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  • Bob Brooks

This Environment Is Ripe for Fraud

This is a fraudster's paradise. A country pre-occupied, on edge, stressed, etc. creates an excellent atmosphere for scams. In environments like today, we tend to let our guard down, and fraudsters know it and take advantage of it. You have to be especially careful because fraudsters are on the prowl for the next identity theft victim.

Over 52,000 people have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission this year concerning Covin-19 related scams. It is estimated that Americans have lost $39 million dollars due to these scams.

What better scam than to combine the IRS and stimulus checks. This article (link) describes the scam:

"It starts with a text purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service asking to confirm information for a stimulus payment through a link. If you click on it, the link takes you to a realistic-looking IRS web page where you're prompted to provide your name, contact information, and Social Security number. Once you enter your personal information, you're redirected to the real IRS website to make the scam look less suspicious."

Texts and emails that want you to take action are the most dangerous ones and easy to fall for. The IRS related scams are even more dangerous because of the fear that those three letters create. Just remember these three tips:

  1. If it is too good to be true (or outrageous in any way), it is indeed not true.

  2. The IRS NEVER contacts you through phone, email, or text.

  3. If you don't have credit monitoring, you are opening yourself up to significant risks. Credit monitoring is the first line of defense. If you don't want the cost, then at least freeze your credit reports.

  4. The Golden Rule of Identity Theft - Never give information if you are randomly approached. That includes text, email, phone, or someone showing up at your door if there is doubt call the company directly and verify.

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