‘Tis the season! Watch out for these scams!

Scams aren’t new; they’ve been around for decades. With technological advances and the rise of the Internet, scams have gotten more elaborate and convincing. They are used to con the most unsuspecting and vulnerable among us.

Most of us have heard of the more common cons out there, such as claims of false inheritances as well as IRS and social security scams. However, new scams are on the rise and they are not always as easy to spot! We have compiled a list with some of the current cons out there! The best way to combat scammers is to be aware of the scams, making you less likely to fall for them! Here’s what to look for so you don’t become a victim.


Free WiFi scams:
Free WiFi scams have become increasingly common, as most of us tend to jump on WiFi when we’re not at home or at the office, as we work to preserve our allotted cellular data for the month. The next time you’re looking for a wireless hotspot and locate one called Free WiFi, beware! These WiFi scams enable hackers to access personal information, emails, usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. This can happen anywhere you try to connect to the internet while on the go, but it is especially prevalent at airports.

Social Media Q&A Scams:
Sometimes on Facebook, people may share “viral” posts which include questions such as: “What was your first car?” or “Who was your best friend as a child?”. If you’ve noticed the most common security questions on Apple or your bank’s website, you’ll notice that these are very much the same. Don’t ever answer them on a public forum such as Facebook or Instagram! If people can get one or two answers like this, they can get into your accounts claiming they’ve forgotten your password.

Utility Scams:
Fraudsters have been taking advantage of rising utility bills to prey on consumers and steal personal and financial information. There are two common types of utility scams—the phone call from a fake representative of your utility company and the more brazen door-to-door promotional pricing or product scam. These scams are particularly prevalent in California with scammers pretending to represent SCE, PG&E and other local utility companies. For example, customers have been notified through phone calls and emails of overdue bills that appear to be sent form PG&E and need to be paid for immediately. Other times, the companies ask for deposits due to new changes in policies, etc.

If you believe you have been scammed or believe someone has attempted to defraud you, be sure and tell the FTC. Your reports help the FTC and law enforcement partners stop scammers. We hope you found this information useful and hope you share your newfound knowledge with your loved ones to help protect them from the long-term damage financial crimes can do.

Please keep in mind that Race will never ask for any personal information through email and all official communication will come from a race.com domain and late notices are always sent on official Race letterhead. Our company does not seek out deposits to fund our fiber deployment nor do we require payments via money orders or gift cards.  

If you’re ever in doubt about someone who claims to represent Race, be sure to ask for their company badge as it is required for all our employees to have proper identification when interacting with customers.

Cyber-security: How to keep your children safe!

The Internet is a great resource for you and your family. At the touch of a button, you have access to a world of knowledge and entertainment. Sadly, the internet is also a dangerous place to hang out – particularly for children. Nearly 60% of teens have received an email or instant message from a stranger – half of them have replied. With summer approaching, the potential for children to wind up on dangerous sites increases since kids have more free time and that usually means more screen time.

So what can you do? Just to get started, let’s list some things you can do almost immediately to help keep your kids safe while they’re online.

It won’t take a lot of time to try these suggestions, and while we’ll talk later on about setting up parental controls through your Race router, the following steps can give you some peace of mind until you can do so.

    1. Place computers in a common area of the house:
      Don’t allow kids to have a computer in their room. You’d be surprised by how much the mere presence of a parent who may or may not be looking over a child’s shoulder while they use the computer can keep a child in line. They have no way of knowing if your eyes are good enough to see across the room, now do they? Make sure the computer’s screen is visible from other parts of the room and isn’t turned toward a wall.
    2. Set reasonable time and usage limits:
      Set rules about what your child can and can’t do when on the internet. Set time limits on their computer use. If they say they’re researching homework, maybe you don’t include that in the time limits – but make sure they’re using it for homework.
    3. Discuss the dangers of the web with your child:
      Sit down and discuss the dangers of the internet. Talk openly and honestly about what’s out there and the kind of stuff they want to avoid. Forewarned is forearmed.
    4. Teach them to protect their privacy
      While they won’t fully understand the consequences of revealing personal information online, you should still make sure your children know:
      * Never to give their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, school, or picture without your permission
      * Not to open e-mail from people they don’t know
      * Not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages
      * Not to get together with anyone they “meet” online.
    5. Keep the youngsters out of online chat rooms, and do your best to reinforce the old rule, “never talk to strangers.”:
      Chat rooms are a popular place for sex offenders to meet their prey. If possible, keep your kids out of chat rooms altogether. Make sure your child knows that no matter how nice an online “friend” may seem to be, they are still a stranger, and may not be who they appear to be. ​
    6. Know Passwords:
      Be upfront with your children that you will need to have their passwords for all of their devices and for all of their social media sites. Once you have the passwords, check these sites regularly to see what your child is seeing and posting.
    7. NEVER let your child upload or download photos without your permission:
      Online predators will often send photos supposedly of themselves or request photos of the child.

Turn your ISP into your ally
Before buying any safety product, experts recommend that you work with what you’ve got, starting with your Internet service provider – hopefully that is us at Race Communications!

Your Gigafy Me router includes free parental controls that can limit children’s access to websites and communication features (e-mail, instant messaging, chat) by the time of day and other variables. If you don’t have a router rental through Race, give us a call to have that added or if you have any questions about these features.

Bills, bills, bills – what should you know?

When you place an order with Race, we do our best to explain our billing system and process, but we know sometimes you’re just excited to finally be placing an order which is why we have created this brief cheat sheet on our billing process.

When it comes to billing, we try our best to KEEP THINGS SIMPLE – which is why we make sure that we bill you on the first of the month, every month (with the exception of January). It helps you have peace of mind that we won’t be sending your statement on different dates. Everyone has the same due date (the 20th of the month) as well. Starting the 21st of the month, you will begin accruing late fees.

Now that you know the “when”, what about the “how”?

We offer two forms of bill delivery:

Option 1 – ELECTRONIC (PAPERLESS) BILLING: No more paper, no more stamps, and no more headaches! You can choose to receive your statements via e-mail. This allows you to have a digital copy as well as a hard copy should you choose to print your statement.

Option 2 – PAPER BILLING: While we highly encourage everyone to switch over to paperless billing, we understand that some of our customers may want to have a hardcopy of their bills. For customers who choose paper billing, a $2.00 surcharge will apply.

We like to make things easy on you which is why we offer various methods of payment:

Option 1 – AUTOMATED BILLING: Yes, you can set up automatic payments – if you are not already set up, the transition is simple. To automate your billing, please call 877-722-3833, select option 2 followed by option 4 to speak with our billing department who will be happy to assist you with the process. Each time a payment is processed, you will receive an email receipt for your records.

Option 2 – ONLINE PAYMENT: Don’t like auto-draft? Not a problem. Next time a payment is due, simply log on to our online portal via our website (www.race.com), and follow the instructions for online payment using the payment method of your choosing.

Option 3 – PAY BY CHECK: Like to send a check? Not a problem – just be sure to mail your check in advance (remember, your due date is always the 20th of the month) Checks should be mailed to:

Race Communications
ATT: Billing
1325 Howard Ave. #604
Burlingame, CA. 94010

Information about your first bill:
Please be aware that your first bill may differ from your expected monthly total. As we said before, Race runs statements on the 1st of every month so your first statement will most likely include a pro-rated amount based on your start date in addition to the current month’s charges.

For example, if you are installed on the 25th of June, you will receive your first bill on July 1st. Your first bill will include the prorated amount for the month of June as well as the full amount for July.

We hope this answers all your questions – if not, let us know by leaving a comment below!

All systems are go in Occidental, CA!

In late August of 2016, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously approved a grant for construction of the “Gigafy Occidental” Project for fiber-to-the-home, high-speed broadband Internet to over 400 homes in Occidental, CA

As of today, the first Occidental customers were turned up and are experiencing what being gigafied really means.  One customer described the arrival of high-speed internet as “beyond strange and wonderful”.

 

The amount of interest from the area has been great, and Race looks forward to gigafying the rest of Occidental in the coming weeks. Installation calls are being made daily to those who have placed an order, and we encourage anyone who hasn’t ordered yet, to do so!

Race provides a true fiber-to-the-home network capable of download and upload speeds up to 1,000Mbps. The “Gigafy Me” plan starts at just $60/month with the more affordable “Basic Broadband+” available at just $25/month. Race also offers phone and TV services as optional add-ons.