From IRS phone scams to suspicious social media accounts, clever con artists have plenty of ways to try to gain access to your personal information, and eventually your bank account. Here are the top five IRS scams that San Francisco, CA residents need to look out for.
Phishing is one of the most common financial scams in general. Criminals use this method to steal your personal information, sending you fake emails or setting up fake websites to attract your attention—clicking on the wrong links or sites can expose your computer or smartphone to harmful software, sometimes even giving criminals an inside look into your devices and exposing your information. As a general rule, never click on links or emails claiming to be from the IRS.
One of the most malicious methods scammers use to gain access to personal information is by creating fake charities to solicit donations from kindhearted people. The typical fake charity scam starts with unsolicited phone calls, text messages or emails. In some cases, the scammer may make direct contact by stopping by your home. Never give money to a charity that doesn’t seem legitimate. Always ask for an employer identification number to verify their legitimacy before you give out any personal information.
Suspicious IRS impersonators
One of the most common IRS phone scams is the “hostile impersonator” scam. The criminal will call you on the phone and demand your information, usually threatening arrest or other legal action. If you don’t answer the phone and let it go to voicemail, the criminal will threaten arrest if you don’t call back. Even if the number on the caller ID looks like it’s coming from a trusted authority like the local police, the IRS will never make threatening phone calls. This is a scam that should be ignored or, better yet, reported to local authorities.
Social media scams
Scammers have become so sophisticated that they’ve infiltrated social media networks. In some cases, they even impersonate a person’s friends, family members or coworkers. The scammer may message you for your personal information, or they may send you a link that contains malicious software. Always be cautious about who you interact with on social media and think twice before clicking an unknown link.
Scams targeting seniors
Elders in San Francisco, CA and worldwide are frequent targets of financial scams. In fact, seniors are the most likely segment of society to be targeted by scammers. Since seniors are increasingly using social media, they need to be aware of the continuous problem of fake emails, text messages and other means of obtaining personal information from unsuspecting victims.
It’s important for San Francisco, CA residents to be aware of the clever ways that con artists and criminals can leverage the threat of the IRS to steal your personal information. Stay vigilant, and you’ll keep your information protected. Contact Medina & Company Consulting, Inc. to learn more about common IRS scams and what you need to do if you suspect that your information has been compromised.