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scam alerts from the Prosecutor's Office

Income Tax Scam - Episode 1
March 28, 2017

This series begins with the Income Tax Scam because it highlights the practice of scammers to utilize current events. Scammers are opportunists and every popular or unpopular event is an opportunity for a scam. Income Tax Scams are a perfect example. Tax scammers do not look for victims in September. They start in April when many are thinking about the tax filing deadline and are thus, more willing to believe that a call is from the I.R.S. Remember the 4 “C’s”. With the first “C” representing the scammers’ contact. Typically, the caller identifies as an I.R.S. agent and the caller I.D. being manipulated to appear as legitimate when, in fact, the call can be coming from anywhere in the world.

After the contact comes the “c”ommunication. There are a variety of stories the tax scammers use. One is that you owe money. Another is you need to verify your social security number and date of birth. Both are false, but the caller can be very convincing. Some threaten prosecution, others claim to be lending a helping hand, but the motive is always the same to convince you to give up your money by some means of an untraceable transfer or by divulging your social security number and birth date to seek your tax refund even if one is not owed to you. Those practices represent the “c”on and the “c”rime. For this scam to be successful, the caller encourages communication to gain your confidence. This scam can absolutely be avoided if you will now repeat after me aloud and believe “THE I.R.S. WILL NEVER CALL AND ASK FOR MONEY OR YOUR IDENTIFICATION OR THREATEN YOU-NEVER!” This statement needs to be burned into your mind and acted upon. Whenever such questions are asked, the only immediate response should be to hang up. If you do not, you may be on the way to purchase a moneyGram card or making a wire transfer to a scammer or have your identity used for thefts and learn too late that you should have followed this advice. This will stop the con in its tracks and eliminate the crime. You will be doing your part to eliminate one citizen from the ever growing victim list of this scam. Remember and follow what you learned as a child, “never talk to strangers”.

The next scam to be discussed in this series will be the lottery/sweepstakes scam and the 4-“C’s” will apply with equal force so I do hope you will pay attention.

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To report a scam, call our hotline at 1-888-662-3673
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