Internet scams: Phishing sites target users, gambling industry

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SBR receives thousands of sportsbook complaints per year. A small percentage of these complaints are from players who say their accounts have been compromised. While some of these claims are proven to be fraudulent, others have appeared to be a legitimate third party breach.

Whether doing online banking, emailing friends and family or placing a sportsbook wager, certain knowledge is required to avoid becoming a victim. While the bells and whistles of the internet may seem overwhelming, reading and understanding these simple suggestions will help you steer clear of common scams.

Every website is not as it seems

Before logging into any website, you need to carefully examine the URL bar. The URL bar is typically the furthest thing north of your browser window, and it contains the web address of the site you are currently navigating.

Logic dictates that when logging into Paypal to complete a transaction, the URL bar would cleanly begin Scammers nowadays are building custom i-Frames to mirror the appearance of your website, with all features in place as they normally are, except what they really are doing is spoofing your sites' external appearance. One thing scammers cannot do however is duplicate the actual URL of your website, so this is why examining the URL bar of each site you log into will save a giant headache long-term.

Clicking links from email

Never click a link from email when the sender is not someone you recognize, even if you know the sender, it is important to scrutinize the contents of the email as that person's account could have been hijacked. The first thing a smart scammer will do is redistribute his viruses, keyloggers, or phishing links to an address book. While attacks differ in delivery, many web-based attacks can be traced back to a rotten email. Email does no harm if deleted right away - however, you are in for a real nightmare if you decide to clickity-click your way through your inbox.

Don't use the same password at multiple sites

In nearly all cases where an email, sportsbook or other online account is accessed without authorization, the password was recycled. Using the same password at multiple sites makes identifying the source of an attack infinitely harder. It also creates the possibility that multiple accounts are compromised. Use a different password for each site that you log into. Never use pet or family names or common number combinations like birthday dates. Your password should look like the serial number of an application; random numbers and letters that a cracker would never attempt to put together.

I was hacked! Am I too late?

NO! However, based on the sophistication of the attack, your options can be sobering. In most cases, a system restore to an earlier date would do the job, but a complete reinstallation of Windows may be required. SBR advises users to regularly update their antivirus software and to maintain a firewall - ESET, Nortons, McAffee are all good, easy to use programs that require little computer experience.


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