The Indiana State Police have issued a reminder about two scams that are becoming prevalent again during the holiday season; the IRS scam alleging back taxes are owed and threatening immediate arrest if funds are not wired as directed, and the bank credit card scam alleging your credit card has been suspended and asking for the credit card number to be key stroked over the phone to reactivate the card.
As with past warnings, Hoosiers should be suspect of any person calling that purports to be with the IRS and is trying to coerce payment of delinquent taxes over the phone. The caller usually threatens immediate jailing of the citizen for not cooperating with the demand for immediate payment.
NEVER give any of personal information to the scam caller, such as:
- Bank Account Numbers
- Social Security Number
- Birth Date
- Credit Card Numbers
The typical credit card scam starts with a phone call to your home or cell phone number with a computerized voice stating your credit card has been suspended. The computer voice will reference a major issuer of credit cards and instruct you to keystroke your credit card number to have the card reactivated. If you follow this instruction you end up giving the scammer YOUR credit card number and are now susceptible to future fraudulent charges.
NEVER key in your credit card number based on a computerized and unsolicited phone call. And if the call is from a live person making similar claims of fraudulent activity on your credit card, simply tell them you will call back using the 800 customer service phone number that is listed on the backside of your credit card. That is the most secure way to determine if the call was legitimate.
Whenever you receive a call, be it computerized or from a live person, claiming legal action is pending, or asking for your credit card number, or any of the hundreds of various scams that have the common thread of trying to get people to part with large sums of money; the call is most likely fraudulent.
A quick check citizens can make to confirm if a phone number is associated with a scam it to type the phone number into your favorite search engine. You’ll typically see the number has been reported as being associated to scam activity.
Regrettably, these scams nearly always trace back to a foreign country and it is virtually impossible to successfully prosecute the persons responsible for these criminal acts. Unfortunately these scams will continue as long as a percentage of the population responds by sending money to the scammers.
When an unsolicited call comes to your home, business or cell phone, and has the common factors of being threatening and demanding money, be assured that 99.9% of the time it is a scam. Just hang-up. They won’t call back. They will just move on to the next number looking for someone to victimize.