Congress hadn't even passed an economic stimulus package when the identity thieves were out in force telling people they needed to give out their personal information to get a rebate check! Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long list of scams that criminals use to steal your personal financial information. Here at Daniel F. Barnes, CPA PC, we're making it our mission to get the word out.
Starting now, we'll put the details of every financial scam we hear about on this page of our website, along with specific actions you can take to help the authorities catch the bad guys. Read the information, remember it, and pass it along to your friends and family. With luck, we'll be able to put a few of these criminals out of business.
And remember: if you've gotten a call, a piece of mail, or an email that seems suspicious, please let us know. We'd be happy to help you figure out if it's the real deal or not.
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF SCAMS REPORTED AROUND THE COUNTRY
1) "Official" emails from the IRS, asking for personal information in order to get a tax refund.
The IRS will not ask you for personal information in order to send you a refund. If you're getting a refund, you've already given them all the information they need. Forward the email to the IRS at email@example.com
2) Emails saying your tax return is being audited and telling you to click on a link to complete forms which ask for your personal information.
The IRS does not send audit information to taxpayers via email. If you get an email that looks like it's from the IRS asking you for personal information, forward it immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Jury duty scam. You receive a phone call telling you that you didn't show up for jury duty as ordered and a warrant is being issued for your arrest. The person then asks you to 'verify' your personal information by asking for your name, address, and Social Security number.
You will never receive a call from the courts threatening you with arrest for not showing up for jury duty. If you receive a call like this, HANG UP and call the police immediately.
4) Emails sent to your place of business telling you to download information about tax law changes. Clicking on the link could dowload software to your computer that will give the scammer remote access to your computer hard drive.
NEVER click on a link from anyone you don't know. If the email appears to be from a business contact, call someone there to make sure they sent the email to you.
5) A phone call from someone claiming to be an IRS employee, telling you that you haven't cashed a refund check and asking you to verify your bank account number so that the check can be deposited.
Again, the IRS will NEVER call you on the phone asking for personal information. If you receive a call like this, HANG UP and call the police.