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  • Scammers have gone from postal mail and faxes to email and phone calls where you never see the person, but now with AI, you can even have a live video call that seems completely real with deep fake technology. It’s no longer safe to just see a person, but there are other things you can do to know if you’re communicating with the individual they claim to be.

    Today’s guest is Anna Rowe. Anna is the founder of Catch the Catfish and co-founder of LoveSaid. She is a Subject Matter Expert in Romance Fraud and Victim Support.

    Show Notes:

    [0:55] - Anna shares her background as a teacher and describes how she was catfished in 2015.

    [2:52] - How can you make genuine informed consent when someone is deceiving you at that level?

    [3:45] - A therapist’s suggestion of researching narcissists and psychopaths started her healing journey.

    [5:35] - Anna learned that this type of scam commonly comes from West Africa and the scammers are known as Yahoo Boys.

    [7:44] - Romance fraud can be in person, like with Anna’s experience. But there are romance scams that are online only.

    [9:32] - It is common for romance scammers to also be perpetrating other types of fraud at the same time.

    [11:44] - Pig butchering includes another problem, where scammers themselves are also trafficked.

    [13:59] - A lot of victims don’t realize they are interacting with a scammer for a long time because they aren’t asking for money.

    [17:51] - In years past, Photoshopping an image to appear realistic wasn’t as easy as it is now with AI.

    [19:26] - Blending a new face onto an existing photo can even be used in video.

    [21:15] - Voice cloning is also often used and apps to do this are free.

    [24:24] - Deep fake scammers use content on social media stories and live streams to record long pieces of video.

    [26:20] - This technology is improving quickly, but Anna shares some of the ways you can tell if something is a deep fake.

    [28:51] - There are simple things to check on profiles that you can notice as red flags before getting involved with someone.

    [33:01] - Scammers also really like using cryptocurrency because it is unregulated.

    [34:14] - Scammers build a reality typically by using the 5 C’s of reasons why their spouse is gone.

    [37:30] - There are different strategies to look for certain things as you “become your own detective” on various social media platforms.

    [40:57] - When scammers know that you are “onto them” they know what they can change.

    [43:36] - Every decision a scammer makes is premeditated.

    [46:50] - Scammers will keep you hooked and space away from them could get you in a space of trusting your gut.

    [53:32] - Reverse image searches are extremely helpful.

    [57:50] - Anna describes some of the ways she was able to determine what her scammer was doing.

    [61:10] - Anna was put into an open relationship without her consent.

    [63:05] - Future faking is common in narcissists and psychopaths.

    [64:26] - These scams are really damaging and it is important to not use victim shaming language when discussing it.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

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    LoveSaid.com

    Catch the Catfish

  • Many years ago, people chose to stay with the same employer for decades. Today, employees are changing jobs more regularly. Each company needs to have processes in place allowing access to systems needed to do their jobs, but there’s also a risk of when they leave that they may still have access to certain programs.

    Today’s guest is Craig Davies. Craig started in banking, holding many roles including CSO. As the CISO and the Executive Director of Gathid Ltd., he is passionate about helping organizations strengthen access management without completely overhauling their people, processes, physical infrastructure, and technology. Craig has spent more than 25 years in cybersecurity working with infrastructure operations, security architecture and software, web development and operations. He was the first CEO of Ost Cyber and at Atlassian he helped develop the security program for all aspects of their business, including security, cloud operations and protection.

    Show Notes: [1:32] - Craig shares his background and what his roles are at Gathid. [4:52] - When bringing on new employees, there are several front-end issues that a company and employee can face. [6:22] - It can be really frustrating for a new employee when there are so many different programs to learn and manage. [8:18] - We have to think about the employee’s journey. [10:59] - In many cases, new employees receive a ton of access without learning the process during onboarding. [11:49] - Offboarding can be a nightmare because we don’t always think about all the things that are connected. [15:26] - We need to protect the person who is leaving. [18:06] - One of the challenges is knowing who should be responsible. [19:12] - There needs to be a list of all the programs and systems that an employee may have access to. [21:17] - Offboarding is not typically a priority but not focusing on it can be a huge risk. [24:43] - Smart use of control is important especially in onboarding and offboarding. [27:26] - Working remotely makes systems and access even trickier. [29:39] - There is a reason the large companies have large systems. [31:50] - Every company has the same problems. The ones that have a process in place have likely experienced a crisis. [34:57] - What are the challenges to the new ways of working post-pandemic? [36:26] - You can’t get rid of risk, but you can manage it. [44:50] - These processes all start with a conversation.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Craig Davies on LinkedIn Gathid Website
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  • There are entire communities set up to fight fraud that use synthetic IDs as well as scammer gangs that are advancing their creative ways to use these documents. This is changing regularly as biometric authentication advances continue.

    Today’s guest is Stuart Wells. Stuart is the CTO of Jumio and is responsible for all aspects of Jumio’s innovation, machine learning, and engineering. He is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of tech experience. He was previously the Chief Product and Technology Officer at FICO, and held executive positions at Avaya and Sun Microsystems.

    Show Notes: [1:18] - Stuart shares his background and what he does at Jumio as the Chief Technology Officer. [3:20] - The science behind document protection is literally decades old. [5:06] - Stuart describes the process of verifying a document at Jumio. [5:57] - What are the practical uses of synthetic IDs? [7:39] - There are large volumes of both fraudulent and honest individuals creating and using synthetic IDs. [9:25] - A lot of businesses are seeking verification from places like Jumio to protect themselves and their reputation. [11:49] - Biometrics as a tool to use against fraudsters has grown globally. [13:54] - Biometrics are very useful, but there are challenges. [15:31] - Stuart shares a recent story about a fake video interaction that cost the victim millions of dollars. [17:37] - At this point in the technology’s development, there are some signs of deep fakes that we can spot. [19:03] - How can this negatively impact an individual? [20:18] - Listen to your inner voice and check with another source before sending money. [22:52] - You don’t have to be a programmer to use these tools. The creators have made them easy to use and people are using them to do harm. [25:46] - The early versions of deep fake technology had a lot of easy-to-see abnormalities, but they are getting tougher to spot. [27:26] - Although these negative impacts are concerning, there is some excitement about the positive uses of these advances. [32:07] - What direction is verification headed when it comes to biometrics? [33:54] - Documents have anatomy and security measures in place. [36:43] - Most security systems are layered. [40:00] - This landscape is continuously changing.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Jumio Website
  • Imagine booking a vacation only to find out that the company files for bankruptcy a week later. As a consumer, would you know what your rights are? There’s a big difference between travel insurance and travel protection. One can leave you with no way to get your money back.

    Today’s guest is Michelle Couch Friedman. Michelle is the founder and CEO of Consumer Rescue. She is an experienced consumer reporter, advocate, mediator, author, and licensed psychotherapist. Michelle has also been a columnist, contributing editor, and former executive director for Elliott Advocacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy.

    Show Notes: [1:02] - Michelle shares her background and what she does through Consumer Rescue. [5:00] - The only way to get money back from a bankrupt company is through your credit card company if you paid with one, or if you have travel insurance. [6:36] - Right before announcing their bankruptcy, Vantage did a “sales blitz” and offered great deals to loyal customers, knowing that they wouldn’t deliver. [9:49] - Vantage was unique in that it had been a successful business for 40 years and had a loyal customer base. [12:44] - Looking back at the way Vantage behaved after the pandemic, there were some red flags. [15:43] - Michelle explains the difference between travel insurance and travel protection. [17:36] - Travel insurance should be purchased away from the company taking you on the trip. [19:47] - Make sure you can find a clause somewhere that says you are protected against the insolvency of the tour operator with or without bankruptcy. [22:10] - If the tour operator is not able to deliver, you could file a credit card dispute. But there are some limitations. [26:04] - You should always pay with credit cards. Don’t be tempted by discounts offered with bank transfers. [31:21] - The average age of Vantage Travel clientele was older and scammers took advantage of their vulnerability. [33:10] - When filing claims and filling out forms, personal information makes its way to scammers on a “victim list.” [36:09] - Cryptocurrency is a red flag in cases like this as well. [38:41] - There is some information you can find by contacting the court in the jurisdiction of the bankrupt company. [41:53] - A company bought Vantage Travel’s customer list and had all of their contact information. [43:57] - In order to protect yourself, even if you have full trust in the company, do research and find red flags and reports. [46:26] - Never pay with a bank transfer, even if they offer a discount. [50:40] - Make sure the travel insurance policy protects against insolvency, not just bankruptcy. [53:34] - Michelle shares how to reach Consumer Rescue and what services they provide for free.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest Michelle Couch-Friedman LinkedIn Consumer Rescue Website
  • Learning how to keep your business safe and protect your online data can be advantageous for your home and personal life as well. Your children and family can create awareness at school and with friends. Today’s guest is Greg Tomchick. Greg is a former professional baseball player turned award-winning cybersecurity coach. He has worked with more than 250 world-renowned companies, including American Airlines, Caterpillar, and Trinity Rail. He is regularly featured live on ABC, Fox, and is an expert contributor to Inc. Magazine. He is now the CEO of Valor Cybersecurity and host of The Connected Mindset.

    Show Notes: [1:10] - Greg shares his background coming from a military family and then as a professional baseball player before learning cybersecurity’s impact. [2:42] - As an entrepreneur, Greg’s business experienced a cybersecurity attack. [5:45] - The Connected Mindset is helping people become more consciously aware of how they navigate life both physically and digitally. [7:26] - Greg explains why they set up budgets of companies and individuals for cybersecurity at Valor. [9:25] - The focus should be on the mindset first. [10:27] - An unexpected positive is that cybersecurity gives a company or business a competitive advantage. [12:58] - Most people don’t think about security until after something has gone wrong. [14:43] - What is the difference between culture and mindset? [15:50] - Greg shares some of the mindsets and cultures that are unhelpful. [18:09] - As connected as we constantly are through technology, we have never been more disconnected. [20:50] - When Greg’s business had been attacked, there was no place to report the incident. Things have improved in recent years. [24:48] - No matter the size of the business or amount of money an individual has, everyone can be a target. [27:08] - Some companies are risking things by going remote without any plan, structure, or security in place. [28:45] - Every new device or software that is introduced needs to be considered. [30:16] - Greg discusses AI, including the costs and benefits. [34:03] - What is the minimum cybersecurity mindset that the everyday person needs to have?

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

    Links and Resources: Podcast Web Page Facebook Page whatismyipaddress.com Easy Prey on Instagram Easy Prey on Twitter Easy Prey on LinkedIn Easy Prey on YouTube Easy Prey on Pinterest The Connected Mindset Greg Tomchick’s Website Greg Tomchick on LinkedIn Valor Cybersecurity Website
  • The media loves sensationalized romance scams, but we need to understand that anyone can be emotionally seduced and it's not just the lonely. No one is off limits to being targeted, no matter the age, status, or career. And the impact is far greater than just financial.

    Today’s guest is Becky Holmes. Becky is the creator and voice behind the popular Twitter account Death to Spinach. Becky’s book Keanu Reeves is Not in Love With You looks at all aspects of romance fraud, from the heartbreaking to the hilarious, the academic to the anecdotal, and discusses where we’ve gone wrong in dealing with those affected.

    Show Notes:

    [1:08] - Becky runs a Twitter account where she spends a lot of time wasting the time of romance fraudsters.

    [2:38] - An unintended consequence of messing with fraudsters, Becky became a sounding board to victims of romance fraud.

    [4:56] - Once you engage with a fraudster, your name is put on a “sucker list.”

    [6:13] - Becky explains what romance fraud is.

    [7:22] - Victims of romance fraud are generally assumed to be lonely, middle-aged women, which is a stereotype.

    [8:27] - The media sensationalizes victim stories, but this could happen to anyone.

    [9:53] - There’s not a lot of services and support for victims of romance fraud.

    [11:40] - The damage extends farther than the financial loss.

    [13:43] - When it comes to scams, we focus so much on a victim “falling for it” which implies that they are somehow complicit.

    [16:31] - Becky describes an experience she had as a victim of fraud.

    [18:19] - Coercive control is at the center of all types of romance fraud.

    [19:56] - Becky explains confirmation bias and its prevalence in all types of scams.

    [21:25] - Romance fraud is really hard to deal with because it involves the heart.

    [22:43] - Becky shares how scammers usually start conversation and how they navigate getting you on a different app.

    [26:44] - In addition to social media and dating apps, fraudsters also send messages on online games.

    [28:07] - Another common technique is for scammers to pretend to be a celebrity.

    [31:24] - A very successful tactic is when fraudsters pretend to be a part of a charity.

    [34:18] - Becky explains the inspiration behind the title of her recent book.

    [35:56] - We should be looking out for our friends and family.

    [37:21] - If we see something happen, how can we help someone?

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

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    Death to Spinach on Twitter

  • We can easily stereotype those we believe are susceptible to a scam. But the scammers are keeping up with current events and are prepared to take advantage of our basic human emotions. The impact of these frauds is underreported due to the shame and embarrassment.

    Today’s guest is Alan Castel. Alan is a Psychology professor at The University of California Los Angeles. He studies learning, memory, fraud, and aging. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine. He recently published a book entitled Better With Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging.

    Show Notes:

    [1:08] - Alan shares his background and what he focuses on as a psychologist.

    [3:33] - We are all susceptible to scams, regardless of the stereotypes.

    [5:50] - Scams focus on our human nature of trying to make sense of the world and our emotional brain. Scams prey on our basic emotions.

    [7:34] - Scams are tailor made to expose our vulnerabilities.

    [8:50] - Some scams are situational and can be completely believable.

    [10:05] - There are people who are much more vulnerable to scams, but it’s not based on stereotypes.

    [12:48] - Education and awareness can come from podcasts like this, but it also needs to come from people who have experienced a scam.

    [15:33] - Although scams don’t only target older adults, the elderly tend to be more susceptible to scams that target their need to help others.

    [18:19] - There are some phrases that aren’t always recognized as false because they sound scientific.

    [20:48] - There are websites and organizations that support scam victims, and it is highly recommended that you report anything that happens.

    [22:32] - Alan admits that he has fallen victim to a scam on a website, entering his credit card information to purchase something.

    [26:37] - Alan describes a reinforcement schedule, which is a psychological tactic to build relationships.

    [28:10] - Scams are clever and Alan sees their potential to use psychological principles to part people from their money.

    [32:30] - How does memory play a role in scam vulnerability?

    [35:05] - Alan describes the “foot in the door” technique.

    [37:02] - It comes down to curiosity as human nature.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

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    Alan Castel at UCLA

    Alan Castel on LinkedIn

  • In this episode, we’re shining a light on a pervasive threat that often lurks in the shadows of corporate environments: insider fraud. We’ll explore the insidious nature of insider threats, the various forms they can take, and most importantly, how organizations can arm themselves with knowledge and strategies to mitigate these risks effectively.

    Today’s guest is Claire Mailet. Claire is an award-winning financial crime prevention expert and has worked in the field for over ten years. In her spare time, Claire assists universities in the UK to support staff and students who stammer and she’s currently undertaking a part time Ph.D at the University of Portsmouth, looking at internal fraud in FinTechs.

    Show Notes:

    [1:05] - Claire shares her background and what she does now in her career.

    [5:18] - The growth of counter-fraud in academia has increased in the last few years.

    [6:31] - Insider fraud is a type of fraud that isn’t really well known right now. It is under researched and underestimated.

    [7:59] - When people think about fraud, they think about the customer. They will very rarely think about people on the inside.

    [9:09] - What is insider fraud?

    [10:13] - An underestimated form of insider fraud is when employees who leave a company aren’t removed from internal systems and still have access.

    [12:50] - Organizations need to have vetting measures in place at the time of onboarding to ensure fraud is not committed on a CV.

    [15:18] - The more in depth you can go, the more safe and secure you are.

    [16:41] - Deterrents get lost when prevention is focused on.

    [18:35] - Cost is a real issue for many companies.

    [21:35] - Companies need to get on board with the idea of having things in place for protection.

    [23:40] - Current employees working from home can be a risk to data.

    [27:07] - It doesn’t matter how ethical and good someone is.

    [30:22] - In a lot of startups and small businesses, business owners will hire best friends or family members over someone who can best do the job.

    [33:50] - What could someone’s motivation be to commit insider fraud?

    [36:30] - There are a lot of different ways to commit insider fraud, such as falsified time sheets and information on a resume.

    [38:42] - For every possible way a person can commit fraud, there needs to be something in place. Owners need to think through these possibilities.

    [40:27] - The whole business needs to be involved in the education and prevention of fraud.

    [42:20] - It is common for employees to think that if “fraud” is not in their job title, they don’t have to worry about it.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

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    Claire Maillet on LinkedIn

    Fraudible Podcast

  • Understanding our cognitive biases can help us realize that we sometimes are too trusting of emails, texts, or calls from someone we perceive to be an authority. Today’s guest is Martina Dove. Martina is a researcher with a fervent passion for fraud prevention. Her expertise focuses on persuasion, scam techniques, and individual characteristics that make people susceptible to fraud. She is passionate about fighting fraud by teaching people how to spot scammer techniques and has recently published a book on fraud psychology.

    Show Notes:

    [0:50] - Martina shares her background in cybersecurity and what she does in her career now.

    [1:56] - Martina learned a lot about techniques scammers use by noticing cognitive bias.

    [3:27] - Through interviews with scam victims, Martina learned that it is not always the case that victims are just gullible. She has also been scammed.

    [5:48] - One of the scales that Martina developed is about how people perceive authority and how gullible they think they are.

    [7:03] - There are five fraud vulnerability factors: compliance, impulsivity, decision time, vigilance, and the belief in justice.

    [9:57] - Somebody who follows rules more than breaks them, there’s a persuasion technique that scammers use to dupe them.

    [11:19] - We tend to rationalize why bad things happen to other people.

    [13:06] - When we are under visceral influence, we lose our ability to reason.

    [15:42] - Some scams evoke social norms, especially in charity scams and fake social media posts.

    [19:06] - Scammers are always one step ahead.

    [21:37] - A good scammer will go a long way to support their story.

    [23:20] - Websites are very believable. How can you tell when one is legitimate?

    [24:36] - Fraud situations are complicated because no two human beings will be the same.

    [26:44] - Even if you have to lie, make it a rule for yourself to not make a decision right away.

    [29:20] - Scams work because humans are vulnerable and can be persuaded.

    [30:47] - Martina describes the way scammers control the conversation with a victim.

    [33:51] - The grooming component of fraud is hard to break.

    [35:17] - Prevention is always better than intervention.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

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    Martina Dove’s Website

    Martina Dove on LinkedIn

    The Psychology of Fraud, Persuasion, and Scam Techniques by Martina Dove

  • The tech world is ever-changing and it can be difficult to keep up. As businesses and individuals, it's important to remember to keep your software up to date and apply patches as they are released. Today’s guest is John Hammond. John is a cybersecurity researcher, educator, and content creator. As part of the Adversary Tactics Teams at Huntress, John spends his days analyzing malware and making hackers earn their access. He is an online YouTube personality showcasing program tutorials, malware analysis, dark web threats, and other cybersecurity content.

    Show Notes:

    [1:01] - John shares his role at Huntress and his side work as a YouTuber that creates content to help educate people about cybersecurity.

    [2:26] - John explains how he found himself in cybersecurity as a career.

    [4:10] - He hasn’t been a victim of a scam, but in his pursuit of catching hackers in the act, he has certainly been a target.

    [5:25] - What is doxxing and how can someone track down your information?

    [7:23] - When popular software is compromised, it is a really big deal.

    [9:22] - There’s a balance between companies releasing information about a threat and that information causing more damage.

    [13:17] - It is so important to update software and patch right away.

    [15:22] - Consumers are not always on the lookout for patches and updates. It’s crucial for companies to relay this information.

    [17:49] - One tactic for hackers is the use of remote software to access devices.

    [19:37] - It is best practice to not allow anyone to use your computer.

    [21:28] - Since 2020, there has been an increase in people working from home, which means that company devices are now out of their safety and control.

    [23:54] - John describes the People’s Call Center collaboration and the mission of bringing the fight back to scammers.

    [25:28] - John explains some of the tricks he has used to social engineer the scammers right back.

    [29:43] - The experience of keeping someone from being scammed or even just making a scammer’s life more difficult was rewarding for John.

    [31:09] - What is the dark web?

    [35:09] - John shares why he interacts on the dark web to research and learn how threat actors operate.

    [39:02] - By researching on the dark web, John has learned a lot about how cybercriminals work and think.

    [41:01] - Some of the ways cybercriminals work are better and more successful than some legitimate businesses and startups.

    Thanks for joining us on Easy Prey. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and leave a nice review.

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    John Hammond on YouTube

    John Hammond on LinkedIn

  • As businesses embrace digital transformation and rely on interconnected networks for their operations, the vulnerabilities within the digital supply chain become increasingly apparent. From data breaches to third party vulnerabilities, the threats are multi-faceted and ever-evolving.

    Today’s guest is Kevin Kumpf. Kevin has more than 20 years of IT Security and Compliance experience including over 10 years of cybersecurity, governance, and critical infrastructure experience working in the energy, medical manufacturing, transportation, and fedramp realms.

    Show Notes:

    [0:54] - Kevin shares what he does in his current role and his background in the industry.

    [3:38] - He began his career in cybersecurity at a time when cybersecurity was not a priority.

    [4:30] - Scammers target anyone and everyone. Even Kevin has been a victim.

    [6:53] - It comes down to ownership.

    [8:19] - Know your baseline and who is responsible.

    [10:07] - Kevin makes an analogy to help us better understand the supply chain.

    [12:30] - Most of the time, people don’t know where and how their data is being transferred back and forth.

    [14:12] - You trust a process and then when something breaks, how do you find out about it?

    [17:01] - Kevin describes an example of observing an organization’s work and discovering crypto mining.

    [19:51] - What should be asked about the organization’s environment?

    [21:34] - Think about all the things you use regularly that are connected to something. Now expand that thinking to companies and businesses.

    [23:27] - Where do all of these components come from?

    [26:47] - Kevin points out the challenges in the cybersecurity legislature.

    [28:46] - Ask questions and accept the answers. Determine what is acceptable risk.

    [31:22] - The trickle down of data is really what the supply chain is.

    [33:17] - Kevin shares some information about articles for further reading on this topic as well as some interesting numbers about recent breaches.

    [35:48] - If you don’t know what is normal, you won’t know what is abnormal. This is why knowing the baseline is so important.

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    Cyolo Website

    Kevin Kumpf on LinkedIn

  • There are significant risks to be aware of when using crypto and over the past two years, many tokens have imploded. As you choose to invest digitally, do your research and understand the commodity that you use. Today’s guest is Natalie Burnell. Natalie is the host of the #1 woman-led show in the bitcoin space, Coin Stories. She is a bitcoin educator, a frequent media commentator, and an award-winning journalist.

    Show Notes:

    [0:50] - Natalie shares her background and the mission behind the Coin Stories Podcast.

    [2:19] - Learning about bitcoin gave Natalie a little more hope as she came from having no background in financial literacy.

    [3:48] - Anyone can issue a token and it is hard to tell what cryptocurrency is legitimate.

    [6:42] - There are some that are regulated and unregulated. Natalie shares some red flags.

    [8:09] - Choosing to work with companies that are Bitcoin only is one way to stay safe because of regulatory clarity.

    [10:01] - A major red flag is overpromising and guaranteeing unrealistic returns.

    [11:59] - Longevity should stand out.

    [14:08] - Natalie explains how Bitcoin custodians work and how you can take your own custody of Bitcoin.

    [16:29] - Self-custody could be intimidating, but it just takes a few steps to learn.

    [19:15] - Natalie shares a clever analogy to make the concept easier to learn.

    [20:47] - Bitcoin offers more privacy than other monetary technology.

    [22:38] - There are a lot of frictions in banks and the system is ultimately very fragile.

    [26:07] - If exchanges receive Bitcoin and they don’t know where it came from, they are contacted by agencies like the IRS.

    [28:56] - The knee-jerk reaction to people wanting privacy is to assume that they want to do something bad.

    [31:17] - Look for verified accounts to interact with. Be careful if someone says they’ll send you money.

    [33:39] - Some companies are trying to help people recover their funds. But most of the time, it is impossible.

    [34:50] - If you send your money somewhere, you are likely not getting it back.

    [36:40] - Natalie has several tutorials on her YouTube channel that can help you protect yourself and your money.

    [38:52] - Bitcoin the block chain was built beautifully for security, but that means it can only fit so much. Bitcoin is “slow” for a reason.

    [41:20] - Consider Bitcoin built in layers.

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    Coin Stories Podcast

    Natalie Brunell on YouTube

  • In this episode, we uncover the intricate web of tax-related scams that prey on unsuspecting individuals every year. From phishing emails promising tax refunds to elaborate identity theft schemes, join us as we expose tactics used by scammers to exploit fear and ignorance during tax season.

    Today’s guest is Richard Gilbert. Richard is the Director of the Examination Division with the North Carolina Department of Revenue. He has been with the department for over 25 years. He is a licensed CPA and has received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration from North Carolina Central University.

    Show Notes:

    [1:10] - Richard shares his background and what he does in the Examination Division at the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

    [2:38] - Taxes can get very complicated for a lot of people.

    [5:17] - The vast majority of tax professionals do their job well and serve their clients honestly. But there are some people who don’t focus on the right thing.

    [8:09] - Tax preparers who say they can get you the largest return, ask questions.

    [9:36] - Like any other business you employ, you should ask for references.

    [11:43] - If you can afford a CPA, hire one.

    [12:39] - Be wary of YouTube tutorials and advice. You are responsible for your taxes and if you are audited, it is all on you.

    [13:52] - Richard shares some of the things that a good tax preparer will ask for.

    [15:11] - There are scammers that will try to file someone else’s tax return before they do and direct their refund somewhere else.

    [17:49] - There are things in place that slow down the process that can be frustrating, but are there to protect you.

    [19:29] - It is highly recommended to file your tax return as early as possible.

    [20:10] - You will never be contacted over the phone, via text, social media, or email by a legitimate tax collector. It will always begin through the mail.

    [21:28] - If someone is telling you there is only one way to make a payment, be suspicious.

    [24:33] - The biggest problem in mail correspondence is when people do not respond. Open your mail especially during tax season.

    [26:31] - There is a form of identity theft in which people use another person’s Social Security number to gain employment.

    [28:06] - Be sure that you have everything available to validate your identity when verification is asked for.

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    North Carolina Department of Revenue

  • In this episode, we shine a light on the sinister phenomenon of virtual kidnapping. From deceptive phone calls to the psychological manipulation tactics, join us as we delve into the dark world where fears are exploited for profit, leaving victims shaken and families torn apart.

    Today’s guest is Titania Jordan. Titania is a nationally renowned tech, social media, and family expert who has appeared on programs such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, and more. She is the author and founder of Parenting in a Tech World and serves as Chief Parent Officer of the online safety company Bark Technologies.

    Show Notes:

    [1:06] - Titania Jordan shares her background and what she does at Bark Technologies.

    [3:04] - Virtual and cyber kidnapping are the same thing. Anything that involves kidnapping without actually moving a person’s physical location against their will.

    [4:26] - Titania explains a recent event in which an exchange student was targeted.

    [6:18] - Children and adults alike are targeted everyday, but Titania explains that older teenage boys are heavily targeted and impacted.

    [9:20] - Another type of scam is actually targeting the family and loved ones of someone to require a ransom for a kidnapping that hasn’t happened.

    [11:17] - Built-in location services are very helpful. Parental controls and alerts are also something important to have in place.

    [13:53] - Be careful answering the phone from a number you don’t know.

    [16:20] - Contact law enforcement immediately if this is something that happens to you.

    [19:51] - It is never a bad idea to be prepared.

    [22:17] - These events are opportunities to have really important conversations with your children.

    [24:41] - Flip the script and ask your children to help you do a safety audit.

    [27:52] - If it feels off, it probably is. Don’t hesitate to report it and talk about it.

    [30:26] - Bark Technologies offers a lot of programs and even a family smartphone that can help keep kids safe.

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    Bark Technologies

  • In this episode, we navigate the ever evolving landscape of messaging app dynamics, examining the challenges and opportunities in striking the right balance between preserving user privacy, ensuring robust security measures, and maintaining accountability in an ever changing digital landscape.

    Today’s guest is Kurt Long. Kurt is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in starting, growing, and building Information Security and Privacy businesses. Kurt is the Executive Director of The Long Family Force for Good Foundation which focuses on supporting not-for-profits dedicated to improving the mental health of families and children. Kurt is also the Co-Founder and CEO of BUNKR.

    Show Notes:

    [1:09] - Kurt shares his background and what he does through The Long Family Force for Good Foundation and BUNKR.

    [5:01] - He found himself interested in technology and the idea of doing something bigger than himself with a team.

    [9:26] - Currently, Kurt’s work is directed to messaging apps.

    [13:22] - In the early days of messaging, there was an inherent trust. We didn’t think about the bad guys yet.

    [15:57] - Communication platforms were never intended to secure communication.

    [17:31] - Most communication apps now do begin with good intent. Kurt describes WhatsApp as an example until it was purchased by Facebook.

    [19:50] - We want information and access, but we want safety, too.

    [21:38] - We have to put trust in someone to strike a balance.

    [23:41] - The Federal Trade Commission has announced apps that don’t support legal due process and implemented a fine for use of them.

    [25:56] - Kurt shares a true story that is a great example of inside trade problems in messaging apps.

    [28:28] - Using secret messaging apps or apps that feature disappearing messages are hard to track. You could be affiliated with someone doing something illegal.

    [30:29] - Privacy and security do help us retain rights we have.

    [32:35] - Messaging issues also impact the medical industry.

    [34:07] - Some countries have legislation that ban secret messaging apps, but they aren’t really being enforced.

    [36:25] - BUNKR has consumers and public usage in 32 countries worldwide and is popular with families.

    [37:52] - When companies have more control over their app, there is less criminality involved.

    [40:02] - This service is invitation based. You cannot receive random messages from anyone you do not invite.

    [41:55] - “The entire planet deserves to conduct their affairs with dignity at bank level security.”

    [44:29] - Kurt leans towards following United States laws and legal action, but also has a large legal team to help guide through unusual situations.

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    BUNKR

  • The fundamentals of scams are the same. However the technology used is increasingly more clever. It is important to know how to spot identity theft and credit card fraud and where to report it if and when it happens. Today’s guest is Paige Hanson. Paige is an authority in consumer and digital safety with nearly 20 years of experience in identity management. As co-founder and Head of Communications and Partnerships at Secure Labs, Paige has dedicated her career to protecting consumers and businesses from identity theft and cyber threats. She is a certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist and holds a certificate in Identity Leadership from the University of Texas. Paige also serves as an advisory board member to R.O.S.E. (Resources/Outreach to Safeguard the Elderly).

    Show Notes:

    [1:16] - Paige shares her background and what she does in her current roles.

    [3:02] - She worked with LifeLock in the early days of her career, but the experience led to her expertise in identity theft now.

    [6:08] - Chris shares what happened to a friend and their experience with identity theft.

    [7:40] - The Federal Trade Commission has an Identity Theft Affidavit.

    [9:25] - If you pay a bill that was made by a fraudster, it will be considered that you made the charge. Paige explains what best practice is.

    [12:06] - Always watch your credit card bills and take note of things that look unusual. Pay attention, even to the small charges.

    [13:47] - Notifications from your credit card company are a must have.

    [16:07] - Sometimes the notifications can seem annoying, but when something is out of the norm, these tools are critical.

    [17:48] - When you get an email that includes a link to login to an account, even if you recognize the sender, don’t click it. Develop the habit of using your browser.

    [20:22] - It can happen to anybody! Chris and Paige are security-minded, but it could happen to them as well.

    [22:48] - Paige shares an experience of noticing charges that she did not make and how noticing it early, she could cancel the order.

    [24:29] - Always use multi-factor authentication. Paige also recommends using an app in addition to what is included with your credit card company.

    [26:37] - Check links and make sure they are correct.

    [29:02] - At one time, Chris owned a business and shut it down because of the number of people making a fraudulent order.

    [30:45] - Online shopping and online payments are so common and a credit card doesn’t even need to be present to make a purchase.

    [32:35] - Paige explains how skimmers work and how they store card numbers.

    [35:19] - The likelihood of this happening is slimmer than other scams, but there are low-inconvenience and low-cost preventative measures you can take.

    [36:07] - The safest way to make in person payments is through mobile pay. If a location is breached, it doesn’t have your card info.

    [37:18] - If you use mobile pay, it is crucial that you keep your operating system up to date.

    [41:23] - When it comes to ATMs, it is best to go inside your bank’s branch and use the one inside. The worst ATMs to use are stand alone that are not attached to a bank.

    [44:33] - Identity theft could be accomplished by fraudsters by just taking advantage of low hanging fruit.

    [46:29] - Paige recommends using a credit card rather than a debit card.

    [49:11] - When traveling, Chris has a specific card that limits the amount of loss in the event of an issue.

    [52:47] - Using a service like PayPal helps with keeping things updated on accounts.

    [54:33] - When we make a convenient choice, we need to consider all the parts of risk management.

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    SecureLabs

  • Advances in technology are increasing at a rate we’ve never experienced before. Many will need to decide how much privacy they’re willing to give up for the sake of convenience and the impact that AI will have on that decision. Today’s guest is Leo Laporte. Leo is a broadcaster, author, tech pundit, the former host of The Tech Guy weekly radio show, and the founder and host of Twit.tv which is a podcast network focused on technology.

    Show Notes:

    [1:20] - Leo has been in broadcasting since 1976. He explains how he got into the industry.

    [5:02] - Eventually, Leo found himself learning more about technology which led to him writing for magazines.

    [9:32] - In 2004, Leo started a podcast network.

    [13:02] - Podcasting didn’t peak until 2018 and Leo already had a lot of podcast content online.

    [15:13] - Leo explains that if he were to start Twit.tv now, it would be a completely different business.

    [19:01] - Although technology has advanced, Chris admits he still loves listening to the radio and often has it on in the background.

    [21:40] - What motivated Leo to keep up was the terror and desperation callers showed when asking him questions.

    [24:09] - The goal has always been to educate people on technology but it is harder now than ever with how fast things are changing.

    [26:46] - A common problem right now is pig butchering. It is also becoming more and more apparent that many scammers are laborers.

    [31:04] - People in the field have to have the hope that people are good and we can help each other.

    [32:29] - Leo shares the experience of his ex-wife falling victim to a scam.

    [35:14] - A lot of people have the misconception that social media sites like Facebook operate like smaller businesses.

    [37:22] - Initially, AI like ChatGPT was pretty basic, but as it improves over time, scammers will be even stronger.

    [39:42] - What sounds impossible right now will be not only possible but a reality soon.

    [42:37] - If you are willing to give up some privacy, there are some real benefits you will get out of that.

    [44:17] - Leo shares what he expects will be available by the end of this year.

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    Twit.tv

  • Our golden generation, rich with wisdom and experience, unfortunately often finds itself in the crosshairs of deceitful schemes. In today’s episode, we shine a spotlight on the tactics employed by scammers, share real-life anecdotes, and provide practical advice to help safeguard our beloved seniors.

    Today’s guest is Joyce Petrowski. Joyce started her professional career in the public accounting sector and is an accountant and tax preparer. As an avid volunteer and philanthropist, she shares her focus on the non-profit sector and co-founded a non-profit in 2014. Since leaving that non-profit in 2021, she saw a need to educate people, especially the older adult population about the financial scams and how to protect themselves and their hard earned assets. In August 2021, Joyce founded R.O.S.E. (Resources/Outreach to Safeguard the Elderly), with the mission to prevent financial exploitation and frauding older adults through advocacy and education.

    Show Notes:

    [1:16] - Joyce shares her background and the mission of her non-profit, R.O.S.E.

    [3:42] - R.O.S.E. provides education and resources for older adults so they are aware of how these scams are happening.

    [5:54] - When speaking and meeting with people, Joyce sees the hesitation in people coming forward with past experiences with scams.

    [8:01] - It has been difficult for the general population, specifically the older generation, to keep up with the evolution of scams and red flags.

    [9:38] - The first sign that should raise some suspicion is unexpected contact.

    [12:07] - There is an option in your phone that can silence calls from unknown numbers so there is no accidentally answering scam calls.

    [15:03] - If you’re not sure, talk to somebody else that you know and trust. Them asking questions might help you determine if it is a scam.

    [18:51] - Many older adults feel uncomfortable sharing their experiences with their children to avoid losing their independence.

    [21:18] - Scammers don’t discriminate. They don’t care about age, gender, or even how much money you have.

    [23:34] - It can be very confusing and overwhelming when considering the ways to deal with this problem.

    [26:00] - Joyce shares some of the things that scammers are looking for and why it can be easy for them to get a victim into an emotional state.

    [29:44] - Scams are very sophisticated now compared to just ten years ago.

    [31:45] - Everybody needs to be aware and have conversations about this with the older adults in their lives.

    [33:17] - Joyce has recently started a podcast called Let’s Talk About Scams.

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    R.O.S.E. Resources/Outreach to Safeguard the Elderly

    Let’s Talk About Scams Podcast

  • There are so many things to learn about utilizing crypto, understanding the benefits as well as the benefits. It can be used to save time and money, but you need to be careful and only interact with reputable companies. Today’s guest is Bam Azizi. Bam is a tech entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Mesh, which provides FinTech companies with a seamless and secure one-click system for users to transfer their assets for deposit, payment, and payout. He previously founded No Password, a cybersecurity identity company acquired by LogMeIn in 2019.

    Show Notes:

    [0:53] - Bam shares his background and current endeavors with Mesh, of which he is co-founder and CEO.

    [2:26] - Bam explains how he found himself working in FinTech with his background in cybersecurity.

    [5:01] - You cannot educate every single user on the planet. People make mistakes all the time and there should be no shame about that.

    [7:37] - Defense needs to get it right 100% of the time, but to move the scam forward, the scammer only needs to get it right once.

    [11:01] - Security and compliance act like guardrails.

    [12:30] - There are mechanisms in place that can protect users, but there are pitfalls and disadvantages.

    [13:41] - Crypto is like any other type of data, but how it is stored is different.

    [14:57] - Crypto is inherently secure, but transit becomes a problem.

    [17:34] - Sometimes, you just don’t know who you are sending money to or if the company receiving funds is legitimate.

    [19:40] - Bam explains what happens when we initiate a transaction and try to rescind it.

    [22:02] - We should be able to identify the people interacting with blockchain.

    [23:40] - The industry wants crypto to be adopted world wide, but if that were to happen, some things need to be accepted.

    [24:48] - The blame can’t be placed on one entity.

    [26:40] - One major benefit to crypto is global transfers.

    [30:44] - There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to crypto and you never actually see it. It’s hard to think about in-transit security.

    [33:30] - There is a huge pushback against crypto from banks and financial institutions.

    [35:09] - Crypto has been demonized to some extent, but as a technology and the advances we will see in coming years, it’s not inherently bad.

    [37:34] - We can build practices and mechanisms that can prevent collapses.

    [40:36] - There are some risks in using crypto but some risks are much bigger than others.

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    Mesh Payments Website

    Bam Azizi on LinkedIn

  • There are times we can answer a question without much thought. If we were to examine the reasons why we gave the answer, would we change our response? Today’s guest is David McRaney. David is a journalist, author, and lecturer fascinated with brains, minds, and culture. He has created a blog, book, and ongoing podcast entitled You Are Not So Smart which is about self-delusion. His most recent book, How Minds Change, is all about the science behind how and why people do and do not change their mind and the intricacies and nuances of persuasion.

    Show Notes:

    [1:09] - David shares what he does as a science journalist and how he found himself interested in the topics he writes and speaks about.

    [4:38] - The way people work has always fascinated him.

    [6:50] - David shares a story about psychology that really excited him.

    [8:35] - In the height of blogging’s popularity, David began his blog You Are Not So Smart.

    [9:57] - David explains what the Introspection Illusion is.

    [12:31] - If you want something, you will come up with reasons why.

    [13:40] - An example of this is when you share what you like about another person.

    [15:59] - This concept can be looked at as delusion, but it’s really just how brains work.

    [19:30] - What do you have in place to approach your own feelings and beliefs?

    [23:08] - David and Chris go through an exercise to demonstrate guided metacognition.

    [27:00] - We can answer some questions quickly, but others need more thought.

    [30:00] - The technique that David demonstrated is used to allow people more introspection.

    [32:22] - Start with things that you love and practice this technique.

    [33:37] - David and Chris talk about conspiracy theories and how to improve critical thinking.

    [35:27] - ConspiracyTest.org is a site that gives you a score on how susceptible you are to conspiratorial thinking.

    [37:48] - Conspiracy theories seem much more prevalent now, but conspiratorial thinking is no more rampant than it has been in the past.

    [39:32] - What should we do if a friend or family member has fallen into conspiratorial thinking?

    [42:17] - Finding reasons to rationalize conspiracy theories has never been easier with the internet.

    [44:31] - There are reasons that some people are more attuned to this thinking and some are more skeptical.

    [48:36] - Think about a scenario and imagine your initial reaction.

    [49:33] - Build rapport and assure the other person that you are not out to shame them. Get out of the debate frame.

    [52:01] - You can have conversations that don’t end in a dead end.

    [55:13] - Reactance is when someone takes away your agency.

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    David McRaney’s Website

    The Conspiracy Theory Test

    You Are Not Smart Podcast