🏤 Looking for a job? Don’t fall for this scam
May 5, 2023
In partnership with Komando Community
Happy Cinco de Mayo! A big event is happening tomorrow. Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has grown to be one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Is this true or false: No horse with a name beginning with Q, X or Y has ever won the Derby.
OK, enough horsin’ around. Let’s get to the tech news. I have a big warning today you need to pass on to anyone you know looking for a job and your earbuds can be hacked, really. — Kim
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IN THIS ISSUE
TODAY’S TOP STORY
‘Return to scammer’ – This USPS plot goes deep
So many people are out of work. And, when you’re desperate for an opportunity, you’re especially vulnerable to wishful thinking. Enter scammers.
Security researchers found leaked data on 900,000 folks who simply wanted a job with the USPS. But their applications didn’t just get “lost in the mail.” It was an elaborate data heist. Here’s how it worked.
Imagine you’re a job seeker …
The USPS promises competitive pay, regular salary increases, healthcare and a pension. You think, “Hey, I’d look damn good in a USPS uniform!” So, you Google something like “USPS employment” and click one of the top results.
📫 You’re taken to a page loaded with photos of smiling, hard-working folks loading packages, delivering mail and driving trucks. This site looks like the official USPS site, right down to the logo. And here comes the pitch. Pay us for training, postal exam prep and coaching for a job at the USPS. Get a job offer within 30 days of the interview or your money back.
Now, of course, this is a big pile of BS. Companies promising jobs with the USPS are breaking federal law.
This is where this story gets really interesting
As it turns out, the people behind this site, and many others like it, are involved in drug trafficking, mysterious deaths and legal battles with the Federal Trade Commission. I smell a new Netflix series …
Many of these fake federal job placement sites operate under an outfit called “US Job Services.” This company has executives, contractors and employees working from a call center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And that company has been leaking customer data, including payment records, since 2016.
One computer was infected with malware and uploaded tons of customer data to cybercriminals in Russia. If you have 15 minutes, you can read more about this leak at Kreb’s Security.
Here’s the deal. If you’re out of work, don’t trust companies that promise to get you hired elsewhere. Always apply with the company directly. By the way, the postal exam is 100% free and if you want a job with the USPS, go here.
✅ There are a number of websites offering job placement services that you should avoid. Check out the full list here.
DEAL OF THE DAY
AI isn’t just taking jobs: Looking for a job? LinkedIn makes it easy to DM hiring managers. And, launching in the next week, artificial intelligence (AI) will find hiring managers and compose custom messages — for $40 a month, of course. But user, beware! If it screws up, there’s no way to un-send a career-killing DM.
One password to rule them all: Enable passkeys for your Google account. Instead of entering a traditional password to sign in, you can do it by unlocking your device with your fingerprint, face or PIN. Passkeys are local to your devices, so it’s a heck of a lot harder to hack your account.
Freebie alert: Have an Amazon Fire stick, box or TV? Over 400 free channels will be added before summer. That includes free local and national news, sports, travel, cooking and old TV shows. The catch: commercials. Look for the “free” tab on your Fire device’s menu. Still waiting for the 4K Star Wars reboot where Yoda says, “HDMI.”
Looking for love in all the wrong places: I just did a podcast with “Today Show” Financial Editor Jean Chatzky, where I share the story of a woman who gave $50,000 to one romance scammer and $70,000 to another. Listen here to learn how to recognize scams and what to do if you’ve been hit.
Even earbuds are a target: AirPods, Beats Fit Pro and Powerbeats Pro headphones just got a firmware fix that patches a security exploit. To check if yours are updated, pair to your iPhone and go to Settings > Bluetooth. You can’t force this update, so be patient if you don’t see it yet.
Blast from the past: This is amazing. Archaeologists used Google Earth images to discover three ancient Roman camps from AD 106, now known as Saudi Arabia. The distance was pretty far between the camps, so they traveled by camel. I hear they used to park them in a Camelot.
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Wanna hit 100? Live in these counties
It turns out that where you live could predict how long you live. And you might want to move to Colorado — three of the top five U.S. counties with the highest life expectancy rates are in the Rocky Mountain state.
The University of Wisconsin collected and analyzed data from 2018 to 2020. Some factors contributing to a longer life are obvious: exercise, eating habits, healthcare, community safety and air/water quality.
The not-so-obvious? Internet access.
People in rural areas live longer than those in more urban areas. Why? In cities, there’s bad air quality and people are more stressed out (probably because of social media). Here’s another fun fact: people living by ski resorts have longer, healthier lives. Think altitude.
Top five counties with the longest life expectancy:
The average American can expect to live to 76 (the lowest since 1996). My advice? Never challenge death to a pillow fight unless you’re prepared for the reaper cushions …
⚰️ Wondering how your county scored in terms of life expectancy? Check the list here on my site.
What to do if you butt-dial 911
Most smartphones have easier ways to call 911 than hitting all three buttons. Apple’s Emergency SOS feature is a lifesaver, literally:
Press the power button five times fast to call emergency services and let your trusted contacts know where you are.
Easy, right? That’s why emergency operating lines are bogged down with misdials. Let’s say you’re messing around with your phone and accidentally call emergency services. Your first instinct might be to hang up and pretend it didn’t happen — stop right there!
If you don’t stay on the line and explain what’s going on, they have to investigate the call. A total waste of time and money for police, EMS and fire departments.
Bottom line: Stay on the phone, explain the situation, apologize and answer any questions the operator may have.
🚨 Want to enable easier emergency calls and auto texts to your loved ones? Follow the steps here.
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BY THE NUMBERS
The iPhone’s average selling price. The cost has steadily climbed, up from $882 a year ago. The iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099. Yeah, that’s for a phone and not a laptop.
The cost to create a deepfake “digital human.” Pretty cheap, eh? Tencent, a Chinese tech company, can turn around a high-quality AI copy of anyone within 24 hours using just three minutes of video and 100 sentences of voice material. Scary stuff.
The number of graphics cards smuggled in a van of live lobsters. This was my “What the heck?!” headline in Friday’s podcast: Hong Kong authorities intercepted the shipment and, among 617 pounds of lobsters, found the Nvidia tech — valued at around $76,500. What a lobster tail!
WHAT THE TECH?
On the whiskey diet, you can lose 7 days.
UNTIL NEXT TIME …
🐎 The answer: It’s true. No horse with a name beginning with Q, X or Y has ever won the Derby. And I just learned this fun fact: All the horses racing at the Derby are three years old.
Thanks for getting my free newsletter. It’s such fun being able to spread tech know-how this way. Be sure to tell a few folks to subscribe at GetKim.com. That would be amazing! — Kim
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