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Current Scams Hitting Vermonters

Posted on 01/22/19

New frauds and scams seem to crop up weekly.  Identity theft and other scams

rob millions of Americans of their hard-earned money.  Last year alone,

Americans lost $18 billion dollars to fraud and scams.  In fact, every two

seconds, a con artist steals someone’s identity.

What tricks do con artists use to steal your money?  How can you

outsmart scammers before they strike?  Beat the con artists at their game.

Check these scam alerts and don’t get taken in with the fraudsters’ tricks.

Oh, and if you would like to host a frauds and scams presentation in

your community, send us an email at egreenblott@me.com.

We have a team of trained volunteers who can come right to your town.

Free of charge!

So, here are some more frauds and scams which may be coming to you!

Social Security Scams

Acting Inspector General of Social Security –

Gale Stallworth Stone –

is warning citizens about phone call scams in which impersonators are

copying SSA’s 1-800 number so it appears as a legitimate call on a caller-ID screen.

These scammers identify themselves as SSA employees, request a

person’s Social Security number, and threaten to terminate the person’s benefits.

If you receive a call like this, do NOT provide any personal information.

Instead report this scheme by calling 1 800 269 0271 or by visiting

the SSA Office of Inspector General’s website.

W-2 and Tax Scams

As the tax season approaches, individuals – and small businesses –

need to be cautious of identity theft.  Thieves use stolen Employer

Identification numbers to create fake W-2 forms to file with

fraudulent individual tax returns.

Fraudsters also use these to open new lines of credit or obtain

credit cards.  Now, they are using company names to file

fraudulent returns.  Employers are warned to look out for emails

asking for sensitive W-2 information.

If you believe you have been targeted by a tax scammer, you can

report it to dataloss@irs.gov and StateAlert@tacaadmin.org.

Advance Fee Scams

New college students are receiving admission letters and

scholarships this time of year.  Among the letters from universities,

many students may also receive offers for alleged student loans,

scholarships, financial aid, and job offers.

Some will charge a fee for things you could do yourself – like filling

out college applications, writing college essays, filling out the FAFSA

financial aid form, or completing job applications.  Whether they

end up providing the service once you’ve paid is questionable.

If you hear any promotion of “just give us money and we’ll do

the rest,” know that this is likely a scam.  While some of the

forms and applications can be difficult to complete, it is best

to protect your personal information and fill them out yourself,

or with someone representing a reputable company.

Telephone Scams

Telephone scammers try to trick you out of your money or personal

information by using a variety of tactics.  They might offer or

promise money, fake products or trips.  Or threaten arrest if you

don’t pay them.

The best way to protect yourself is to hang up on these callers and

ignore their messages.

You can also register for the national Do Not Call Registry –

1 888 382 1222 or www.donotcall.gov – and check with your telephone

company about additional call blocking options.

Amazon Online Shopping Scams

Like many online stores, the potential for fraud on popular shopping

sites such as Amazon does exist.  While Amazon and other online

sites may be trustworthy, buyers should still be wary of online

traction scams.

In a recent statement, Amazon addressed an issue with a phishing

email that asks for personal information or account information …..

including credit card details.  The links provided in the email leads

unsuspecting shoppers to a phony Amazon page that looks legitimate.

Amazon has urged buyers to log in directly to amazon.com if they

receive emails about their personal emails as Amazon states it

will never email you about these account matters.

Get more information on frauds and scams at

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.  Sign up for Watchdog

Alerts and stay alert on con artist’s latest tricks.  It’s free

of charge for everyone – AARP members, non-members,

general public and people of all ages.

Learn more about joining our team of fraud fighters and

deliver presentations in your community and beyond!

You will be trained and compensated for expenses.

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

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