8.4B Passwords & 25M Records Stolen

8.4B Passwords & 25M Records Stolen

Just recently our security team found two new breaches involving 25,000,000 stolen records and that 8.4 billion passwords have been stolen and sold on the dark web. We see these breaches all the time. The reality is that out of the 8.5 billion IP addresses worldwide, 3.5 billion of them are malware. That’s correct! Almost half of the worldwide web is created to commit fraud. That’s why we have proudly built a strong partnership with industry powerhouse Experian who jointly provides our member’s identity protection, support, and complete resolution service.

 

Guard Well Identity Theft Solutions exists to protect you, your family, and your employees from the damages of identity theft. It has been a pleasure protecting America’s workforce for the last decade. We look forward to many years and much more growth to come!

 

Be vigilant. Be Strong. Stay in the know. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Member Services immediately. We are always available for you 24/7/365 at 888.966.4827 (GUARD).

 

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com Bermix Studios

How to Avoid Disaster-related Scams

How to Avoid Disaster-related Scams

Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster is always difficult. Unfortunately, scammers will jump at the chance to take advantage of those who are trying to assess and recover from the tremendous damage that weather-related events, such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornados, along with pandemic-related COVID-19 can cause.

 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suggests a few ways to help avoid common post-disaster scams:

 

Be skeptical of anyone promising immediate clean-up and debris removal. Some fake vendors will quote sky-high prices and demand payment up-front.

 

Do a background check on them. Before you pay anything, ask for identification, licenses along with proof of insurance in writing.

 

Never pay in cryptocurrency, wire transfer, cash or via a gift card. Only make the final payment until the work is completed satisfactorily.

 

Always guard your personal identifying information (PII). “Only scammers will say they’re a government official and then demand money or your credit card, bank account or social security number.”

 

Understand that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will never ask for an application fee. FEMA has provided over $1 billion to more than 165,000 people to assist with COVID-19-related funeral costs for deaths occurring on or after January. “If someone wants money to help you qualify for FEMA funds, that’s probably a scam.”

 

Spot and report disaster-related charity scams. If you are fortunate enough to be able to help others, visit this link for advice on how to donate wisely and avoid charity scams.

 

For more information and other tips, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/dealing-weather-emergencies

 

Be vigilant. Be strong. Stay in the know. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Member Services immediately. We are always available for you 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827).

 

Photo courtesy credit to Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com.

The Steps We Take to Protect Your Identity

The Steps We Take to Protect Your Identity

Identity theft is inevitable. If it hasn’t already, it will victimize you, a family member, or an employee’s life in the near future. ‘Data Harvesting’ has become a major threat to identity protection. Browsing history, online shopping, and messaging data is being used against you.

 

The statistics are overwhelming. Cyber attacks, malware, and phishing scams have increased over 1000% since Covid-19 began. There are 3.5M Google searches every minute and 4.4B Facebook messages each day … all of that information is collected, stored, and sold. Essentially, your data is being stolen then sold back to you.

 

As a leader in the identity protection space, we are advocating for laws to protect the American consumer from Data Harvesting. Additionally, of the 8.5 billion IP addresses worldwide, 3.5 billion of them are malware. It is our hope that stronger IT security efforts are implemented in America (and worldwide) to block the thieves from stealing your information.

 

Protecting identity includes five main steps:

 

1. Implementing proactive safeguards with Guard Well fraud specialists.

2. Protecting personal identifying information (PII), such as social security number, date of birth, driver’s license ID number, financial institution account numbers, passport number, IP addresses, passwords, etc. Remember that even the smallest amount of stolen PII can be used against you.

3. Browsing in incognito or private mode, deleting unused email accounts, using two-factor authentication whenever possible, changing your passwords every 60 days, and removing your information from ‘people finder’ sites.

4. Monitoring credit and identity to quickly detect theft/fraud when it occurs.

5. Resolving all theft/fraud issues completely and continuously monitoring for recurrence.

 

Finally … we always strongly recommend that you DO NOT CLICK on any online link that you are not 100% certain is safe, secure and legit.

 

For more information on how to protect your employees by providing this must-have voluntary benefit, please click on the flyer: GW_Flyer_070821_OnePageMktgPiece

 

Our team at Guard Well Identity Theft Solutions is available 24/7/365. Contact us at 888.966.GUARD (4827) or email memberservices@guardwellid.com if you suspect fraud or have any concerns.

Fraud Trend Alert: End-of-life IT Gear

Fraud Trend Alert: End-of-life IT Gear

There is a new fraud trend we are seeing that almost victimized a client of ours who is a very large, well-known employer in the Cincinnati, Ohio tri-state region. We highly suggest that you share this blog to your company IT contact or a company team member whose duties include data security – IT security – technology security and/or IT gear and infrastructure protection.

 

One of our Guard Well product offerings is Enterprise Data Risk Mitigation. It is a program we developed to help organizations by purchasing their end-of-life IT gear, wipe and certify the drives … at no cost … then repurpose the gear. Essentially we turn a data risk and pending expense into a liability shift and a profit. It’s a very effective … and popular program.

 

Last week we were preparing to pull a large lot of gear from one of our clients when two individuals, claiming to be hired by a third party, showed up on the campus insisting they needed to pick up any used IT gear for “processing.” Luckily our client sensed something was incorrect and reached out to Guard Well asking us if we had sent two men to pick up the gear. We informed them that we did not send these individuals and by the time our phone call ended both men had left the campus.

 

What these men were attempting to do is steal the IT gear, most likely to harvest the sensitive company data and sell it to hackers or hold it for ransom until the company paid them to return the data. Due to the large security concerns, we highly suggest that your organization verifies steps taken to protect the sensitive data stored in end-of-life IT gear. Guard Well will partner with any organization looking for a safe, reliable way to manage the proper decommissioning of this gear and turn a profit from its remaining, but depreciating, value.

 

We can work anywhere in the USA, so please let us know how we can help. Be vigilant. Be strong. If you have any concerns or think you have been a victim of fraud, please contact our Member Services immediately so we can fully resolve the issue for you. We are always available 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827).

 

Photo credit: Malachi Brooks via unsplash.com

Stolen Data of 533 Million Facebook Users Leaked Online

Stolen Data of 533 Million Facebook Users Leaked Online

Facebook, the most popular social media platform worldwide, has experienced another leak. This weekend we learned that the phone numbers and personal data of 533 million users were published for free.

 

Business Insider reported that “the exposed data includes the personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdays, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.”

 

For more information, click HERE.

 

Be vigilant. Be strong. If you have any concerns or think you have been a victim, please contact our Member Services immediately. We are always available for you 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827).

 

Photo credit: Tim Bennett on Unsplash

RedDorz and Foxtons: Dark Web Fraud Alert

RedDorz and Foxtons: Dark Web Fraud Alert

Our teams have discovered extremely large sets of compromised data on the Dark Web. The latest two websites involved are RedDorz.com and Foxtons.com.

 

RedDoorz.com is a Singapore-based hotel management and booking platform. Their breach size involves 5.8 million records: first name, last name, email address, password, gender, phone number, and date of birth. The origin date was September 2020.

 

Foxtons.co.uk is a British estate agency company dealing with both listings and sales. Alexander Hall is a subsidiary of Foxtons and provides mortgage services and advice since 1992. Their breach size involves 2.9 million records: first name, last name, email address, userid, and password. The origin date of this breach is unknown.

 

Be vigilant. Be strong. If you have visited these websites in the past or have done business with them, please contact our Member Services immediately. We are always available for you 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827).

 

Photo credit by https://unsplash.com – Erfan Parhizi

 

Dramatic Spike in Unemployment Fraud: What You Need to Know

We have seen a dramatic spike in unemployment fraud, PPP fraud and SBA loan fraud.

 

Some of you may have received or will be receiving unemployment benefits. Or, maybe you are an employer and have received notice that an employee of yours applied for unemployment benefits. The thieves simply apply for benefits or loans using your PII or confidential business information.

 

Your state’s Department of Jobs & Services is aware that many of these applications are fraudulent. Several states, such as Ohio, are in process of launching an online option for employers to report potential fraud on behalf of multiple current or former employees. For information about Ohio, please click HERE.

 

Be vigilant. Be strong. If you are concerned that you or an employee has been a victim of unemployment fraud, please reach out to Member Services. We are available for you 24/7/365 at 888.966.GUARD (4827).