Be Scam Smart

By | January 26, 2020
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Be Scam Smart- Cloudeight Keeping You SafeBe Scam Smart

The holidays are over, but unfortunately, the scams never stop. Income tax (groan!) season is upon us – or at least those of us who call the U.S.A. home. And the tax scammers, along with other scammers are taking over where the holiday scammers left off.

We have no greater obligation than to help keep you safe. And one of the best ways to keep you safe is by keeping you informed. Being informed and knowing what to look our for helps keep you from panicking. When you panic your common sense my fly out the window. And we don’t want that!

Fear is a strong emotion. If a phone call upsets you and you become afraid, you’re much more likely to act impulsively and irrationally and fall for a scam. All year round there’s a good chance you’ll be a target for scam calls, threats from faux bill collectors, threats for supposedly missing jury duty, threats from fake IRS agents and more.

Your first line of defense is to stop and think and not panic. Be prepared. No one is immune to fraud, scams, or criminal trickery. But if you know ahead of time how you will react if you get one of these calls or threats, you’re much more likely to make the right decision and not become a victim. And the saddest part of all of this, most scams target older folks. But we’re fighting for you and we’re going to help you be prepared.

Phone Scams

Miscreants are always lurking in the dark looking for ways of making easy money… and they think nothing is easier than picking on older folks. There is no end to the number of wily fraudsters who will call you will all kinds of angles and gimmicks designed to make you panic and make you afraid. These scammers may call you claiming to be tech-support agents who are ready to help you fix that virus-filled computer of yours. Let them scan your computer for free. When their fake scan shows you have thousands of errors on your PC and hundreds of viruses… they’ll make you a real deal to fix it.

But it won’t be a deal it will be money for nothing.  And tech support scams are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are scams where criminals pose as utility company bill collectors or who stoop so low as to tell you that your grandchildren calling for money for bail to get out of a foreign jail. In other scams making the rounds right now, con artists make calls pitching credit cards, car and appliance warranties, sweepstakes and lotteries. Yeah, you’ve won a million dollars all right.

Last year we helped dozens of people fell for these kinds of scams. We showed them how to get all or most of their money back.  And at the beginning of this new year, it’s a good time to remind you that scammers lurk everywhere – and we want to help you avoid becoming a victim.

It’s so sad to think of these criminals are picking on older folks. Many older folks are living on fixed incomes and they can’t afford to throw money away. These scammers thing just because we are older we’re stupid or naive.  We’re not stupid or naive. We’re more trusting. Those of us over 60 grew up in a kinder and gentler time. That’s not to say that con artists weren’t around then, but they didn’t have the tools to lurk in the ether and connive unseen and undetected.

If you suspect that a phone call is from a scammer, hang up. If you’re not sure, ask if you can call them back. If they try to dodge and won’t give you a number to call them back, you’ll have your answer. Do not give anyone your credit card number on the phone unless you have called them with the intent to order a product or service.

 It’s tax time in the U.S.A.  that means it’s time for …

IRS Scams

Senior citizens lose almost $3 billion annually from financial exploitation, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging. 

Impersonating the IRS was the No. 1 scam targeting seniors in 2018 and 2019.

More than 2.4 million Americans have been targeted by scammers impersonating IRS agents and more than 14,700 taxpayers have lost more than $72.8 million since 2013, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

If you’re a senior citizen living in the United States, take a few minutes to read the U.S. Senate’s Fraud Book which discusses the top ten scams that target seniors.

And they not only target individual taxpayers, but these miscreants also target tax professionals’ using malware and phishing attacks that give them access to the tax professionals’ clients’ personal information and financial data.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, don’t give them ANY information. Tell them you want to call them back. Real IRS agents won’t be offended that you choose to be careful. If they are officials from the IRS they’ll give you a call back number. And you can verify the number an agent gives you by calling the main IRS toll-free number 800-829-1040.

Here are some government Web sites that can help you avoid fraud and scams:

Internet Scams

Phishing (Email) Scams 

Online Security and Safety

If you need help, let us know

We’re here for you. If you think you may be a victim of fraud or a scam and you do not know where to turn,  contact us and we’ll try to help you. We are always glad to help if we can.

3 thoughts on “Be Scam Smart

  1. Ruth

    I just want to commend you for helping and looking out for the ‘senior citizen’ it is greatly appreciated and you deserve to be acknowledged for it. Thank You!

    Reply
  2. roberta

    once again you have our backs–thanks for great article on scam and PLKEASE everyone read it—be care out there–this world is just tough now days

    great job cloud eight we all love ya !!!!

    Reply

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