​PHISHING & TAX SCAM

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), phishing  is a scam carried out through phone calls, unsolicited email  and/or websites that pose as legitimate sites to lure unsuspecting  victims to provide personal and financial information.

​Here are some current examples of phishing:​


  • If you receive an email from the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), regarding  your personal tax information, it is a scam. TAP never requests and  doesn't have access to any taxpayer's personal and financial  information 
  • If  you receive a phone call, email message, or any type of contact from  the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding your personal or financial  information it is a scam 

The  IRS will never initiate contact with the taxpayer by email, text  message or social media to request personal and financial information.  These type of scammers should be reported to the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 1-866-653-4261

Complaints can be filled at:

  https://ftc.gov/complaint 

DATA BREACH & PHISING SCAMS

Cyber criminals have stolen 143 million credit records in the recent hacking scandal at the big-three credit bureau, Equifax. ​At this point you have to assume that the bad guys have personal information that they can use to trick you.

 

You need to watch out for the following things:

  • Phishing emails that claim to be from Equifax where you can check if your data was compromised.
  • ​Phishing emails that claim there is a problem with a credit card, your credit record, or other personal financial information
  • Calls from scammers that claim they are from your bank or credit union
  • Fraudulent charges on any credit card because your identity was stolen

Five things you can do to prevent identify theft:

  • First sign up for credit monitoring (there are many companies providing that service including Equifax but we can't make a recommendation)
  • Next place a fraud alert with one of the major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  ​Placing a fraud alert is free and stays on your credit report for 90 days
  • ​Check your credit reports for free at annualcreditreport.com
  • ​Check your bank and credit card statements for any unauthorized activity
  • If  you believe you may have been the victim of identity theft, here are  two sites where you can learn more about how to protect yourself
    http://www.idtheftcenter.org and ftc.gov/idtheft

SCAM ALERTS BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

To keep updated with current scams, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides scam alerts you can sign up for via email. ​These scam alerts include information on what to know and what to do about the latest scams.


For more information visit:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts


Report a scam:

Call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 1-866-653-4261


https://ftc.gov/complaint

TECH SUPPORT SCAM

Tech support phone scams are  when cybercriminals call claiming to be from either Microsoft or any  company that provides some type of computer support services. They offer  to help resolve any complications with computers or even sell a  software license. If given access to a computer, the cybercriminals are  able to install malicious software that could steal sensitive  information or download software that will allow them to take over your  computer. A request for credit card information will be asked to bill  you for their "services."


Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls. For more information regarding tech support scams please visit:  

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams

RANSOMWARE SCAM

Ransomware is malware  that locks a computer and shows a warning demanding a payment to unlock  the computer. When a computer is locked, it is typical for the  ransomware warning to state that there has been a violation of federal  law, while also displaying a logo from a government agency. Do not pay the ransom! Report ransomware to the Internet Crime Complaint (IC3):


For Further Information on Internet Crime Complaint:

 ​https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

You may need to seek the services of a computer specialist to look at your computer and remove the ransomware.


For more information on ransomware please visit:  

 http://us.norton.com/ransomware

ARREST WARRANT SCAM

The  arrest warrant scam is when a cybercriminal sends a victim a fake  arrest warrant, via email or fax, stating a federal law enforcement  officer or an attorney of a government agency wants to arrest them with  charges such as money laundering, bank fraud, or missing jury duty. On  the arrest warrant, it states to send money to avoid arrest. A valid  warrant would be served in person by a U.S. Marshal or other law  enforcement officer. Do not send money!


Report arrest warrant scams to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the U.S. Marshals Office.


FBI:

 https://www.fbi.gov/report-threats-and-crime


U.S. Marshals Office: 

 http://www.usmarshals.gov/contacts/index.html

GRANDKID SCAM

Grandkid  scams involve the grandparent receiving a call representing your  "grandchild" claiming to need money for bail, a medical bill, or  situations that involves urgency and money. 


Scammers  are really good at pretending to be someone that they are not. Scammers  will use information found on social media and other resources to sound  convincing. The scammers use urgency to pressure you into send money  before there is a chance to think and verify the situation. 


In  these situations the best you could always do is stop and think about  the situation. Call other family members and assess the situation.

ONLINE DATING SCAMS

Sometimes  scammers will create fake dating profiles in order to trick you. These  scams involve meeting someone through an online dating platforms and  using exploiting love interests for their scams.  The person will tell  you they love you but lives far away because of business or other  reasons such as the military.  Eventually, they will ask for money saying its for a plane ticket to visit you or some emergency surgery.


These type of scammers should be reported to the FTC at  1-877-382-4357 or 1-866-653-4261

Complaints can be filled at:

  https://ftc.gov/complaint