Watch for Tax Scams
With it officially being “Tax Day,” it’s important to remember many thieves use this as a time to prey upon potential victims. In years past, thieves would call residents posing as agents with the IRS, saying there was a discrepancy in the persons tax filing and immediate payment of fines and penalties would have to be made over the phone or law enforcement would come arrest the resident. In a similar scam, thieves send fictitious emails, again posing as IRS Agents. These emails may even appear to be from the IRS, but are not legitimate.
The IRS will never initially contact a taxpayer by any means other than a first-class letter. If you receive a phone call from a thief posing as an IRS official, you should immediately hang up without giving any information. Similarly, any email should be immediately deleted, without clicking on any links contained within the email.
Another scam has recently surfaced, where residents receive a phone call from someone posing as a representative of the Social Security Administration. The caller wants the resident to confirm their Social Security Number to determine whether it has been compromised.
“As a general rule, anytime someone calls you unsolicited and is asking for any type of personal information, you should hang up on them,” according to Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.
“Legitimate organizations recognize the risks involved with identity theft and will take measures to limit any breach of privacy and safeguard personal information. Scammers and thieves, on the other hand, are making numerous phone calls every day, in hopes of coming across someone who will give them the information they need to steal money, or con the victim into providing credit card, checking account or gift card information over the phone,” continued Sheriff Groves.
“One way to make sure fraudulent accounts haven’t been opened in your name is to review your credit report. Federal law allows everyone to obtain their report free of charge, once a year. The report can be obtained online at, www.annualcreditreport.com,” concluded Sheriff Groves.