Virus & Hoax Alert

Hoax Warning for Small Businesses that accept Credit Cards

stop fraudAre you a small business owner with a merchant services account for accepting credit card payments? Then here's an important message for you about HOAX MESSAGES.

Online scam artists are sending fake “MasterCard Security Alert” e-mail messages to merchants. These emails ask the merchant to conduct payment card test transactions and then send the transaction data to an e-mail address not affiliated with MasterCard.
Criminals gain merchant transaction information this way. Then they make fraudulent purchases and refunds using stolen payment card information.  
Like almost all companies, MasterCard does NOT contact merchants directly to request payment card transaction information or to conduct test transactions.

MasterCard is obviously not the only company affected by such scammers, so be aware that other credit card companies can also be targeted.

Have you received an unsolicited call, e-mail, text, or social media request from anyone claiming to be a MasterCard Security Representative? DO NOT RESPOND! Do send their information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

When in doubt you can also simply call your credit card company for verification.

Another warning about another online hoax brought to you by Kahl Consultants.

Jury Duty Scam

stop SCAMHere is another scam that reminds us not to blindly give out our private information over the phone.

Most of us take summons for jury duty seriously, but enough people skip out on their civic duty that a new and ominous kind of fraud has surfaced.

The caller claims to be a jury DUTY coordinator. If you protest that you never received a summons for jury duty, the Scammer asks you for your Social Security number and date of birth so he or she can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Give out any of this information and bingo; your identity was just stolen.

The fraud has been reported so far in 11 states, including Oklahoma, Illinois , and Colorado , AZ and more. This (swindle) is particularly insidious because they use intimidation over the phone to try to bully people into giving information by pretending they are with the court system.

The FBI and the federal court system have issued nationwide alerts on their web sites, warning consumers about the fraud.WARNING SCAM

Remember folks, DON'T PANIC and BE PREPARED!


This scam has been verified by the FBI. And here is the Snopes report.

Triangle of Life

*An email from Doug Copp, titled "Triangle of Life," is making its rounds on the Internet.

You may receive an email that contains this message:


My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team.

The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake...

1) Everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE is crushed to death -- Every time, without exception. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are always crushed.

STOP! These recommendations are inaccurate for application in the United States and inconsistent with information developed through earthquake research. .

Mr. Copp's assertion that everyone is always crushed if they get under something is incorrect.

Mr. Copp based his statements on observations of damage to buildings after an earthquake in Turkey. It is like "apples and
"to compare building construction standards, techniques, engineering principles, and construction materials between Turkey and the United States.

Identifying potential "void areas" and planning on using them for earthquake protection as suggested by the "Triangle of Life" may be the best thing to teach in countries where the risk of building collapse, even in moderate earthquakes, is great.

The "Triangle of Life" email contains advice that is not consistent with information developed through earthquake research.



How to Avoid Virii and Worms

  1. Most email worms use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express to spread. Netscape users rarely have problems. If you need to use Outlook, download and install the latest Outlook security patch from Microsoft. In general, keep your operating system and applications up-to-date and apply the latest patches when they become available. Be sure to get the updates directly from the vendor.
  2. When possible, avoid e-mail attachments both when sending and receiving e-mail.
  3. Configure Windows to always show file extensions. In Windows 2000, this is done through Explorer via the Tools menu: Tools/Folder Options/View - and uncheck "Hide file extensions for known file types". This makes it more difficult to for a harmful file (such as an EXE or VBS) to masquerade as a harmless file (such as TXT or JPG).
  4. Never open e-mail attachments with the file extensions VBS, SHS or PIF. These extensions are almost never used in normal attachments but they are frequently used by viruses and worms.
  5. Never open attachments with double file extensions such as NAME.BMP.EXE or NAME.TXT.VBS
  6. Do not share your folders with other users unless necessary. If you do, make sure you do not share your full drive or your Windows directory.
  7. Disconnect your network or modem cable when you're not using your computer - or just power it down.
  8. If you feel that an e-mail you get from a friend is somehow strange - if it is in a foreign language or if it just says odd things, double-check with the sender before opening any attachments.
  9. When you receive e-mail advertisements or other unsolicited e-mail, do not open attachments in them or follow web links quoted in them.
  10. Avoid attachments with sexual filenames. E-mail worms often use attachments with names like PORNO.EXE or PAMELA_NUDE.VBS to lure users into executing them.
  11. Do not trust the icons of attachment file. Worms often send executable files which have an icon resembling icons of picture, text or archive files - to fool the user.
  12. Never accept attachments from strangers in online chat systems such as IRC, ICQ or AOL Instant Messenger.
  13. Avoid downloading files from public newsgroups (Usenet news). These are often used by virus writers to distribute their new viruses.