Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Don't click that link

One of my early morning pastimes is reading some of the police reports filed overnight. The stuff that happens after midnight often contains the cases that just make you shake your head. So it was this morning, when I noticed an Incident Report on a call classified as "Misc Other." I've learned that when an officer makes a report on something with this call type, it's often a doozy.

The reporting party received an email from a sender with an address beginning with "donotreply@".  The topic concerned student loan consolidation. The email contained a hyperlink, which the reporting party followed to another website. On that site, she supplied her name, address, date of birth, and social security number. Afterwards, she got a bit concerned, and called the police.

So far, no nefarious activity has been attributed to this breach, but time will tell, and our victim is right to be worried. Officer Jareke had a chat with her about the wisdom of providing such information to anonymous solicitors.

What intrigued me about this case is the fact that, as in the past, the victim is relatively young--in her 20s. I've looked into the demographics of fraud victims before, and discovered that the stereotype of elderly folks who are too trusting is not always so accurate. While retirees are sometimes targeted, most of those who are wooed by such scams aren't eligible for the senior citizen discount. Many victims are in their teens and 20s, perhaps too accustomed to laying information out there on the web for others to pick over.


Steve said...

Aside from the fact that the victim provided information to a stranger, I would hope that she, and others, realize that "consolidating loans" means paying even more interest, just spread out over a longer time.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she is part of the "million student march" demanding free public college tuition, free student loan forgiveness, and $15 minimum wage for students working on college campuses?

Anonymous said...

How about information about how Lincoln public safety would respond to an event like Paris? Do you have policies in place? Are there sufficient resources?