Hashtag Trending Dec 23 – Cyber criminals impersonating brands using search engine ads; Tesla offers $7500 discount; Robocall company faces $300 million penalty

FBI warns users of cyber criminals impersonating brands using search engine ads, Tesla offers $7500 discount on some cars and a Robocall firm faces a $300 million penalty.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Friday, December 23rd, and I am your host, Samira Balsara.

The FBI is warning the public that cyber criminals are using search engine advertisement services to impersonate brands and redirect users to malicious websites that host ransomware and steal login credentials and financial information. Cyber criminals purchase ads that appear within web search results, using a domain similar to an actual business. These ads link to a webpage identical to the impersonated business and contains links to download softwares that is actually malware. The download page looks legitimate and the download itself is named after the program the user intended to download. These cyber attack methods have also been used to impersonate websites involving finances, especially crypto exchange platforms. The FBI recommends users to verify the URL to ensure the site is authentic before clicking, type the business url directly into the search engine rather than looking up the business and install an ad blocking extension. The FBI also recommends businesses to warn consumers when they notice similar domains as theirs, educate users on spoofed programs and how to find the correct URL of softwares they wish to install.

Source: FBI

Tesla is offering $7500 credit and 10 000 miles of free supercharging on a new Model 3 and Model Y cars in the US, Mashable reported. The car has to be delivered between Dec 21 and 31 2022 which means that the company is trying to boost sales before the end of the quarter. The company is also offering a $5,000 credit for Model 3 and Model Y cars in Canada, and a 6000 yuan ($860) discount on some models in China. The limitation on US Federal tax credit that was imposed on Tesla due to the company shipping more than 200,000 cars in the year, will also be removed on Jan 1st, 2023. Tesla was already offering a discount of $3750 on some cars earlier this month. The fact that the discount’s been doubled suggests that Tesla is not happy with demand for its cars in this holiday quarter.

Source: Mashable

The FCC has slapped a robocall company with a $300 million fine, claiming that the firm which is the largest it ever investigated, made over 5 billion calls in three months, enough to have called each person in the United States 15 times, Engadget reported. In July of this year, the FCC ordered its first ever “K4 Notice” and “N2 Order”, directing all US telephone providers to stop carrying traffic related to car warranty scam calls, which resulted in a 99 per cent drop in the volume of such calls, since June. The FCC proposed its largest fine ever because it found the robocallers to have committed “egregious violations”, including incessant calls, harassment, or using dirty tricks like calling health care workers from spoofed hospital numbers. The firm also violated multiple FCC rules, like failing to identify the caller at the start of a message. 

Source: Engadget

Philadelphians earned a free to use, old-fashioned public payphone at a bookstore as part of engineers Mike Dank and Naveen Albert’s PhilTel project, launched to resist big tech and spearhead the restoration of the public communications infrastructure, TechXplore reported. The founders said that efforts to restore the public phone also represents resistance to society’s fast and thoughtless adoption of technology, to the detriment of individual choices and the environment. Dank said in an interview that the first PhilTel telephone is a chance to show that PhilTel can successfully install a phone and keep the hardware that connects the phone to the internet working.

Source: TechXplore

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, and we hope you have a happy holiday season. I’m Samira Balsara.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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