If something seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Protect yourself by being aware of known scams.
Below is a list of known scams in our area.
IRS Tax Refund Scam
Scams are Everywhere
• They threaten you with an unpaid debt such as taxes due or a past due invoice.
• They appeal to your soft side as a “friend” in need of assistance.
• They offer you a way to make some easy money.
• They pretend to be a relative in need of money.
Examples of Scams
There are many variations on this. This scam can be performed by email, regular mail, or telephone.
This scam is usually aimed at the elderly. The scammer may have researched family names and relationships. The victim received a call from someone claiming to be a grandson, nephew, or other relative. They ask how Grandma is doing and so forth. Then they explain they have gotten into some trouble and they don’t want mom and dad to know. They need some money to get out jail or debt or they will be in really big trouble. Or the caller may pretending to be a policeman or attorney or someone holding the relative and they must get paid or the relative will be going to jail or worse. If money is sent, there may be another call needing more money.
The scammers know how to avoid capture and work the financial system. They know by using victims, they will not likely be caught and can continue on to more victims. They know it takes a few days for a check to clear or bounce and most consumers assume all checks are good. They know using a stolen credit card could get them caught, but using someone else to use the stolen card will keep them anonymous. They know people inherently want to help others in need. They know most people are afraid of the IRS and debt collectors. With this knowledge, they devise plans where they convince victims to do all the work and pay with real money, while the scammer hides in the background and pays with bogus checks or stolen credit cards. People need to know that a check can take three days to bounce, the IRS will contact you by mail not phone, Microsoft is not out looking for people to help with virus control or license updates, and online friends can be anyone with fake pictures and made-up lives.