Cell Phone Virus Update

Cell phone virus update, Deceased Do-Not-Call List, and counterfeit postal money orders: Internet ScamBusters #138

We decided to keep today’s issue short, so here are three useful Snippets for you:

  • Cell Phone Virus Update
  • Deceased Do-Not-Call List
  • Counterfeit Postal Money Orders

Before we get started, we’d like to ask you a favor: We’d like to help more people protect themselves from Internet scams. So we’ve created a new sign-up page for ScamBusters titled “Being Smart Is NOT Enough to Protect Yourself Against Clever Online and Offline Scammers…

Why not check it out and then suggest that some of your friends, family and colleagues visit?

If you have a blog or website, publish a newsletter, participate in forums, etc. we’d appreciate a link. Thanks for your help.

OK. Let’s get going…

Cell Phone Virus Update

A little over a year ago in issue #81, we wrote about the discovery of the first cell phone virus called Cabir. It’s the last item on this page of Issue #81.

At the time, this Cabir virus had no harmful effects. However, we (along with most experts) predicted that mobile phone viruses would become a real threat and would multiply.

In the interim, this has started to happen. For example, Cabir can now drain a cell phone battery quickly.

If you lose your cell phone (or PDA), change all your passwords immediately. Lost or stolen cell phones and PDAs are often used by scammers to commit identity theft.

Deceased Do-Not-Call List

Most people have very strong feelings about telemarketing calls. These calls are certainly worse — much worse — when they are for a person who has passed away.

To address this problem, the Direct Marketing Association recently created a Deceased Do-Not-Call list. They charge $1.00 “verification fee” for a name to be included on the list. (As CNN wrote: “Resting in peace costs $1.00.)

For more information and instructions for adding a name to the list, click here.

How to Tell if Postal Money Orders are Real or Counterfeit

We’ve written about the dangers of counterfeit postal money orders — see the second item on this page.

The US Postal Service has created a very useful page called “Things to check to ensure a Money Order is authentic.” It provides very specific instructions on how to check any postal money order you receive.

Action: Visit this webpage and follow the advice to make sure any postal money order you receive is genuine.

That’s it for now. See you next week.