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HomeScam Alerts

Scam Alerts
Click the arrows below to read about scams you should be aware of and how to deal with them to protect your assets and your identity. The best rule of thumb to follow is to be wary of any calls or internet popups that ask for your personal information or for your money either to avoid a "penalty" or receive a "great deal." They are most often bogus and can, if taken seriously, be harmful to your security.

          

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Oct/Nov 2017: Beware Calls from Conmen
Oct/Nov 2017: Beware Calls from Conmen

The October/November issue of AARP The Magazine includes an article titled When a Con Man Calls, in which the first sentence asks "Can you spot an imposter?" The article notes the rise in false identity frauds, all aimed at scaring vulnerable people - and who isn't vulnerable at one time or another? So beware of con men acting as:

  • Jury duty managers telling you that you owe money because you missed jury duty.
  • The IRS saying you owe taxes and must pay right away.
  • Doctors saying they have a cure for your condition.
  • Police or firefighters claiming to raise money for worthy causes.
  • A bank saying your data needs updating.
  • A utility threatening to shut off your service unless you pay asap.
The AARP article details more of these scams and ends with this warning: "The takeaway? Never accept a pitch or give any information to a stranger - on the phone, in person or over the internet - without first independently verifying that it's legitimate."



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October 9, 2017: Beware Alleged "Guardians"
October 9, 2017: Beware Alleged "Guardians"
The October 9, 2017 New Yorker includes an article describing schemes perpetrated by alleged "guardians" (social workers, lawyers, courts) appointed to help purportedly incompetent seniors, whose assets are then looted. This scam is prevalent in "sunshine states" where seniors are apt to retire away from family and former financial and legal advisors.

 

            
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October 2017: Beware Calls Suggesting a "Fix" for Your Computer
October 2017: Beware Calls Suggesting a "Fix" for Your Computer
A member reports that an elderly, widowed friend received a phone call from a person with a 603 area code, claiming to report a problem with her computer/Internet connection. He suggested he could fix her problem, that she only needed to input entries that he dictated to her. This would no doubt have allowed him to access her computer passwords, files, and possibly even access her bank accounts. Luckily this smart lady did not fall for the trick!



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April 18, 2017: Beware "IRS" Scam
April 18, 2017: Beware "IRS" Scam

One of our Village members has informed us of a scam in which imposters claim to be from the IRS or from a collection agency affiliated with the IRS. 


What You Should Know
   

How the scam works: 
The IRS recently decided to use private debt collection agencies to
recover unpaid tax debts. Scammers are taking advantage of this change in policy; they phone
unsuspecting people, identify themselves as representatives of the IRS or a collection agency,
and convince people to send them money.  


The IRS is only working with four debt collection agencies:

  1. CBE Group of Cedar Falls, IA
  2. Conserve of Fairport, NY
  3. Performant of Livermore, CA
  4. Pioneer of Horseheads, NY

How the program really works:

  1. If you have a long overdue federal tax account, the IRS will mail you a letter informing you that it is turning over your account to a private debt collection agency. The letter will provide the name of the company and contact information. 
  2. The private debt collector will then send you a letter confirming the account transfer before contacting you by phone.
  3. The debt collector will call you and discuss payment options, but the only way you can pay your tax debt is electronically or by check, payable to the US Treasury.
  4. if you do not have federal tax debt, then you will not get a call from IRS or a private debt collector demanding payment.  
  5. So, if you get a call and you have not received two letters in the mail, the first from the IRS telling you which agency will call you and the second from the agency telling you they will call you, then hang up the phone. If the caller identifies himself/herself as someone from the IRS or from an agency not named above and asks you to mail a check to them, then this is a scam.

Important Notes:

  1. The IRS will not press for immediate payment and if you owe money, it can only be
    payable to the US Treasury, not to a collection agency.
  2. If you are unsure if you owe federal taxes, you can look up your account at www.irs.gov/balancedue.







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