing to do before you launch into massive work from home. 
  • [13:28] - If looking for work from home options watch out for the too good to be true.  Always check out the opportunities and do your research. 
  • [15:16] - Test first before you start producing products remotely and make sure that it can’t be interfered with.  
  • [17:03] - With the government stimulus package coming out we will likely see emails pop up asking for your social security, date of birth, and address which is identity fraud.
  • [18:31] - Don’t fall for people reaching out to you by phone, e-mail, and snail-mail.  Go to a government site for the information.  
  • [19:26] - The government will not call you.  You can verify through their websites and the official numbers.  
  • [19:38] - Share this information about possible scams with your grandparents, parents, and adult young children to protect them.  
  • [20:56] - We are in a polarized society.  So far it has been political polarization. 
  • [21:22] - The fear is that we will move from political polarization to polarized responses to a pandemic and that can be very dangerous. 
  • [22:15] - There is also a foreign influence to try and polarize us.  
  • [23:14] - Do not be afraid to block and report anything that comes across your screen that looks like it is dangerous propaganda.  
  • [23:43] - When there is something really scary that we don’t understand, it is a lot easier to blame something that we can identify than to recognize there is nothing we can do about the situation and we just have to wait.  
  • [24:15] - Humans want simple solutions to the scariest, most complicated problems.  We want to embrace the hopeful and simple.  
  • [25:14] When you click on something that offers you that simple explanation or solution you are probably making a mistake.  
  • [25:21] This is one of those situations where you have emotions, urgency, panic, health and fear on a worldwide scale all rolled up together.  It is the ultimate opportunity for scam artists.  
  • [26:07] Three trusted websites are Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and John Hopkins University.  You should also consult the Department of Health from your state and county.
  • Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review. 

    Links and Resources:

  • Podcast Web Page
  • Facebook Page
  • whatismyipaddress.com
  • Easy Prey on Instagram
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  • Easy Prey on LinkedIn
  • Easy Prey on YouTube
  • Easy Prey on Pinterest
  • Frank on LinkedIn
  • Frank on Twitter
  • Frank on YouTube
  • Frank on NBC News
  • Charity Navigator
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • World Health Organization
  • John Hopkins University
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