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More of us will vote this year than ever before, which is also bringing out fraudsters in record numbers. 

Here are three of the most common fraudulent political messages making the rounds in these weeks before Election Day.  

Fake fundraising texts that appear to come from a campaign: This Biden text was sent to supporters after his Twitter account was hacked over the summer. The account was quickly secured. If you receive a political fundraising text that originated from a phone number, be suspicious, and do a Google search to confirm the number. Candidates' texts usually originate from five-digit numbers: 303-30 for Mr. Biden and 880-22 for Mr. Trump.

Offers for free yard signs and merchandise: This phishing email offers the recipient free campaign stuff that usually costs money. But clicking on the link in this email takes the user to a website that is not affiliated with the campaign, where the user is instructed to enter credit card information as a way to verify identity. Avoid phishing emails by closely examining the sender's email address. 

Attempting to verify a voter's registration information: Here is an email that scammers use to collect voters' personal information. This one claims to come from the "US Election Assistance Commission," which is not a real organization. Sending back the form will provide crooks with a social security number and driver's license number, which they'll use in future scams. If you're curious about your voting status, visit your state's voter registration page directly. A search engine will provide you with the official web address.

There is no way to vote by phone, text, or email.

Ballots can be returned by mail, in an official secure dropbox, or cast in person at a polling location. 

Your voting information is never sold to a third party.

You can only vote one time per election. 

Cyber bytes: Carnival Cruise Lines has been breached. According to the company's annual stockholders' report, personal information about Carnival employees and customers has been obtained by cybercrooks.  …  If your computer gets infected with ransomware, cyber crooks will likely demand big money to unlock the files. IBM says a few years ago, thieves typically demanded a ransom payment of $1,200. Now it’s $40 million!  …  Most hackers attempt to break into computers and networks at night, reports the Wall Street Journal. So, consider taking your computer offline when you head to bed.  …  What apps are most popular among teens these days? Snapchat remains #1, according to the investment banking firm Piper Sandler. Tik-Tok is now the second most popular app among teens, surpassing #3 Instagram.

For seven months now, more than 6 in 10 of us have been working from home, at least part-time. That calls for a home Wi-Fi and cyber checkup!

Click the thumbnail image to download and print easy steps to keep your home network fast and safe.

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Recent editions of Aware Force Cybersecurity News from Xtreme Solutions

It's not the police who are calling you demanding money. It's crooks. Once a user answers a threatening call that appears to come from the police, a new kind of Android malware immediately locks files on the phone and demands a ransom payment. 


ZDNet says users are only infected if they download infected software from chat forums, website ads, or third-party app stores. Android phone users, remember: stick to downloading apps from Google's app store.

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Aware Force Cybersecurity News • October 2020 a • Edition #106

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