Reports of “IRS” Scam calls being received
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch reports that the Sheriff’s Office has recently received an increase in reports of a potential scam in which the caller indicates they are from the IRS and demanding payment to clear up a tax situation. The caller indicates they will take legal proceedings against the victim if the tax situation is not satisfied immediately with a form of payment. We have determined these calls to be a potential “phishing” scam, in which the caller is attempting to get personal or financial information. When the callers refuse to give them any information, the callers get very negative and demanding. This is an obvious attempt to obtain financial information from callers. The IRS and other legitimate organizations do not conduct business in this manner.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Office recommends the additional tips to avoid potential scam and fraud situations:
•Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
•Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or contest.
•Be cautious if you receive a telephone call stating you are the winner in a lottery or a prize
•Beware of lotteries that charge a fee prior to delivery of your prize.
•Be wary of demands to send additional money to be eligible for future winnings.
•It is a violation of federal law to play a foreign lottery via mail or phone.
•Never give your personal details to people you don't know - If you receive a call from someone who claims to be from your bank or any other organization, don't give them your details. Call the organization in question to check it is really them calling. Never click on a link or call a phone number in an email - use a phone directory to look up the correct number.
•Check your bank statements - If you see any unusual transactions, contact your bank or credit card provider.
•Review your credit report - Get your credit report from a credible agency. This allows you to check that no-one is using your name to borrow money or run up debts. See credit reports and credit repair for tips on how to check your report.
•Carry only essential information - Avoid taking important documents out of your home to minimize the chance of them being lost or stolen.
•Secure personal documents at home - Store your important documents in a fire and waterproof container or a safe deposit box in case your home is burgled or damaged.
•Destroy personal information - Shred or cut up your bills, statements and expired cards to prevent thieves from using them.
•Secure your mail - Secure your letter box with a lock and collect your mail regularly. If you move to a new house, notify the post office to redirect your mail. Mail sent to the wrong address could be used to steal your identity.
•Protect your mobile or Smartphone - Be wary when installing applications onto your phone. Scammers may send you applications designed to download malicious software onto your phone and steal bank account details.