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Scam Alert #4 – Porn ads for kids & disappearing banks

It may be time for a phone check.

Are you getting a fake e-mail from the Secretary of State? 

Are your kids getting porn ads in their favorite app?

Find out about these scams and more in our scam alert from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Watch alert here:

 

 

Money for you?

Sadly, the e-mail is a fake.

The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, doesn’t really have money for you from an FBI and CIA investigation, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The scam message that claims to be from the Secretary of State says you’ll get $1.85 million on an ATM card.

All you need to do is send in $320 and some personal info.

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not send you that e-mail about $1.85 million on an ATM card, according to the FTC. Image credit: state.gov

 

This is not the first time online crooks have used the title for trickery.

in 2011, scammers sent out a similar e-mail in the name of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, telling people they had received a “contract/inheritance” in the amount of $10.5 million payable via ATM card, according to AppRiver.

If you get an e-mail or call from someone who says they’re from the government, the FTC recommends you ask yourself these questions:

 

  1. Did they say you’ve won a prize, owe money, or might go to jail?
  2. Did they say that you can get the prize — or get out of trouble — if you pay them money right away?

 

“If the answer to these is ‘yes,’ that’s going to be a scam,” writes the FTC’s Kati Daffan in a blog post. “You don’t need to send money. You don’t need to give up your information by phone or email. You don’t need to worry. But what I hope you will do is tell people you know about the scam you spotted — and then tell the FTC.”

 

A scam e-mail in the name of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2011, according to AppRiver. Image credit: AppRiver

 

Porn ads for kids?

You may want to check the apps on your kids are using.

Google just anounced it’s removing more and more malicious apps from its app store, many of them copycats mimicking popular games and apps.

“Famous titles get a lot of search traffic for particular keywords, so the bad actors try to amass installs leveraging such traffic,” said Andrew Ahn, Google Play Product Manager, in a post.

Not long ago, researchers with Check Point found some kids’ apps showing porn ads, among other troubles.

 

A “mild example” of one of the ads that showed up in children’s apps, according to Check Point. Image credit: Check Point

 

Some of the apps are Drawing Lessons Angry Birds, Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars, Subway Banana Run Surf, McQueen Car Racing Game and Temple Crash Jungle Bandicoot, Check Point said.

Some of the names are mashup of prominent games like Temple Run and Subway Surfers, which do not appear on Check Point’s bad list.

For the full list, see the researchers’ post.

The malicious code in the apps not only serves up porn ads, but also tries to trick people into giving up their phone number so the apps can add premium charges without your permission.

 

Drawing Lessons Lego Star Wars is one of the apps with the malicious code, Check Point said. Image credit: Google Play

 

The code can also show you a message saying your phone is infected with a virus in the hopes that you will install a fake security app, the researchers said.

You may want to check to see if your children have any of the apps installed.

Also, read reviews of apps before installing and watch out for copycat versions of well-known games and apps. 

Digital bank shutting down?

It calls itself “the people’s bank” and “the future of banking,” but now AriseBank is in trouble with the law.

AriseBank claims to be a cryptocurrency bank with a crypto credit card for spending Bitcoin and other digital coins.

The company even says boxer Evander Holyfield endorsed them.

 

AriseBank claimed boxer Evander Holyfield endorsed the company. Image credit: Facebook

 

But the Securities and Exchange Commission says AriseBank mislead people, lying about working with an insured bank and not telling investors about key executives’ criminal records.

The SEC shut down the company’s initial coin offering and calls the company’s project an “outright scam.”

“Attempting to conceal what we allege to be fraudulent securities offerings under the veneer of technological terms like ‘ICO’ or ‘cryptocurrency’ will not escape the Commission’s oversight or its efforts to protect investors,” said the SEC’s Shamoil T. Shipchandler in a press release.

AriseBank’s website is down as of the publishing of this story, and people on Facebook say they can’t get ahold of the company.

 

AriseBank said it was a crypto currency bank that offered a crypto credit card. Image credit: Twitter

 

In the meantime, Facebook says it will block any ad that promotes cryptocurrency products and services because there are too many of those ads that misrepresent the truth.

“We’ve created a new policy that prohibits ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency,” said Rob Leathern, Facebook Product Management Director, in an announcement on Tuesday.

See other alerts:

Scam Alert #11 — Fake peepers & video game scams

Scam Alert #10 — Stealing bones & hacking robots

Scam Alert #9 — Secret text messages & peeping on kids

Scam Alert #8 — Baby cams & fake news

Scam alert #7 — Top spam scams

Scam Alert #6 — Super Cute scam & ‘Be Mined’

Scam Alert #5 — Stealing your phone number & fake keypads

Scam Alert #4 — Porn ads for kids & disappearing banks

Scam Alert #3 — Coin hacks & fake Netflix e-mails

Scam Alert #2 — Spider virus & fake assassins

Scam Alert #1 — 800# number scammers & evil apps

 

 

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