IN THIS EDITION: Charleston cybersecurity expert LaCour of PhishLabs warns of ‘Work from Home Accountant’ job phishing scam and other social media vulnerabilities … Charleston International Airport now requires Uber, Lyft passengers to pay $3.25 arrival fee … Richland County Council looks to curtail selected penny tax road projects to contain cost overruns … High-growth Rock Hill area to reconsider light rail to Charlotte by updating 2007 transit study … BMW commemorates 25 years of auto production success in Spartanburg.

Charleston Cybersecurity Expert Warns of ‘Work from Home Accountant’ Job Phishing Scam

A job hiring scam that advertises a fraudulent “work from home accountant” opportunity tricks jobseekers into laundering money, warns John LaCour, the founder of Charleston-based cybersecurity firm Phishlabs. Phishing attacks increased 41% in overall volume in 2018, according to Phishlabs’ 2019 Phishing Trends and Intelligence Report, but online users must be especially careful with their social media accounts, where phishing attacks zoomed up 200%. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are easy targets because of the scale of users to exploit and that there are few protections on the platforms, but phishing attacks can occur on dating sites, neighborhood groups and vacation rental sites. “Any site or app that provides communication between users or something for sale is ripe for abuse,” LaCour said. “You have to be careful everywhere.” LaCour also warned of social media profiles that impersonate company leaders and fake customer service site for big banks that respond to requests for help with requests for sensitive credentials. (Post and Courier)

Surge Pricing: Charleston Airport Now Requires Uber, Lyft Passengers to Pay $3.25 Arrival Fee

A $3.25 surcharge for Uber and Lyft passengers to be dropped off at Charleston International Airport is expected to generate $836,000 for the Charleston County Aviation Authority as a $3 million, 200-space parking lot for taxis and ride-shares is constructed. The airport’s existing $3.50 fee to be picked up generates $900,000 a year. The number of Uber and Lyft riders has been growing about 30% annually, according to the Aviation Authority’s Finance Director. Both ride-share have contested the rule, saying that it could put a dent into their business and asking about the fairness of their passengers paying for construction of a parking lot that will also be used by taxis. The airport fees will be built into the ride-shares’ mobile apps for passengers to pay, and then the companies would deliver that money to the airport. Charlotte Douglas International Airport charges $3.25 for both drop-off and pickup. (Post and Courier)

Funding Woes Might End Some Promised Richland Penny Tax Road Projects

With rising construction costs causing Richland penny program road projects to cost around $154 million more than price tags from a 2012 referendum, the Richland County Council’s transportation committee is mulling how to scale back or cancel major roadwork plans. County Transportation Director Michael Niermeier and his staff will examine design proposals, traffic data and community input before making recommendations to the transportation committee in the coming weeks. Also, the Richland County Council approved a motion Tuesday to suspend upcoming management fees to the Program Development Team, whose contract to oversee the penny program expires in November, but the council will continue to pay general contractors and subcontractors. (The State and WLTX)

Rock Hill to Reconsider Light Rail to Charlotte with New Transit Study

With the area’s growth of residents and the Carolina Panthers’ pending relocation of its team headquarters, officials will seek transit solutions as the Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study policy committee voted to update a 2007 transportation study of mass transit options that found a light rail connector to Charlotte was not cost-effective. “This was 13 years earlier,” said RFATS administrator David Hooper. “The area looked different, the growth pressures were different, what was expected was different.” The 2007 recommendation was that the U.S. 21 corridor for bus rapid transit was viewed as the most viable option, with light rail “a very close second,” Hooper said. The new study could take up to two years and cost in the hundreds of thousand dollars with federal money paying up to 80%. (The Rock Hill Herald)

BMW Commemorates 25 years of Auto Production Success in Spartanburg

The first BMW built in the United States in September 1994 was on display at the company’s Spartanburg plant, and current employees who were there that day to build it looked for their signatures on it this week as the German carmaker commemorated 25 years of production. In the time since June 1992 when BMW’s Chairman announced its first full production factory outside Germany, the Spartanburg facility has become the No. 1 U.S. exporter of vehicles in dollar value, thanks to Charleston ports handling the bulk of its 3 million exports. S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, who worked for BMW’s public affairs in that era, said the plant “transformed South Carolina from its old identity to its current one.” BMW Plant Spartanburg, representing an investment of $10.6 billion, builds 1,500 BMWs daily in two assembly halls that require an elaborate logistics operation, according to the company. (GSA Business Report)


“You have to remember, 25-plus years ago we were what I call a three T state: textiles, tobacco and tourism. Today we are an automotive and aerospace state … all of that goes back to what we’re celebrating here today. And that was demonstrating to the world that the men and women of South Carolina could build the most complex consumer product on the face of the earth.”

S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, at BMW’s 25th anniversary celebration of production in Spartanburg. Hitt managed the company’s public affairs when the plant opened in the early 19902.