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Romance scams: FTC reveals $304 million of heartache

In 2020, reported losses to the FTC for romance scams went up by 50% from 2019, totalling $304 million. And things weren’t exactly good before: Romance scams have cost people a fortune for 3 years running, according to the FTC. Their latest report suggests a steady rise in these kind of scams generally and ponders the impact of the pandemic. If nobody can go out, it stands to reason that … [Read more...]

A week in security (December 7 – December 13)

Last week on Malwarebytes podcast we talked to Doug Levin, founder of the K12 cybersecurity resource center and advisor to the K12 Security Information Exchange, about how schools can plan for a cybersecure 2021. We also released a Malwarebytes Labs report revealing that 50 percent of schools did not prepare for secure distance learning. In our blogs we discussed defending against tax … [Read more...]

RevenueWire to pay $6.7 million to settle FTC charges

What can you do as a scammer when no legitimate payment provider wants to process your payments anymore? Or, what if you are growing sick and tired of these same payment providers reimbursing disgruntled customers who claim that your products didn’t fix computers, like—you know—you said they would? Simple. You rely on some novel help. That is, until you get caught. Let us tell you a … [Read more...]

New Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act (COPRA) would empower American users

Despite the already dizzying number of comprehensive data privacy proposals before the US Senate—nearly 10 have been introduced since mid-2018—yet another bill has entered the conversation: the Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act. This time, the bill, called COPRA for short, is sponsored by a Democratic Senator from Washington whose name has rarely been cited in the country’s ongoing debate as … [Read more...]

Stalkerware’s legal enforcement problem

Content warning: This piece contains brief descriptions of domestic violence and assault against women and children. In the past five years, only two stalkerware developers, both of whom designed, marketed, and sold tools favored by domestic abusers to pry into victims’ private lives, have faced federal consequences for their actions. Following a guilty plea in court, one was ordered to pay … [Read more...]

Here are the most popular robocall scams and how to avoid them

We recently examined how robocall scams are a serious threat to privacy, alongside the astonishing rate at which their volume continues to increase. Forty-three billion calls in 2019 with an average of 131 calls per person in the US alone is not something to be sniffed at. No matter how careful you are with your number, no matter which security measures you take, it can all be undone with one … [Read more...]

A week in security (October 28 – November 3)

Last week on Malwarebytes Labs, we celebrated the birth of the Internet 50 years ago, highlighted reports about the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filing a case against stalkerware developer Retina-X, issued a PSI on disaster donation scams, looked at the top cybersecurity challenged SMBs face, and provided guidance to journalists on how they can defend themselves against threat … [Read more...]

Stalkerware developer dealt new blow by FTC

Last week, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) interpreted its broad consumer protection mandate to file a first-of-its-kind enforcement action against the developer of three mobile stalkerware applications. The developer was banned from further selling the apps unless significant changes were made in design and functionality. The FTC’s required changes address notification procedures and … [Read more...]

Growing rate of robocalls threatens user privacy

When a person sees a call from an unknown number and picks up to hear a recorded voice on the other end, they’ve received a robocall. Some are helpful, such as reminders of upcoming doctor’s appointments or school announcements. However, the vast majority are from unsolicited parties trying to convince people to purchase products or services, or to disclose personal information. … [Read more...]