C19 Scams Already Underway

Posted on 03/28/20 by Tom Lacock

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Tax time is here again and so are the IRS impostors! Scammers posing as IRS agents or Treasury Department officials continue their deceptive ways. Know that the IRS will first contact you through the mail if you owe taxes. If you receive a phone call or suspicious email or text from the IRS, chances are it’s a scammer posing as an IRS agent. If you receive a scam call, hang up immediately and report the call to the IRS at 800-366-4484 or www.tigta.gov. If you receive an email, forward it to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov, and then delete it.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

The world is rallying to combat the spread of COVID-19. But lurking in the shadows are scammers seeking to take advantage of this opportunity to steal money or sensitive personal information. Know there is currently no vaccine, treatment or cure for the disease caused by the coronavirus – any claim of such is fraud. Consider products that claim they protect against coronavirus to be dubious at best. Your best bet is to stay up to date with new information and guidance through local, state and federal government sources (all government emails and websites end in “.gov.”)

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, impostor scams – scams where the con artists pretends to be a government agency, business or personal relationship - were the most commonly reported scam type in 2019. The best way to avoid impostor scams is to know how they work. And despite the many ways scammers can do their bidding, they are most successful at finding victims by phone. Don’t rely on caller ID. Let your answering machine screen calls. Listen to voice messages and ask yourself is something seems suspicious. Call back on a number you know to belongs to whomever is calling (your bank, the IRS, Social Security Administration, etc.)

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

Traditionally, we think of con artists as lone wolves working out of their basement, but today’s scammers are more like cogs in a much larger operation. Most scams today start with a phone call, often originating from foreign telemarketing businesses that operate just like legitimate call centers. ”Executives” and “supervisors” manage “salespeople” – the scammers calling you to “close the deal.” If you or someone you care about falls victim to their operations, know that it’s not the fault of the victim for “falling for” something. Blame the criminal enterprise and fight back by sharing your story, so the next target may not end up as the next victim.



Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

This story is provided by AARP Wyoming. Visit the AARP Wyoming page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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