We are approaching tax time. Scammers are ramped up and looking for your money. Learn these tax season scam tips and watch your back.
1. Text messaging scams or smishing a.k.a Phexting. Like phishing but texting. Criminal hackers have access to technology that generates cell phone numbers and access to mass text messaging services. They send texts that install keyloggers or direct you to websites that steal your data.
2. Tax preparer scams. Reports of tax preparers who tell their clients they have to pay back their stimulus checks, then pocket the money.
3. Basic phone scams. Using the telephone for scams is back. Scammers call your home posing as local fire dept collecting your personal information for their records in case there is an emergency.
4. Caller ID spoof. New technologies that allow anyone any time to mask what shows on your caller ID and pose as an official, lottery or authority to get you to reveal data or write checks.
5. Late payment scam. As people fall behind on their utilities or taxes, lists are created and available either internally or as public record. These lists fall into the wrong hands and thieves call you to collect.
6. Affinity fraud. The Madoff scandal has inspired a new generation of cons to adopt the Ponzi once again.
7. Advanced fee fraud. Now more than ever, if it seems too good to be true, it is. Desperate times mean desperate people are making bad decisions and getting taken to the cleaners.
8. Work at home scams. Millions of people laid off, millions looking for a job. There isn’t a newspaper in the country that doesn’t have a work at home scam ad.
9. Foreign lottery scams. The promise of money is overseas, not here at home and criminals are using the phone, email and snail mail to find their victims.
10. Identity Theft. Identity thieves raised the bar as it has gone up 22%. Watch your credit reports and look for and shut down accounts opened in your name you have not authorized.