Showing posts with label phone scam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label phone scam. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

IRS continues with Dirty Dozen this week

The Internal Revenue Service today kicked off the week with the 5th item on its 2022 annual Dirty Dozen scams warning list, with a sad reminder that criminals still use the COVID-19 pandemic to steal people's money and identity with bogus emails, social media posts and unexpected phone calls, among other things.

These scams can take a variety of forms, including using unemployment information and fake job offers to steal money and information from people. All of these efforts can lead to sensitive personal information being stolen, with scammers using this to try filing a fraudulent tax return as well as harming victims in other ways.

"Scammers continue using the pandemic as a device to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "I urge everyone to be leery of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising benefits that don't exist."

The IRS has compiled the annual Dirty Dozen list for more than 20 years as a way of alerting taxpayers and the tax professional community about scams and schemes. The list is not a legal document or a literal listing of agency enforcement priorities. It is designed to raise awareness among a variety of audiences that may not always be aware of developments involving tax administration.

"Caution and awareness are our best lines of defense against these criminals," Rettig added. "Everyone should verify information on a trusted government website, such as IRS.gov."

A common scam the IRS continues to see during this period involves using crises that affect all or most people in the nation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the scams for which people should continue to be on the lookout include:

Economic Impact Payment and tax refund scams: Identity thieves who try to use Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), also known as stimulus payments, are a continuing threat to individuals. Similar to tax refund scams, taxpayers should watch out for these tell-tale signs of a scam:

Any text messages, random incoming phone calls or emails inquiring about bank account information, requesting recipients to click a link or verify data should be considered suspicious and deleted without opening. This includes not just stimulus payments, but tax refunds and other common issues.

Remember, the IRS won't initiate contact by phone, email, text or social media asking for Social Security numbers or other personal or financial information related to Economic Impact Payments. Also be alert to mailbox theft. Routinely check your mail and report suspected mail losses to postal inspectors.

Reminder: The IRS has issued all Economic Impact Payments. Most eligible people already received their stimulus payments. People who are missing a stimulus payment or got less than the full amount may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 or 2021 federal tax return. Taxpayers should remember that the IRS website, IRS.gov, is the agency's official website for information on payments, refunds and other tax information.

Unemployment fraud leading to inaccurate taxpayer 1099-Gs: Because of the pandemic, many taxpayers lost their jobs and received unemployment compensation from their state. However, scammers also took advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Payments made on these fraudulent claims went to the identity thieves.

Taxpayers should also be on the lookout for a Form 1099-G reporting unemployment compensation they didn't receive. For people in this situation, the IRS urges them to contact their appropriate state agency for a corrected form. If a corrected form cannot be obtained so that a taxpayer can file a timely tax return, taxpayers should complete their return claiming only the unemployment compensation and other income they actually received. See Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits for tax details and DOL.gov/fraud for state-by-state reporting information.

Fake employment offers posted on social media: There have been many reports of fake job postings on social media. The pandemic created many newly unemployed people eager to seek new employment. These fake posts entice their victims to provide their personal financial information. This creates added tax risk for people because this information in turn can be used to file a fraudulent tax return for a fraudulent refund or used in some other criminal endeavor.

Fake charities that steal your money: Bogus charities are always a problem. They tend to be a bigger threat when there is a national crisis like the pandemic.

Taxpayers who give money or goods to a charity may be able to claim a deduction on their federal tax return. Taxpayers must donate to a qualified charity to get a deduction. To check the status of a charity, use the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search tool.

Here are some tips to remember about fake charity scams:

  • Individuals should never let any caller pressure them. A legitimate charity will be happy to get a donation at any time, so there's no rush. Donors are encouraged to take time to do the research.
  • Potential donors should ask the fundraiser for the charity's exact name, web address and mailing address, so it can be confirmed later. Some dishonest telemarketers use names that sound like large well-known charities to confuse people.
  • Be careful how a donation is paid. Donors should not work with charities that ask them to pay by giving numbers from a gift card or by wiring money. That's how scammers ask people to pay. It's safest to pay by credit card or check — and only after having done some research on the charity.

For more information about avoiding fake charities, visit the Federal Trade Commission website


Shared from the IRS -> https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-continues-with-dirty-dozen-this-week-urging-taxpayers-to-continue-watching-out-for-pandemic-related-scams-including-theft-of-benefits-and-bogus-social-media-posts


IRS continues with Dirty Dozen this week
IRS continues with Dirty Dozen this week


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Did you get a text from your own number? That’s a scam


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

By Andrew Rayo

Scammers are always thinking up ways to put a new spin on their criminal tricks. This time, they're sending spam texts to you — from your own phone number. They've changed (spoofed) the caller ID to look like they're messaging you from your number, but the shock of getting a text from yourself is bound to get your attention — which is what they're after.

Read More ->  https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2022/04/did-you-get-text-your-own-number-thats-scam



Did you get a text from your own number? That’s a scam
Did you get a text from your own number? That’s a scam

Saturday, March 5, 2022

FTC Kicks Off National Consumer Protection Week this Sunday, March 6

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will launch the annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) this Sunday, March 6. 

Joined by other federal, state, and local agencies, consumer and national advocacy organizations, the FTC will spend March 6-12 sharing information with Americans on how they can avoid scams, identity theft, and other consumer protection issues.

To support these efforts, the FTC and its partners have organized a series of programming ranging from webinars to Twitter chats and livestreams. Topics of interest include college students and cryptocurrency scams, financial caregiving, and how to recover from fraud.

For more about events coming up this week -> https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2022/03/ftc-kicks-national-consumer-protection-week-sunday-march-6?utm_source=govdelivery 


FTC Kicks Off National Consumer Protection Week this Sunday, March 6
FTC Kicks Off National Consumer Protection Week this Sunday, March 6

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Conned on social media? It’s not just you


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Rosario Méndez
Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

In 2021, more than 95,000 people told the FTC that they'd been scammed with a con that started on social media. Today's Data Spotlight gives us insights into how scammers use social media to con people.

Read more >  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2022/01/conned-social-media-its-not-just-you?utm_source=govdelivery


If you see or experience scam on social media, report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov
If you see or experience scam on social media, report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Avoiding a money mule scam


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Bridget Small, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Scammers are looking for people to help them move stolen money. They visit dating, job search, and other sites, tell fake stories, and make up reasons to send you money. Then they tell you to send the money to someone else. 

If you help a scammer move stolen money — even if you didn't know it was stolen — you could get into legal trouble.

Read more ->  https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/12/avoiding-money-mule-scam?utm_source=govdelivery

Avoiding a money mule scam
Avoiding a money mule scam


Monday, March 29, 2021

Phone scams keep calling

"A Globe colleague recently got two unsettling calls on his mobile phone from the same “888″ number.

He received the first call a couple of weeks ago from someone who said he was from Eversource (spoiler alert: he wasn’t) and that the electricity to his house would be turned off in “40 to 45 minutes” because his account was overdue.

“Are you really from Eversource?” my colleague asked, more a statement than a question.

The caller quickly hung up."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/03/28/business/phone-scams-keep-coming-here-are-tips-how-avoid-them/

Additional information from the Federal Trade Commission can be found here

A person uses a credit card for a phone purchase.ADOBE STOCK
A person uses a credit card for a phone purchase.ADOBE STOCK


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Inspector General Announces 2nd National “Slam the Scam” Day

"The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA), Gail S. Ennis, is designating Thursday, March 4, 2021 as the second annual National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams, which continue to spread across the United States. This is part of National Consumer Protection Week, February 28 – March 6.

Last year, we received over 718,000 reports of Social Security-related telephone scams—with a total of $44.8 million reported lost. Victims who lost money reported an average loss of $5,800. On National “Slam the Scam” Day, we will work to spread the word far and wide about these scams—and encourage people to warn their friends and family to just Hang Up!"

Continue reading about "Slam the SCAM day ->


Social Security Matters
Inspector General Announces 2nd National “Slam the Scam” Day


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Naked Security Live: "Watch out for Messenger scams!"

"IM and social media accounts feel less open to spammers and scammers than email - until a crook gets into a friend's account and sends from there..."
Direct video link = https://youtu.be/IzUZ6rBpOso

 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

How You Can Protect Yourself from Hackers and Scammers

Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

Protect Yourself from Hackers and Scammers

Hackers try to exploit vulnerabilities in your computer or phone. To steal your personal information, they trick you into downloading malicious software to your device so they can take control. And scammers try to get you to let your guard down by making up a story to get your money or information. But there's plenty you can do to protect your personal information and your wallet.

Protect the Devices You Connect to the Internet

Know How to Avoid a Scam

If someone says you must pay by wiring money through Western Union or MoneyGram, by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back, or with cryptocurrency, it's a scam.

Learn how to recognize and avoid common scams you might see in your inbox, on your phone, or online.

Report Scammers

If you spot a scam — or something you think is a scam — reporting it can help the FTC protect you and your community. Report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

reportfraud.ftc.gov

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Have you gotten a collection call about a debt you don’t recognize?


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Nobody likes getting debt collection calls. But have you ever gotten one for a debt you already paid — or you know isn't yours? Or have you been threatened and harassed by a debt collector until you paid up? If so, we want you to know how to protect yourself.

Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.





Saturday, September 5, 2020

FTC Consumer Alert: How can you spot a tech support scam


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Traci Armani, Consumer Education Specialist, Division of Consumer & Business Education

Are you getting pop-up warning messages on your computer screen? Or maybe a phone call that your computer has a virus? 

That may well be a tech support scam. But how do you know? And what do you do?

Read more >

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.



 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

FTC Consumer Alert: A real or fake savings club?


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Karen Hobbs, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. It's also the greatest form of "scammery." That's why scammers are imitating a type of informal savings club known as a "sou sou" or "susu" to trick people into joining what amounts to an illegal pyramid scheme.

Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.



Sunday, August 9, 2020

1, 2, 3 videos to help you stop unwanted calls


Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Jabari Cook - Intern, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

It can be frustrating to deal with a bunch of unwanted calls. If you answer them, you might hear a recorded message of someone trying to sell you something. Or it could be a real person hoping to scare you into paying a debt you don't owe.These kinds of unwanted calls are often scams. Taking steps to stop them can help save you time and unnecessary stress — and maybe some money, too.


Read more

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.


 
Video 1

   
 
Video 2

   
 
Video 3

 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Video shows how scammers tell you to pay




Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission


by Sachit Gali
Intern, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

Scammers make up all kinds of stories to get your money, from telling you that you've won a prize, you owe a debt, or your family member is in an emergency. But some things stay the same: scammers want your money, they want it fast, and don't want you to be able to get it back. They'll ask you to pay in ways that make it hard to track them down — and once you know what these are, you'll have one more clue to tell if you're dealing with a scammer.

Read more
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/08/video-shows-how-scammers-tell-you-pay?

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.


https://youtu.be/PbiXbIHsTqU




Thursday, July 16, 2020

FTC Alert: Utility company calling? Don’t fall for it.




Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission

by Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Every day, millions of people who have lost their jobs are making difficult choices about how to pay their bills. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, scammers are taking advantage of people's heightened economic anxiety. 

Their latest ploy is posing as representatives from utility companies to dupe people out of their cash and personal information by convincing them their utilities will be shut off if they don't pay.

Read more
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/07/utility-company-calling-dont-fall-it?utm_source=govdelivery

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.


Saturday, April 4, 2020

The FTC keeps attacking robocalls





Consumer Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission
by Lois Greisman, Associate Director, Division of Marketing Practices, FTC

Have you noticed lately that you're getting fewer robocalls? Yes, way too many calls are still coming, and we're fully engaged on that issue. But we're seeing some promising developments. Some recent FTC actions might just have something to do with that.

Read more 
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/ftc-keeps-attacking-robocalls 


This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.




Friday, February 21, 2020

Social Security Launches New Campaign to Fight Scammers (video)


"Recently, we launched a new Public Service Announcement campaign as our latest step to caution you about the ongoing nationwide telephone impersonation scheme. The videos feature a message from our Commissioner, Andrew Saul. 
Along with our Office of the Inspector General, we continue to receive reports about fraudulent phone calls and emails from people falsely claiming they’re government employees. 
The scammers play on emotions like fear to convince people to provide personal information or money in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards. Fraudsters are also emailing fake documents in attempts to get people to comply with their demands."
Continue reading the announcement on avoiding scammers
https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-launches-new-campaign-to-fight-scammers/#more-4563

Video link -> https://youtu.be/QrHFNdjcp2s




Social Security Launches New Campaign to Fight Scammers (video)
Social Security Launches New Campaign to Fight Scammers (video)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

IRS launches Identity Theft Central

IRS launches Identity Theft Central
Focuses on needs of taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses

The Internal Revenue Service today launched Identity Theft Central, designed to improve online access to information on identity theft and data security protection for taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses.

Located on IRS.gov, Identity Theft Central is available 24/7 at irs.gov/identitytheft. It is a resource on how to report identity theft, how taxpayers can protect themselves against phishing, online scams and more.

Improving awareness and outreach are hallmarks of initiatives to combat identity theft coordinated by the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation's tax industry, all working in partnership under the Security Summit banner.

Since 2015, the Security Summit partners have made substantial progress in the fight against tax-related identity theft. But thieves are still constantly looking for ways to steal the identities of individuals, tax professionals and businesses in order to file fraudulent tax returns for refunds.

The partnership has taken a number of steps to help educate and improve protections for taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses. As part of this effort, the IRS has redesigned the information into a new, streamlined page − Identity Theft Central − to help people get information they need on ID theft, scams and schemes.

From this special page, people can get specific information including:

  • Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, including what to do if someone becomes a victim of identity theft
  • Identity Theft Information for Tax Professionals, including knowing responsibilities under the law
  • Identity Theft Information for Businesses, including how to recognize the signs of identity theft
  • The page also features videos on key topics that can be used by taxpayers or partner groups. The new page includes a video message from IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, warning signs for phishing email scams – a common tactic used for identity theft – and steps for people to protect their computer and phone.

Tax professionals and others may want to bookmark Identity Theft Central and check their specific guidance periodically for updates.

This is part of an ongoing effort by the IRS to share identity theft-related information with the public. The IRS continues to look for ways to raise awareness and improve education and products related to identity theft for taxpayers and the tax professional community.

IRS launches Identity Theft Central
IRS launches Identity Theft Central


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

FTC Consumer Alert: Getting bombarded by scam calls? You’re not alone.




FTC Consumer Alert: Getting bombarded by scam calls? You’re not alone.
by Jim Kreidler, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

The Social Security Administration (SSA) scam is the number one scam reported to the FTC right now.

As soon as a caller threatens you, or demands you pay them with a gift card or by wiring money.  It's a scam. 

Even if the caller ID tells you otherwise.

Read more
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/12/getting-bombarded-scam-calls-youre-not-alone?utm_source=govdelivery


This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.


FTC Consumer Alert: Getting bombarded by scam calls? You’re not alone.
FTC Consumer Alert: Getting bombarded by scam calls? You’re not alone.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

FTC Summer Film Series: Unwanted calls to your mobile phone




FTC Summer Film Series: Unwanted calls to your mobile phone
by Megan Gordon, Intern, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC

Ring, ring! The film series is back, this time with help to stop unwanted calls to your mobile phone.

Unwanted calls are annoying. They interrupt your day, and many are meant to scam you. But what can you do about these calls? Today's video gives you some ways to stop unwanted calls on your mobile phone, so take a look.

Read more
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2019/08/summer-film-series-unwanted-calls-your-mobile-phone?utm_campaign=unwanted-calls&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery 

This is a free service provided by the Federal Trade Commission.


https://youtu.be/NzYdsDb-_cY