A new day a new tactic, scammers have no dignity, scamming social security, charities, and the IRS. It is downright scary! Everyday I get another email or roll across a website cautioning everyone about another scam. There are the strange phone calls demanding money for loans that don’t exist. They say the local law enforcement or border patrol is coming to get me. Send them over, I just made a fresh pot of coffee!
Red-Flags to Scammers:
IRS-Impersonation by Telephone:
I’ve even had this one happen to me recently. They are really aggressive. Saying they’ll send over the local law enforcement unless you give them the information they want (specifically your credit card number). This is not how the IRS works. They don’t call people out of the blue anymore. In most audits they will send a letter on initial contact, they have ID’s, they have ID numbers and they’ll gladly give you their managers name and number.
The IRS will never:
- Call to demand immediate payment
- Threaten to immediately bring in local law-enforcement
- Demand you pay without giving you opportunity to appeal
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Can’t take payments via iTunes gift cards (newest scam)
Email, Smishing, Phishing and Malware:
Identity theft via text message is smishing, via web or email its phishing! The scammers are fraudulently using the IRS name or local to dupe people into giving them their personal information. A typical example is to follow this link to a fake website and log-in. Upon logged-in to a fake website the scammer will now have your information!
I recently received an email from my bank saying that I needed to log-into my account to verify a purchase (of course the email offered a easy link to the bank). This could easily catch someone who is in a rush or just not thinking about identity theft, which is what scammers rely on.
Malware is short for “malicious software,” malware refers to software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system. This can be unknowingly loaded by clicking on a website, thru a text message or emailed link.