Scams have been in the news lately. With the holidays about to roll up on us, fraudulent activity also picks up speed.
Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to phone-related scams involving Medicare plans at this time of year. November 15- December 31 is the open enrollment/changeover time if people wish to change their drug prescription plans.
However, one scam that everyone 18 and older should be aware of is the Jury Duty telephone scam.
The court systems do not call you to “verify” anything. NEVER give out personal information over the telephone.
If they want you –they send a sheriff’s deputy with a warrant to pick you up.
A tearful older citizen and frequent belmontfrontporch visitor stopped by a couple of days ago on her morning walk. What happened we inquired?
She had received an email notice from whom she thought was the IRS. The email suggested that she had a refund due, and to “click here”. Well she did, because there was a notice at the bottom that threatened audits of her future filings. Lo, and Behold, her email was soon flooded with spam selling everything from apple pies to porn — mostly porn.
We tracked down an official Internal Revenue Service (IRS) site, called to inquire, and found out some good information.
It took some doing, we all know how government “services” work and the time waiting, but it was worth the effort. We started with the IRS website at www.irs.gov, looked all over and found 1-800-829-1040. We then found 1-800-829-1954 and spoke with a representative of the service.
As we explained the issue, the customer service rep assured us that the IRS does not send emails, especially about refunds due. We were referred to another number, which is a tech center to discuss the spam attack. That number is 1-800-366-4484. There, they will give you instructions about how to report the phishing scam and ways to protect future issues.
As always, be careful online, in the neighborhood, and in your car. Being aware of your surroundings will help you be safer.