We Want You to Stay Safe Online!

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As exciting, useful, and helpful as the Internet can be, it is important to stay vigilant and make sure you are protecting your sensitive information and personal data. Scammers are constantly on the hunt for your private data — and with our reliance on technology increasing every day, they have more opportunities to steal your information than ever before.

 

To help you stay safe online, we put together a list of common scams to look out for, as well as several useful tools, information, and resources you can use to help protect yourself from online scams.
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[1] IC3 2020 Internet Crime Report, Page 3; [2] Federal Trade Commission, "Top Frauds of 2020"; [3] IC3 2020 Internet Crime Report, Page 5;
[4] IC3 2020 Internet Crime Report, Page 16; [5] IC3 2020 Internet Crime Report, Page 19

How We Communicate With Our Members

We want to clearly lay out all of the ways that CEMC & Cumberland Connect will communicate with you.

If you doubt the legitimacy of any communications you receive from us, please call us at (800) 987-2362 or email info@cumberlandconnect.org to verify its authenticity.

no

We WILL NEVER contact you via phone call, text message, email, or social media demanding payment or requesting credit card information.

Giveaways

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We WILL NOT:

  • • Request that you register for a giveaway via an external link.
  • • Request payment or credit card information to register for a giveaway or to receive a prize. 
  • • Reach out to you via email, text message, or social media message requesting that you sign up for a trial for any type of service. 
  • • Send you a text message, email, or social media message regarding registering for a giveaway.
  • • Send a text message, email, or social media message notifying members that they have won a giveaway.
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We WILL:

  • • Post all information related to the giveaway, including how to enter and the selected winner(s), on our Facebook page.
  • • Notify the giveaway winner(s) via a Facebook post and a reply to their comment on the initial giveaway post.
  • • Request that the giveaway winner(s) message our Facebook page directly to verify eligibility and coordinate the delivery of their prize.

If you ever have questions about any communications you receive from us, please call us at (800) 987-2362 to verify its authenticity.

Common Types of Online Scams

The first step in protecting yourself from online scams is learning to recognize potential threats.

There are several types of online scams out there, and scammers are inventing new ways to steal users' information every day. One of the best ways you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam is to learn how to spot and recognize these threats.

Read below for a list of some of the most common online scams, as well as some tips on how to spot them!

1. Phishing

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Phishing is the most common type of online scam out there today — largely because they have a relatively high success rate. A phishing scam is a cybercriminal's attempt to get you to give them information, typically through a convincing email or text message that looks like it came from a source that you trust.

For example, you may receive a text message that looks like it came from your bank, telling you that your account has been compromised and you need to log in to your account. You click on the link included in the message and enter your login credentials — only to find that the website was not legitimate. Scams like these can potentially give cybercriminals access to your sensitive information, such as your address, bank accounts, social security number, and more.

With so many phishing scams targeting you through your emails, text messages, and even social media — how can you steer clear and avoid falling victim to cybercriminals? Your best defense is to always verify who is asking you for sensitive information.

Real-Life Example: Amber received a phone call from her insurance company asking her to update her address and phone number. Amber wanted to ensure that her personal information was protected, so she told the representative that she would hang up and call the insurance company back directly, just to make sure the request was authentic. The company's representative understood and encouraged her to do so.

While some phishing scams may be easy to spot, others can be very convincing. Here are a few healthy online habits that will help you stay vigilant and protect your personal information:

• Always be suspicious of hyperlinks. If you encounter a link, hover over it with your mouse to verify where the link goes. Only click if you are certain the link is legitimate.

• If you receive communication from an organization asking for personal details, verify that you are actually speaking to the organization. If you are on the phone, hang up and call the organization directly. If you receive an email, double-check the sender's address to see if it is legitimate. It is always safer to call directly and verify authenticity!

• Please know that banks do not typically call you asking for personal information. Nor does the IRS or any other government agency. When in doubt, it is better to reach out to these organizations directly to verify their identity. Do not give out details such as your social security number, bank account information, or credit card numbers over an email or text.

2. Spoofing

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Spoofing is the act of a cybercriminal impersonating another person or organization in order to conduct a scam. Spoofing can take place through phone, text message, email, websites, and even social media. Criminals may spoof a person or business to phish information from those who trust the spoofing victim, spread malware, or gain access to secured systems and devices. 

Real-Life Example: In this image, you can see a spoofing attempt that a Cumberland Connect member received regarding a giveaway. In this case, the cybercriminal created a fake profile using the same photos and general information as the Cumberland Connect Facebook page. However, upon closer inspection, you can see that something is off. For example, the name of the profile is "Cumberland Connèct" with an accent over the 'e'. Also, notice the poor grammar and how the hyperlink is very ambiguous. This is an example of how easy it can be to fall for a scam if you aren't paying close attention.

To avoid falling for a spoof attack, pay attention to the details such as a minor alteration to the organization name, poor grammar, and fake hyperlinks that lead to mysterious destinations. If you want to avoid being spoofed yourself, make sure you use a strong password (preferably over 12 characters) that does not include any personal details that others may know about you, such as your pet's name.

3. Online Dating Scams

SIGNS OF A DATING SCAM

In a world that is increasingly relying on the Internet for life's many tasks, many people are using it to find love as well. Unfortunately, online dating sites give cybercriminals yet another opportunity to steal your information — or worse. While dating scams are not as common as other online scams, dating scams actually result in the highest total amount of financial loss (according to IC3's 2020 Internet Crime Report). This is because cybercriminals can gain a huge amount of trust from their victim by pretending to be in love.

When dating online, it is important to be mindful of the fact that you never know who you are really talking to until you meet in person. Be wary of a person that advances the relationship very quickly or professes their "love" after only a week or two — especially if you have never met face-to-face. Never send money to someone you are dating online, no matter what their reason may be. Scammers will commonly make up reasons such as hospital bills, rent payments, or other emergencies to convince you to send them money. Finally, be suspicious of anyone that agrees to meet you face-to-face, but then bails at the last minute due to an emergency. Scammers will often lead on with the promise of meeting in person just to keep you on the hook.

How You Can Protect Your Sensitive Data

While it can be difficult to constantly protect yourself online, it is important to build healthy online habits that will help you stay alert and stay aware.

Prevent Scam

To learn more about different online scams, how you can protect yourself, and how you can report cyber crimes,
visit the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at
www.ic3.gov

Stay Protected While You’re Connected

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Our members deserve the ultimate Peace of Mind.

Secure all devices on your home Wi-Fi with ProtectIQ network security.

ProtectIQ is a watch guard for your home Wi-Fi – actively detecting and blocking malicious websites, viruses, advanced threats, and more – with no hardware or software to manage.

Protection Means Peace of Mind

Our members deserve the very best, and that means having peace of mind that their network is safe, secure, and optimized for their needs. Our Peace of Mind package takes your CCFiber experience to the next level by providing enhanced functions — including whole-home network security for all of your connected devices from ProtectIQ.

Traditional anti-virus protects only at the device level and doesn’t usually cover all your Internet connected devices like video cameras, Smart TVs, home automation systems, video doorbells, or any other “smart” devices in your home. Because ProtectIQ works at the network level in your home, it has complete visibility into all malicious traffic trying to make its way in, out, and across your network regardless of the device. We do recommend keeping anti-virus software as an add-on to ProtectIQ as it can help clean up any systems that are infected.

Real-Time Protection

ProtectIQ proactively monitors network traffic coming into your home, automatically blocking anything that looks suspicious.

Notifications

Get alerts when a security event occurs.

Frequent Updates

The ProtectIQ threat database updates twice a week to keep you protected from the latest threats.

Covers All Connected Devices

Laptop, desktop, phone/tablet, gaming system, video doorbell, thermostat, cameras, and more.

Your Internet Guardian

ProtectIQ can detect and terminate threats before they get the chance to infiltrate your network or devices.

Built-In

No additional hardware needed — ProtectIQ works directly with your state-of-the-art GigaSpire router.

What is ProtectIQ doing to keep my network safe?

We want our members to have the best experience possible — and that means staying safe online!
Have questions? Call us at (800) 987-2362 or email us at info@cumberlandconnect.org.
We are always happy to assist you!

Connecting you to your best life

Click here to check Cumberland Connect fiber service availability.
Check Availability to register for updates & get notified via email when CCFiber is available in your area!
Members in eligible zones can sign up online > Log in to SmartHub > then click “My Services” to get started.
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