Scams and criminals #infosec

This morning I learned of a young friend who was scammed out of some money online. Things like this always make me angry and I did not think I would ever have to post something like this because we all know these things right? Well no, some people have not been exposed to criminals and are trusting souls. This is for you gentle souls out there; and hope you don’t have to become callous and paranoid like me.

I spent about twelve years working in Financial Crimes (FinCEN), combined with being the Information Security Guy; you listen to me, this is something I know a great deal about.

Rule #1: I live by simple rules. Simple rules have kept me alive for almost 59 years; simple rules work.

Rule #2: When it comes to dealing with anything that has to do with money and the internet – be paranoid, be very paranoid. I always assume the person on the other end is a criminal, because there is a very high probability the person is a criminal.

Rule #3: If someone is offering to pay you money, they will not ask for any kind of payment from you. If you are asked for a payment, even a tiny amount this is a scam. You are dealing with a criminal who wants to steal from you.

Rule #4: If someone is offering you something of value for a service, opinion, survey, etc, they will not ask for any kind of payment from you. If you are asked for a payment, even a tiny amount, this is a scam. You are dealing with a criminal who wants to steal from you.

Rule #5: If you believe someone is a public figure and they are asking you for money or anything of value, it is a scam. You are dealing with a criminal who wants to steal from you.