Scams are as old time. The ‘Shell Game’ dates back at least to Ancient Greece. In modern times the scams tend to be conducted by phone and email. The good news is that while phone and email scams are annoying, they are easy to ignore. Here are some of the current active scams.
- IRS Imposter – Some calls saying you owe the IRS money and threatens legal action if you don’t wire money to take care of it
Note: The IRS will never contact you by phone and tell you to wire money. If you are unsure call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
- Tech Support (usually Windows or Microsoft) – Caller tells you they have detected a virus on your computer and you need to go to a specific website and they will fix it.
Note: Neither Microsoft nor any of their partners will call you like this.
- Charities – There are many ‘sound a-like charity’ scams. There name sounds like someone you’ve heard of. They try and get you to give you you’re credit card information.
Note: Always check out a charity at CharityNavigator.org (Try American Cancer Society and Cancer Fund of America and see the difference).
- Chip Card Scam – Many banks and credit card companies are issuing new credit cards with a chip in them. Scammers are using this knowledge and calling or emailing people posing as the bank or credit card company and asking for personal information so that they can send the new card.
Note: Banks and credit card companies will not phone you or email you and ask you for your personal information.
For more tips on avoiding scams see my article from last year entitled Six Tips To Avoiding Scams.