June 2018 E-News: Be Aware of Tech Support Scams, Agency News, Texas Trivia, Recipe of the Month & More!



Be Aware of Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams Are On The Rise
For the past several years, scammers have been selling fake security software to unsuspecting consumers. They go so far as to set up websites, which they use to market free computer scans. There is usually no scan performed but they issue a warning message at the end of the fake scan to convince visitors their computer has a virus. They then introduce their own software as a solution. In most cases, the software has no security capabilities. Scam artists who are even more malicious provide malware instead of worthless software. Malware is designed to give the software creator access to the computer, and this is how criminals steal information from unsuspecting consumers.

Phone Scams
A new version of security scam starts with an unsolicited phone call. Using public records, scammers find phone numbers, names, and even addresses to make themselves sound legitimate. They may try to guess the type of security software or operating system used by their potential victims. These scammers gain the trust of people by claiming to be associated with major reputable companies such as Norton or AVG. They use technical jargon to confuse people, and that confusion mixed with high-pressure urgency to fix security risks causes panic.

One of the most common ways to execute a security scam is to gain remote access to a computer. Scammers will walk their victims through the steps to receive an applet that lets the caller see all of the files. By remotely controlling the victim’s mouse, they change the settings to leave the computer vulnerable through remote access. Some scammers also require a monthly or one-time fee for their fake services.

What To Do When Scammers Call
If someone calls and claims to be from a reputable company, hang up and call the company directly. Callers who use high-pressure tactics or create a sense of urgency are likely scammers. Here are some additional tips to follow:

  • Do not give a caller remote access to a computer.
  • Since criminals can spoof numbers, do not rely on caller ID to verify a number.
  • Beware of online ads for tech support companies that are similar to major reputable names.
  • Do not provide financial information to any unexpected caller who claims to be from tech support.
  • Do not purchase security software over the phone if the caller requires a subscription fee.
  • Register any home or cell phone number on the national “Do Not Call” list by clicking here.
  • Do not give out passwords or a personal email address over the phone.


After Responding To A Scam
After responding to a scam and downloading malware, follow these steps:

  1. Download legitimate malware removal software to run on the computer.
  2. Change passwords for all online accounts.
  3. Notify the credit card company if a card was used to pay for bogus services.
  4. Contact the FTC about identity theft prevention if financial and personal information may have been compromised.


Refund Scam Identification
After paying for tech support services with a new computer purchase, some buyers receive a call several months later about a refund. Scammers either guess or are able to find information about people who buy warranties with computers, and they use the tactic of offering free money to get financial data. For example, the caller may say that a refund is available but a bank account number is needed to deposit the money. Callers may cite one of several reasons for issuing a refund. Keep in mind that warranty registration means submitting a mailing address. Ask the caller to use the mailing address provided to mail a check. Never provide financial information, a home address, or any other personal details.

When receiving these types of calls, report the scammers to the FTC at FTC.gov. For answers to any other scamming questions, discuss your concerns with your TXINS agent.

We Are Here for You!

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.

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AGENCY NEWS
  • David Green and Doug Roberts will be attending the 2018 Texas Beekeepers Association Summer Clinic at the Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe on June 30. For more information on the clinic, click here.
  • Happy June birthday to Shebra Adler, Kristen Johnson, and Russ Taylor! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Happy June work anniversary to the following TXINS staffer: Shebra Adler-2 years. We are so proud to have you as a member of the TXINS team!
  • Congratulations to Trent Socha and Rey Legett for winning May’s Texas Trivia Contest. We hope y’all enjoy your free Whataburger gift card! Don’t miss your chance to win a $5 Whataburger gift card in our Texas Trivia contest….check out this month’s question below!

Are you Hurricane Ready?

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

Basic Preparedness Tips

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

Preparing Your Home

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

Make a Hurricane Plan

  • Make an emergency plan.
    • Sign up for alerts and warnings
    • Make a family communication plan
    • Plan shelter options
    • Know your evacuation route
  • Build or restock your basic disaster supplies kit, including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Consider buying flood insurance.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground or to evacuate.
  • Stay tuned to local wireless emergency alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

 

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Recipe of the Month:
Southern Banana Pudding

Author: Kraft
Prep Time: 15 min   |  Cook Time: 60 mins
Serves: 14

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 2 packages (4 serving size) JELL-O Banana Cream Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 8 oz. whipped topping
  • 30 vanilla wafers
  • 3 medium bananas, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand 3 min. Gently stir in 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping.
  2. Place 15 of the wafers on bottom of 2-qt. serving bowl. Top with layers of half each of the bananas and pudding mixture. Repeat layers ending with pudding mixture. Cover with remaining whipped topping.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Texas Trivia

Possibly the most famous and most romanticized criminal duo in American history are Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two young Texans whose early 1930s crime spree captured the attention of the nation. There is no question their story continues to fascinate writers, musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers to this day.

As a boy, Clyde Barrow loved to sing and play an old guitar on the farm. He taught himself how to play the saxophone, and it seemed as if he might pursue a career in music. Bonnie Parker also loved music growing up in west Texas, and she also loved the stage. She performed in school pageants and talent shows, singing Broadway hits or country favorites.

Bonnie married her high school sweetheart, Ray Thorton, when she was only 15. But the marriage wasn’t happy and Thornton ended up in prison for robbery. It was during this time, Bonnie met Clyde. Despite her relationship with Clyde being a love-at-first-sight romance, she kept her wedding ring on. She was wearing it when she and Clyde were ambushed in their car by police on May 23, 1934, in Louisiana. Among the belongings recovered from the car was a promise ring Clyde made Bonnie while he was in Eastham prison. What design did the promise ring feature? Email us your answer. If you are one of the first three people to answer correctly, you’ll win a $5 Whataburger gift card! 

Show Your Spirit, Texas!

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Congratulations to Sterling Alexander dba Sterling Honey of Pasadena, TX for being our May Referral Program winner. Thank you for your referrals, Sterling!
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From our customers…

“Wonderful people to work with!”
Amy & Travis Staff, El Campo, TX

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is proud to be an independent Trusted Choice Agent. We provide our clients with a choice of companies, offer complete customization of policies, and advocate on our clients’ behalf to ensure each receives quality service and quality product. We are committed to providing competitive pricing and unparalleled customer service. You have our word on it.


 

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