Consumers love a good deal, but when receiving coupons and discount codes online or via text message, be careful. There is an increase in bogus apps and services that intend to steal your personal information and it is only getting worse.
Security firm Pradeo recently reported that fake Netflix apps are being injected with malware. These offers usually claim that Netflix is offering free subscriptions or extending the service with a huge discount, but to take advantage of the offer, users are asked to provide personal information.
Often, these infected apps are promoted to users through advertisements displayed in apps downloaded from official app stores or through phishing campaigns. When counterfeit apps are able to impersonate trusted apps, it tricks users into trusting and clicking links, which in turn allows the bad actor to steal personal information, including your banking and credit information. credit card.
Here are some tips to avoid bogus apps:
• Be on the lookout for smishing (SMS phishing) and phishing campaigns. These are unsolicited text messages or emails that trick you into clicking a link or downloading an attachment.
• Never click on links in unsolicited text messages or emails, especially when you do not know the sender.
• Go directly to the source to determine if the offer is legitimate. Many companies have reported that they do not offer free or discounted subscriptions, which has kept many consumers from taking advantage.
• Download apps only from official app stores. Avoid third-party app stores or links to apps through online advertisements. The trap of using third-party apps is that they can lead you to a bogus website infected with malware.
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Avoid car roof sellers
A reader from Coeur d’Alene recently met a roofing salesman from Spokane Valley. After inspecting the roof, the seller offered to tear off the wind damaged roof all over the house and replace it for what the insurance company would pay.
On the surface, it sounded like a bargain. Below the surface is where the supply breaks down.
The salesperson wanted the customer to essentially sign a blank contract, which would be completed later in the office. The problem with the contract is that it did not specify the exact services other than pulling up the old one and replacing it with new roofing material. This is a fairly broad statement in a contract and subject to wide interpretation.
Also, companies that offer to replace something for what the insurance company will pay out are unlikely to suffer a loss if the customer’s insurance policy pays actual cash value or ACV. LCA is essentially a method of valuing insurance property that is not equal to the value of the replacement cost, but rather is calculated by subtracting depreciation from the replacement cost.
This method often results in a very low dollar payout, so it’s unlikely that a business would stay in business for too long if it were to eat up the difference between the actual replacement cost and what an insurance company could pay.
In cases like this, who finds the shortfall? You guessed it, the customer.
Once the client received the actual offer from the insurance company, it was $ 4,000 more than the insurance company would have paid. Because the customer refused to sign the blank contract and did not rely on the verbal sales pitch, he did not hire this company for the service. The good news is, he’s out of money.
At the end of the line : Beware of any verbal sales pitch that tells you they will accept an insurance payment as full compensation, but then asks you to sign a blank contract to be completed later. It might sound like a good deal, but do you want a roof that is secure? Remember the old saying, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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Protect your wireless account
With T-Mobile’s most recent data breach, it’s more important than ever to protect your wireless account from hackers. In fact, it has been reported that AT&T has also been hacked although AT&T has denied the allegation. Yet cybersecurity experts say a hacker sells the data of more than 70 million AT&T customers.
An online rights advocacy group, Restore Privacy, independently verified that a sample of data included legitimate information from AT&T customers. The data included names, phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, social security numbers and dates of birth. This is all the information a scammer needs to commit identity fraud.
Targeting large groups of people can be very lucrative for cybercriminals. Presumably, the hacker set a starting price of $ 200,000 on a dark web forum for selling the AT&T database with the social security numbers and dates of birth of its 70 million customers.
One way to protect your account is to set up a PIN code. Without a PIN code, hackers can hack your cell phone, take control of your phone number, and use that number to access online accounts. At least with a PIN code, that’s an additional security step that hackers need to take to get your personal information.
You can also freeze your credit accounts, constantly monitor your credit reports and bank statements, inspect unexpected bills, frequently change passwords, and not share your personal information with anyone by phone, text or email. -mail unless you initiated the transaction.
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Remember: I am on your side.
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If you’ve encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about, or think our readers should be aware of, please email me at [email protected] or call me at 208-274-4458. As a customer of The CDA Press Consumer Gal, I’m here to help. I’m a copywriter working with marketing strategy companies, columnist, veterans advocate and consumer advocate living in Coeur d’Alene.