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Consumer Protection | Latest News October 2019

Cyber Security

Latest news in consumer protection to protect you from travel and online scams.

Travel Scams:

USA Today: Cruise scams: 6 scenarios you should beware of when booking a trip.

Read the full article for details on each of the Cruise Scam Scenarios below:

  1. The ‘free cruise’ scam
  2. Port call scams
  3. Bad sightseeing tours
  4. Online cruise scams
  5. Fake list prices
  6. Read the fine print of your cruise line contract


The Washington Post: Resort fees are facing a fresh crackdown from members of Congress.

Read the full article on how The Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019 seeks to do away with the practice of tacking on extra charges that aren’t shown in the upfront room rate for hotels.


Online Scams – Social Media Scams – Cyber Safety

Florida Police Chiefs Association: Have any of you answered one of these posts on social media lately?


BBB: Scam Alert: Your Unclaimed Rewards Could Be a Hoax

You receive a postcard in the mail, an email, or a message on social media stating you have an unclaimed reward that can be redeemed with major retailers, such as Walmart and Target stores. According to the message, your reward is worth $100 dollars or more. But you had better act quickly, because you only have a few more days to redeem it. Scammers will have gained access to your personal information and may attempt to make fraudulent charges using your card information. And, of course, your “unclaimed money” will never arrive because it never existed.


BBB: Don’t Let These Scary Cyber Safety Risks Creep Up On You

Read the full article for details on each of the Scary Cyber Safety Risks below:

  1. Scary scammers can get to you right through that small screen in your hand – your smartphone.
  2. Hacked “smart” devices could haunt your house.
  3. Evildoers in disguise are on the prowl.
  4. Crypto keepers may ghost you.

So what can you do to protect yourself from such ghoulish tricks?

BBB offers these tips:

  • In social media, don’t be too quick to click on ads that offer improbably good deals.  Research companies with organd other online sources before you buy.
  • Secure your smart devices and consider installing anti-malware on your smartphone. Configure and monitor app settings for privacy, encrypt your WiFi, name your router, and keep your software up to date. Ask the manufacturer or seller about smart device set up and vulnerabilities.
  • Learn the warning signs of dangerous Business Email Compromise (BEC)
  • Get the facts before you consider investing in cryptocurrency. Tips: org/crypto
  • Use multifactor authentication to secure your logins—everywhere. However, using your private phone number for that purpose could expose you to some risks. Consider creating an Internet phone number for online authentication instead.
  • Change passwords often, and keep them long and strong. Pass phrases are more complex and may be more secure.
  • Never download or install files from unverified sources.
  • Check out the 2019 National Cybersecurity Awareness Month interactive toolkit.
  • Manage a business or a nonprofit? See BBB tips on the 5-step approachto strengthen your cybersecurity.


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