Here’s What Crazy Mass Shooters Look Like

Mass shootings. They happen so often these days, they are hardly making headlines, and when they do, they are soon pushed out of the news cycle thanks to what’s going on in the White House or in Russia. There are many red flags that show what crazy mass shooters look like.

Look at this:

According to reports, the Thousand Oaks shooter assaulted his track coach. The Florida high school shooter was accused of threatening, abusing, and stalking people he knew. People say that the Las Vegas shooter was verbally abusing his girlfriend while in public. What do you see here? A pattern.

The FBI is on the case here, but that’s hardly comforting due to the sheer volume of unstable people out there. Earlier this year, the FBI released a report that shows the “pre-attack behaviors” of people accused of or convicted of mass shootings. Here’s another takeaway: 63 percent of them were white, and 94 percent of them were male. The report concludes with a takeaway that shows a very troubling and complex view of the people who have failed to positively handle the stressors in lives. In addition, they all display several concerning behaviors, they plan and prepare, and they often share their intent to attack with others.

It often takes several people to spot every red flag that a potential mass shooter displays, according to the FBI. These flags often include violent behavior, abuse, bullying, and harassment. To get even closer to what a mass shooter looks like, take a look at the following stats:

  • 57% of shooters have shown “concerning” behaviors
  • 48% of shooters have talked about suicide
  • 35% of shooters have made threats
  • 33% of shooters have a history of physical aggression
  • 33% of shooters have anger issues
  • 21% of shooters have used firearms inappropriately
  • 16% of shooters have used violence against their partners
  • 11% of shooters have been accused of stalking

The FBI report also shows that most shooters spent at least a week planning their attacks, and they often give their family and friends some type of “preview” of what’s to come. If people do become concerned about a future mass shooter’s behavior, it’s rare for them to go to the police, and they often become targets of the shooter, themselves.

It’s easy to make a report, however, so if you feel that someone you know might have the makings to be a mass shooter and made threats, you can report this to the FBI online. Finally, there are 13 states where “red flag” gun laws are in place. This means that a person’s guns could be removed if they are showing a high risk of violent behavior. These states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Scammers are Targeting Your Venmo and P2P Accounts

Do you use Venmo or other P2P accounts? If so, you definitely could be a target of scammers. Across the county, people are losing their cash, and it often happens so quickly that they don’t even know what’s happening.

You might think that you couldn’t be a victim, but scammers are often smarter and trickier, and they won’t hesitate to take advantage of you.

Here’s how they are doing it:

A stranger approaches you to use your phone. They have a sob story to make this scam more credible. You hand your phone over, they make it look like they are dialing, but instead, they are doing something else: swiping and searching your phone for “Venmo” and easily getting into your Venmo account and transferring money to themselves. People are losing thousands of dollars simply for being kind to a stranger.

Tips to Keep Yourself Safe

When using a P2P payment system, you should know that they all require access to your financial info. So, when you use them, make sure that your account settings are set in a way to ensure all of the security measures that you can set. In order to keep yourself safe from scams like this, there are some tips that can keep you safe.

  • Two step authentication. Access the menu, turn it on. This might include using PIN, a biometric log in, like a fingerprint.
  • Get the money out of your account. In most P2P apps, when you get a payment, the money is generally added to the balance held in the app. It doesn’t appear in your bank account until you transfer it or use it in another way. If you want to transfer money to your bank account, you should definitely make sure that the deposit went through. Just keep in mind that it could take a couple of days to transfer.
  • Pay only those you know well. Scammers know a lot of tricks, and they will find methods to trick you into paying them in ways you would never expect. So, if you are sending money from one of these apps or sites, make sure that you know the person you are sending money to. If you are using the app or site to get money from someone else, transfer the payment into your bank account and make sure it transfers before you send any goods.
  • Disconnect from Social Media: Finally, keep in mind that there are apps or sites might share your transaction information on social media. Check your social media settings because some of these settings might be set to share this info. Just make sure you are comfortable with what is going out on social media.

How to Protect You Frequent Flier Miles NOW

Social Security numbers and credit card numbers are not the only types of data that hackers are after. Now, they are looking at frequent flyer accounts, and they are stealing reward miles, and then selling them online.

How do Hackers Steal Frequent Flyer Miles?

As with other types of ID theft, hackers use info that they have illegally obtained to access frequent flyer accounts. With more data breaches happening than ever before, hundreds of millions of records are exposed, and thus, hackers have great access to the personal info they need to get into these accounts.

What do Hackers Do with Frequent Flyer Miles?

It is hard for hackers to use these miles on their own because often, the travel has to be booked in the name of the owner. However, it is very easy to transfer these miles to other accounts or to use the miles to purchase other rewards. Usually, no ID is needed for a transfer like this. This is also difficult to track because hackers use the dark web and VPNs to remain anonymous.

Hackers also sell these miles, and they catch a pretty penny. For airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Delta, they can get hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for their work.

In addition to transferring these miles from one account to another, hackers are also selling the account’s login information. Once someone buys this, they can now get into the owner’s account and do what they want with the miles.

Protecting Your Frequent Flyer Miles

There are some things that you can do to protect your frequent flyer miles. You should check your frequent flyer accounts regularly using your airlines mobile app. Change all your airline passwords and never re-use passwords and set up a different password for each account.

Other things that you can do include the following:

  • Protect your personal information by making sure every online account has a unique and difficult to guess password.
  • Use a dark web scan. This will show you if any personal information is out on the dark web.
  • If you do find that your miles have been stolen, it also is probable that your personal information has been compromised, too. Monitor your credit report and check it often for anything that looks odd. This is a big sign of an issue.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Genealogy Websites Scare Me, But This is Good

Investigators in Sacramento have arrested Joseph James DeAngelo for rape, but they only found him based on records from a genealogical website.

10 Internet Security Myths that Small Businesses Should Be Aware OfThe effort wasn’t easy, but this guy is now off the streets. The process started with taking a look at DNA that was collected from the crime scene, which happened many years ago. Investigators didn’t have a match. However, recently, they started comparing DNA with genetic profiles that have been collected from ancestry sties. These are companies that collect DNA from people to tell them more about their family backgrounds.

Though DeAngelo’s DNA was not found, investigators were able to match the DNA of his family members with the DNA found at the crime scene. Investigators looked closer and noticed that DeAngelo not only lived in the area where the rape occurred, but also was in the same age range as the suspect. The investigators began watching DeAngelo and picked up a piece of trash that he discarded. They tested it in the lab, and the DNA on it was a perfect match to the DNA at the crime scene.

Once investigators realized they had a match, they knew that they had to spring into action. They were able to quickly make an arrest. DeAngelo was booked into jail and charged with two murders. He is also expected to face an additional 12 homicide charges, which occurred from 1974 to 1986. Because the crimes occurred in several counties, it is likely that county prosecutors will come together as one prosecution team to put DeAngelo on trial. It is also likely that the trial would not be held in Sacramento because the majority of the crimes occurred in Southern California. There is also the question as to if the prosecution team will charge DeAngelo with rape, as the statute of limitations has expired. There is no statute of limitations for murder in the state of California.

Some prosecutors, however, are looking to the FBI to help put DeAngelo behind bars for the alleged rapes, too, including Jeff Reisig from Yolo Country, and the DA from Contra Costa County. They believe that DeAngelo is the so-called East Area Rapist, who has been connected to 12 murders, 51 rapes, and hundreds of burglaries.

There are certainly some issues with these DNA tests, but that can be for another time. For now, it’s pretty important to know that there is some good that can come out of it, especially if it means getting criminals off the street.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

How Your Username Can Be used to Track You

You probably have a few usernames, or you might have just one that you use for every site. Either way, your user names can be used not just to identify you online, but it can also be used to track you and find out information about you. How do people track you based on your user name? They do the following:

They Start with a Google Search

The first thing people do to track your username is do a Google search. You will be amazed by all of the information that is out there. However, Google is not the only game in town, so the best scammers will search on other search engines, too, including Bing,  USA.gov, various information broker sites and within social media.

They Then Move on to Social Networks

With so many people on social networks, it is a good possibility that a scammer can find you there, too, especially if they know the username that you use over and over again. It’s easy to find someone on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, and in many cases, this is a gold mine of information for them.  Once they find your account, they can do any number of things like save your profile image, and then do a reverse image source. This often helps them find even more information.

Don’t Forget the Blogs

Savvy searchers will also do searches of a username on blogging sites like Tumblr, Blogger, and LiveJournal. Unless your blog is locked down, and most are not, they can read them.

Do a General Sweep of Username Searches

There are other sites, too, that allow people to search by username. For example, you can search for a username on Spotify. This could tell them what types of music you like. They also might look on a site like Reddit, and they can see any comments you have made. They aren’t done yet, though…you can even search for usernames on sites like Amazon.com and eBay. As you can imagine, once they go through all of these steps, they can know a ton about you.

You might think that this is an invasion of privacy, but all of this information is totally legal, totally available, and totally free.

And many of you are TOTALLY putting it ALL out there!

If you put your information out there, it is there for anyone to look at and use as they will. So, consider changing up your usernames, and while you are at it, take a look at your accounts and content to make sure nothing there’s going to get you in trouble, and beef up the security options.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Beautiful Buxom Brunette Lures Boxer to His Death

Eddie Leal, 23, was an up-and-coming professional boxer who gave free boxing lessons in his garage to down-and-out neighborhood teens. He was a good guy. And like most young men, was looking for a girlfriend.

Phishing is Getting FishierOne day he saw that a young woman, Rebecca Santhiago, was asking for a friend request on his Facebook page.

The brunette bombshell with fashion model looks said she was 21, liked to party and was attending college.

What Eddie did: He accepted the friend request.

What Eddie should have done: right-clicked on the profile image and then selected off the drop-down menu, “Search Google for image.” He would have discovered that the results were suspicious for a stolen image, and that Rebecca Santhiago – at a minimum – did not look like her profile image.

The next move would have been for Eddie to ask Rebecca to post a picture of herself holding up a sign with her name or his name – or a recent newspaper – because “I googled your profile image and it’s on other sites.”

Few young men would have the nerve to do this, fearing it would end the correspondence. But if it ends it, this likely means that the woman was fraudulent. Better to learn this early on, right?

A correspondence – only via Facebook, ensued. Rebecca said she had no phone.

WARNING! A 21-year-old college student with no phone?

What Eddie should have done: Requested she borrow a phone so he could communicate by voice or use Skype to see her as well. This request would have ended the correspondence. And saved Eddie’s life.

One evening he agreed to meet Rebecca at 2:00 in the morning at a nearby park – her idea.

WARNING! What woman in her right mind agrees to meet a man, whom she’s never seen nor heard speaking, at 2 AM at a park? Okay, a few oddballs out there might, but Rebecca’s request should have set off sirens.

What Eddie did: Drove to the park to meet her near a dark street corner, per the plan.

What he should have done: Insist that they meet in the middle of the day for lunch at a café. This request would have ended the correspondence. And kept Eddie breathing.

The meeting took place a few weeks after the Facebook correspondence began. When Eddie arrived and waited in his car, a young man appeared and shot him point-blank in the head.

Who was Rebecca?

She was Manuel Edmundo Guzman, Jr., 19, one of the teens who had once shown up to check out the free boxing lessons.

Extensive forensic investigating revealed that the Facebook messages had come from Manuel’s computer, and that the image belonged to a model unrelated to him. He murdered Eddie for the thrill of it.

Impersonating someone else via cyber communication is called catphishing. Manuel’s fake FB page included friends whom he may have acquired simply by inserting himself into cyber conversations and then making friend requests. Anyone can build a fake Facebook page. Usually it’s done for non-homicidal reasons, but you now know the warning signs of a homicidal catphisher.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

Financial Preparedness in a Disaster

You have probably heard that it’s important to be prepared for a disaster. You might have a first aid kit set aside, food and water, or a battery-operated radio. But, are you financially prepared?

Creating an Emergency Fund

It might be tough but try to set aside some money a little at a time. Even if you can put $10 a week in an envelope, it’s better than nothing. Saving change can really add up quickly, too. Keeping a credit card available is also a good idea, but remember…in a disaster situation, it might be very difficult to use a credit card. Here’s a few more ways to save some cash in the event of a disaster:

  • Limit or Quit Habits – If you smoke, drink fancy lattes, or even love your extravagant dinners, consider limiting them or even quitting them. Let’s say the latte you get every day before work is $6 once you pay for the tip. If you stop doing that, or even make them at home, you could save $1000 to $2000 or more over the course of a year.
  • Pay Bills When They are Due – You might not even realize it but paying your bills on time can also help you save money. Each late fee adds up, and so does interest. Most major lenders and utility companies allow you to schedule payments in advance, so if you are sure to have money in the bank, this is a great idea.
  • Get a New Gig – Finally, think of things that you can do to earn more money. Do you have a hobby you like, such as woodworking or knitting, that you could do for profit? Do you write? There are easy to find writing jobs online, too. If you have a skill like that, or something similar, consider looking at freelance sites like Fiverr. Can you cook? Bake and sell your creations to family and friends. All of these things can bring extra cash in; cash that you can use in the case of a disaster.

There is not a solution here that will work for every family, but you should be able to think of some way to help you put away a little money. You also might be able to do two or three things. Some people believe we are close to some type of world disaster, like, I dunno, our government is taking about building short range nukes again. GREAT IDEA! So you might want to be ready just in case.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

It Should Be Illegal for Teen Girls to Give Rides to Strangers

If only. But that’ll never be.

Brandi Hicks, 17, and her high school friend, Liz Reiser, exited a video store at 9:30 pm, where they were approached by Matthew Vaca, a creepy acting stranger.

He asked them for a ride to his house. At first they refused, but then he offered $20 for gas. The ID Channel re-enactment portrayed Vaca as stating that his home was “just down the road,” that he had been “walking all day,” and that he wanted to get home before his kids went to bed.

The girls were sold and told him to get into the backseat.

What Brandi, the driver, should have done: Refused, possibly gone back into the store (with Liz) until Matthew left, or possibly asking the store manager to call the police.

The “down the road” seemed nowhere in sight as Matthew told Brandi to keep driving. Then he told her to pull over. He got out, during which the girls really began feeling fearful, discussing whether or not they should just leave him.

What Brandi should have done: Left him.

But Matthew got back into the car, and shortly after, threatened her with a gun, directing her to take the car into a wooded area.

He ordered both out, took Brandi’s shoelaces and bound her to the steering wheel, then ordered Liz to go off with him, eventually stabbing her to death.

He returned for Brandi, untied her and led her away, beating her, then using a shoelace to strangle her (it’s not known why he didn’t have the knife).

What Brandi should have done during the strangulation: Play dead.

What Brandi did: Play dead!

Faking death, she was pushed into a nearby river, and somehow while Matthew loitered nearby for an hour, pretended to be dead while floating in the water.

Once he was gone, she climbed to land and flagged down the first car she saw, which was a police officer’s.

We need to track back to the beginning, because once in the woods, victims don’t have too many options unless they are trained in self-defense tactics.

If you’re ever tempted to give a stranger a ride because he’s giving a story (“I’ve been on my feet all day”), remind yourself of some facts:

  • If he’s able-bodied and lives “down the road,” he doesn’t need ANY ride.
  • If he appears injured or sick, call him a cab, especially if he has $20.
  • If you refuse him a ride, what’s the worst that could happen to him if he’s truly harmless? Aching feet.

Bottom line: Under NO circumstances give a stranger, including a female, a ride. If she looks pregnant, she could be using pillows. Women, too, can be vicious.

Matthew Vaca will die in prison.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.