Unfortunately we live in a world where being taken by a scammer is something we all have to think about. Scammers use a variety of methods to take your money but for today’s blog, we are going to focus on two, email phishing schemes and fake IRS calls.
Don’t take the bait, beware of email phishing schemes.
This is a common way that identity thieves like to attempt to gain your personal information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers. Typically phishing emails come from a retailer, government office, or a bank. They usually include a graphic from the company that appears legitimate. They could even include a link that leads to a legitimate looking site. If you receive an email requesting personal information, be suspicious, banks don’t email you asking for account numbers and pin numbers. Other things to watch out for include:
- Typos or obvious spelling or grammar mistakes. Generally these requests come from someone who speaks a foreign language and so the mistakes are easy to spot.
- If you don’t have an account with the bank or retailer, ignore the request. Don’t even click on the link.
- If you are unsure at all, independently contact the supposed source by calling a phone number you know is valid to verify the validity of the email.
Protect yourself from the ever changing tactics of IRS scammers.
There seems to have been an increase in the number of criminals attempting to impersonate IRS agents. Like many phone scams, the IRS scammers try to intimidate and bully their victim into paying up. One new tactic that seems to be popular right around tax season is when the scammers call trying to verify your tax return information over the phone. Their goal is to catch you off guard, it is tax season after all, and trick you into giving up your personal information. Keep in mind that the IRS won’t:
- Demand payment over the phone.
- Attempt to verify your identity by asking for personal or financial information.
- Demand you pay your taxes without giving you the opportunity to appeal.
- Ask for credit or debit cards over the phone.
- Threaten to bring in local law-enforcement
You can find more information regarding the IRS scams in the attached article. www.irs.gov/newsroom/consumer-alert-scammers-change-tactics-once-again
If you receive any suspicious calls or emails from anyone claiming to be a part of Wallkill Valley Federal Savings and Loan please give us a call right away. Or if you feel that your bank account might have been compromised because of any personal information you have divulged, call us. We are always happy to help.