How to #decrease chances of #being #scammed

If the IRS has called you saying there is a warrant for your arrest, it could very well be a scam. This may sound familiar to some, as this is the fastest growing scam, according to Consumer Reports.

This scam accounts for nearly a quarter of all scams reported.

This time of year, the scammers are relentless. The Canon City Police Department wants to spread the word about this growing trend, as their own police Chief received the same call.

Chief Harvey was called saying there was a warrant for his arrest, and that he needed to call the phone number back to speak with a representative. After calling back out of concern, once the man on the line realized Harvey wasn’t going to disclose any personal information he hung up.

The Canon City Police Department offers facts and advice on this topic: 

1. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

2. The IRS will never demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount you owe.

3. The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4. The IRS will never ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5. The IRS will never threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you do receive this call, record the employee’s name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available. Then call this number 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.

Here are some additional tips on how to decrease chances of becoming victimized to any scam:

1. Do not give personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, over the telephone, through the mail, or over the internet, unless you know for certain with whom you are dealing.

2. Store personal information in a safe place and tear up old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, old account statements, and unused credit card offers before throwing them away.

3. Protect your PINs and other passwords by avoiding the use easily available information, such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your social security number, your phone number, etc.

4. Carry only the minimum amount of identifying information and number of credit cards that you need.

5. Pay attention to billing cycles and statements. Inquire of the bank, if you do not receive a monthly bill. It may mean that the bill has been diverted by an identity thief.

6. Check account statements carefully to ensure all charges, checks, or withdrawals were authorized.

7. Guard your mail from theft. If you have the type of mailbox with a flag to signal that the box contains mail, do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mail box with the flag up. Instead, deposit them in a post office collection box or at a local post office. Promptly remove incoming mail.

8. If you prefer not to receive preapproved offers of credit, you can opt out of such offers by calling (888) 5 OPT OUT.

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