Category Archives: Cyber

Cell Phone Spammer, Scammer Update…

Have you ever bought a car only to find out that after your purchase EVERYBODY seems to have your same car?

Being a bit nerdy (is that a word?) after writing the post a few back about recent cell phone scammers and phishing, it seems like it has surrounded us!

This from a Flight Magazine just after the aforementioned post!

Apps We Have Tested and a Comprehensive Resource (Humor here too)

After the splash scammer post, Donald the Brain, noted an app for extra help …

Of course…

“There’s an App for that!”

Here is the At&t App- Be careful upon install to only sign up for basic coverage unless you want to pay the extra monthly charge – our family has found the basic to be VERY helpful… and it’s free…

At&T Spam Blocker App

Verizon’s Call Block App – Not having this service we are not sure on its effectiveness or cost, but as direct competitors, likely very similar.

Verizon Spam Block APP

In an unsuccessful search for Sprint and other Apps we found this interesting comprehensive article from PC Magazine – in true irony form, this article has tons of pop up adds … so similar to unwanted calls (digressing again!) –

Per the article there is even a paid for App that will heckle the callers by using pre-recorded answers to waste their time…. not sure would go that far, but its available…each to their own.

Lastly, those wondering about the 11 year old and his no answer about hitting the link (last item in original post) the phone has not exploded and seems to work, but his number certainly has the most attention… Hilton alleged call just yesterday! (He answered but did not hit a button for response!)

We would recommend you carefully answer any texts/calls, as from our experience it let’s the other party know it’s a live number!

Grrrrrrrr

Have a Great “Updated Scammers” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

 

 

Last Full Week of Summer, From the Road Friday … Scammers Feedback

Next week marks the last full week of Summer Vacation for my gang (unhappy times for them – amazed at how well they can ignore it – digressing) if the entire year went by as fast as summer, time would REALLY fly… goes by fast enough as it is….

Today, and all next week,  will be out of the office with family and friends, watching the kids ignore the inevitable, and enjoying the fellowship …. No formal tennis on the docket… in a westerly time zone, which makes an early riser feel like an even earlier riser… cooler … and even crossed paths with this lady early am on the way to the only Starbucks in town….

8-9-19 Elk

Scammer Feedback – Thanks !

In true musician like form (never know what post will be popular), the Scammer Post this week has garnered TONS of comments and thanks — you are very welcome and we will have a follow up shortly, as due to the post, we have additional free safe guards for your cell service which is being tested by the gang currently – full update/report soon!

Glad to strike a chord!

Ahhhh….. but as stated in the headline, it is a Friday… Enjoy!

Have a Great Weekend! Talk next week!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Scammer, Spammer and Down Right Crooks Update – Funny Personal Experience

With last Friday’s promised preview of updated scammers/bad guy techniques, the collection of examples for this post was well underway…

When doing a post such as this, in order to get the images for the example, many devices are often used. Literally as an upload of a screen shot text was being readied for this article from my cell … (while in the back of a large auditorium that housed 100’s that were supposed to be listening to the format and rules of the National Tennis Tournament being attended – let’s call it multitasking rather than lack of attention – digressing) … the upload was interrupted by the following call, fortunately the quick screen shot worked …

There was a number that followed the call, but in the unlikely event it WAS NOT a scam/spammer the number was left out for privacy…

Very coincidental timing at best….

Break In-

As mentioned also late in Friday’s post a new cell data service was ordered last week to include free unlimited data – with a little research it was discovered this new service has an free Spam Risk incoming call notification – still coincidental but partial mystery solved- Digressing again….

Social Security Scam

This is a carefully cropped letter (to protect identity from the field) of a very concerning letter that was allegedly sent from the Social Security Administration…

In the body of the letter there was information concerning a pension that was inaccurate, and seven years old…

Trust us that the letter looked VERY real at first… upon further review, here is what we found:

  • Request for phone number was on the letter from recipeint
  • Request for multiple years of income confirmation and pension information
  • No phone number to call for further information * This is what really led us to believe it was fraud
  • Return address for information was much different from mailing address

The letter was four pages long and very believable even frightening! Doing a search on the address, there was a Social Security Office near the address, but NOT AT the actual address of the letter – WOW very cleaver!

It sounds obvious after reviewing the facts, but at initial glance one could have easily entered information which would have certainly been followed by a phone call asking for more information-

If you have ANY doubts, send us a copy for review, just as our long time client did- do not take ANY chances – Hat tip JH!

Institutions Text Scams

The following texts have been collected over the last few months sent to my family and seem to be accelerating in frequency… Don’t Bite

Fake from Chase:

Fake from Amex – we do not even have an Amex Card

Fake from Microsoft:

Fake from Hotmail :

Lastly, a deleted example to the 11 year old, who certainly does not have a Capital One Account that would be at issue – although he questioned if he did- and wanted balances… not kidding..

Upon discussion if he clicked the link in the text, a straight answer was never received- hopefully there will not be a follow up post to this one, on what exactly happens to your phone if you click on the link –

Needless to say, there is are new form of spams, scammers, and phishing going on out there.. these are all text examples just from our family over the last few months!

DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINK THAT YOU ARE NOT 100% CERTAIN IS LEGIT!

Not trying to be a downer on a Monday, just a protector of our data, and keeping our technology clean and virus free!

Have a Great “Be Careful Out There” (showing age here – anyone remember the show?) Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

IRS Annual Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2019

Each year the IRS publishes their most common list of Tax Scams that they are seeing during tax filings.

Each year we like to review and publish here, just as one more extra reminder to help us all stay away from the bad guys.

So without further ado…..

IRS 2019 Dirty Dozen Tax Scamsburglar-308858__480

Phishing: Taxpayers should be alert to potential fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will never initiate contact with taxpayers via email about a bill or tax refund. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Be wary of emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information. (IR-2019-26)

Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to taxpayers. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as con artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things. (IR-2019-28)

Identity Theft: Taxpayers should be alert to tactics aimed at stealing their identities, not just during the tax filing season, but all year long. The IRS, working in conjunction with the Security Summit partnership of state tax agencies and the tax industry, has made major improvements in detecting tax return related identity theft during the last several years. But the agency reminds taxpayers that they can help in preventing this crime. The IRS continues to aggressively pursue criminals that file fraudulent tax returns using someone else’s Social Security number. (IR-2019-30)

Return Preparer Fraud: Be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. There are some dishonest preparers who operate each filing season to scam clients, perpetuate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. (IR-2019-32)

Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers should take note of anyone promising inflated tax refunds. Those preparers who ask clients to sign a blank return, promise a big refund before looking at taxpayer records or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund are probably up to no good. To find victims, fraudsters may use flyers, phony storefronts or word of mouth via community groups where trust is high. (IR-2019-33)

Falsifying Income to Claim Credits: Con artists may convince unsuspecting taxpayers to invent income to erroneously qualify for tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxpayers should file the most accurate tax return possible because they are legally responsible for what is on their return. This scam can lead to taxpayers facing large bills to pay back taxes, interest and penalties. (IR-2019-35)

Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns: Taxpayers should avoid the temptation to falsely inflate deductions or expenses on their tax returns to pay less than what they owe or potentially receive larger refunds. Think twice before overstating deductions, such as charitable contributions and business expenses, or improperly claiming credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. (IR-2019-36)

Fake Charities: Groups masquerading as charitable organizations solicit donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names similar to familiar or nationally-known organizations. Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations. (IR-2019-39)

Excessive Claims for Business Credits: Avoid improperly claiming the fuel tax credit, a tax benefit generally not available to most taxpayers. The credit is usually limited to off-highway business use, including use in farming. Taxpayers should also avoid misuse of the research credit. Improper claims often involve failures to participate in or substantiate qualified research activities or satisfy the requirements related to qualified research expenses. (IR-2019-42)

Offshore Tax Avoidance: Successful enforcement actions against offshore cheating show it’s a bad bet to hide money and income offshore. People involved in offshore tax avoidance are best served by coming in voluntarily and getting caught up on their tax-filing responsibilities. (IR-2019-43)

Frivolous Tax Arguments: Frivolous tax arguments may be used to avoid paying tax. Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims about the legality of paying taxes despite being repeatedly thrown out in court. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. (IR-2019-45)

Abusive Tax Shelters: Abusive tax structures including trusts and syndicated conservation easements are sometimes used to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them. The vast majority of taxpayers pay their fair share, and everyone should be on the lookout for people peddling tax shelters that sound too good to be true. When in doubt, taxpayers should seek an independent opinion regarding complex products they are offered. (IR-2019-47)

Have a GREAT “No Dirty Dozen” Tax Scam Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Computer Problems Lead to Dark Web Discussion with IT folks – Visual Capitalist Educational Chart

Late last week Donald “The Brain’s” computer froze and gave a warning “CPU Fan not found” – let the dominoes begin falling..

It’s tax season, the busiest of the year – Immediate new box ordered – hurry, hurry –

Must get a proprietary program running on another machine as a back up – daily downloads needed –

Darn program will not work!

Multiple days and two consecutive hours later (not looking forward to that bill) with our tech folks, while at a paused moment, a question of the Dark Web occurred – while no place to hang out or EVER go, their response gave us comfort in showing this graph, which we had held off for some time.

If YOU REALLY WANT TO SEE SOMETHING SCARY – google Youtube dark web – some crazy stuff there!

From our cool friends at Visual Capitalist:

Again, never, ever go to the dark web or you are asking for it!

The Dark Web in One Cool Chart

It’s very long, creepy but very informative!

the-dark-web

Have a safe “Know what the dark web is, but NEVER go there” day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

Cool Chart – How to Stay Invisible on the Internet … Timely

Facebookers have learned some of their information is not super safe….

Here, last year we calmed those that were worried about the data breach of Equifax, and the possible problems which, for the record, thankfully DID NOT OCCUR!

With these concerns and a more and more loss of privacy technology latent society, this chart from our friends at Visual Capitalist is one of our new all time favorites…

How to Stay Invisible on the Internet

It’s long…showing just how many ways we all access the internet….. maybe a manifesto would be the better term… ENJOY and good luck adjusting the electronics!

how-to-be-invisible-online

Have a Great ” Stealth Internet” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
jkfinancialinc
street-cents

April 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our April 2018 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

April 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

With Tax season finally over, here we mentioned how it seemed to never end…but we digress…

It appears the Cyber Thieves are back at it again, and have a new technique involving Social Security. Here in our Social Cyber Post, we discuss just how they are doing this.Cyber Attack

Bottom line, if you see something suspicious, be sure to notify the appropriate agency.

Capital Market Comments

Early Discussions of the Interest Rate Yield Curve – Rates

This is going to be fun …. In the first of a multi-part series here, we discuss the basics of the yield curve.

Bottom line, at its most basic level the yield curve should go upward and outward just as our home made chart below (the starting point for our discussion.)

 

20180424_122733630_iOS

 

Have a Great Day! Talk to you at the end of May!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com