Identity theft is one of the biggest problems we face today with all the means of communication, online resources and increased mobile phone use. When these scammers get your personal information, they will attempt to empty your bank account or sell your personal information to the highest bidder on the Internet. One of the primary ways the scammers attempt to get information from you is through unsolicited telephone calls using ruses that you might consider to be normal calls.
Telephone Calls Regarding Jury Duty
This scam has been around for a number of years and still surfaces today. So I want to remind everyone to be alert.
The most common technique the scammers use is they call your home telephone and identify themselves as someone from your local court system. They then go on to tell you that you were scheduled for jury duty but you failed to show up as required and that there has now been a bench or arrest warrant issued.
You advise them that you were not aware that you were scheduled nor did you receive a notice to report for jury duty. And that is exactly how they want you to react.
Their next follow up is that he or she can clear it up, but they need some specific information for verification. Typically they will ask for your date of birth, social security number, address and possibly even a credit card number.
If you have continued to talk to this person, it is now time to hang up. This is a complete scam.
These type scams have been around for a number of years and every so often start popping up with new scammers trying them out. Over a period of time, there have been many towns and cities reporting these calls from individuals claiming to be court officers and attempting to get your personal information over the phone.
It is unusual for the courts to contact you by phone and ask for personal information, so be alert.
Calls From The Internal Revenue Service
This is another tactic that identity theft scammers use. They are well aware that people feel threatened by the Internal Revenue Service and they will use this to their advantage. Some of these scams cost consumers millions of dollars. In 2015 one scam was uncovered that cost consumers over $15 million dollars.
Callers claim to be officials or employees of the IRS, but they are not. These scammers sound convincing. They generally use fake names and bogus IRS identification. They usually know just a minimum amount of information about their targets in order to sound convincing. In addition, they can alter your caller ID to make it look like it is actually the IRS calling.
These scammers would tell you that you owed money to the IRS, when in fact you did not. The callers would then use various methods of intimidation and threats to convince you to provide money to resolve the alleged the taxes due. You would then be instructed to go to a nearby business that offers wire transfer services and to wire the money immediately or in some cases tell you to purchase pre-loaded credit cards and mail them to an address in another State. If you hesitate or refuse to follow their instructions they may threaten you with actions to seize your business, issue arrest warrants or suspend your drivers license.
Please note that the IRS…
– does not call to demand immediate payment, they first mail you a bill
– does not require you to use a specific payment method
– does not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
– does not threaten to have you arrested for not paying
Some of these scams are really very simple and that is why so many people fall for them. When people are threatened, many are caught off guard and may furnish information just to take care of the alleged situation.
These two scams are just a couple of the identity theft variations used in recent years. With the Internet technology in play, scammers from around the world can prey on people and not risk getting caught. And be aware that these same scams can be also attempted by email online.
There is only one guiding rule to follow: Never give out your personal information when you receive an unsolicited telephone call, Period!