Here are the 10 worst identity scams and financial grifts happening today and every day!
Identify theft can really damage your history as well as your future. If your Social Security number (SSN) is stolen, an identity thief can open new accounts in your name. Those identity theives have no intention to repay those accounts, which will ruin your credit history. You could be ready to buy a house or car, be sitting inside the office of your loan company and find out your ability to get credit has been destroyed. Make sure you recognize the top identity scams and keep yourself safe.
- Contact tracing text scams. Your state health department may send you a text to tell you someone will be calling. However, the scammer texts will ask for money or Social Security numbers or include a link to a malicious website.
2. Phishing scams calls or emails that appear to be from the CDC. Then they offer to give you information about the virus in exchange for your personal information or a donation.
3. COVID-19 Test kit scams offering kits in exchange for Medicare information. There have even been a few reports of physical “testing sites” set up with hazmat suits and everything. Make sure you know who you are dealing with.
4. Medical scams where you receive calls or emails from doctors or hospitals claiming to have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19 and demanding payment.
5. Stimulus scammers claiming they can speed up the process or offer new stimulus payments in exchange for a fee or personal information. Or, posing as IRS agents, they may say you were overpaid and have to “refund” some of the money.
6. Charity scams holding themselves out as offering services to sick people; people impacted by hurricanes or COVID, etc. Instead, they pocket your money and your identity and credit card or bank account information and then wreak havoc with your information.
7. Miracle cure scams promising to cure COVID-19.
8. App scams where you download an app that say they are tracking COVID but are really taking your info and tracking you.
9. Investment scams offering to let you invest in some company that will supposedly make big money from our current issues with COVID-19.
10. Phone number spoofing to make you believe a text requesting money, gift card, etc is coming from someone you know.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Do not give out personal information!
2. Do not pay anyone for anything without researching and verifying the legitimacy of who they are, what entity they represent, and what they are claiming.
3. NEVER click on suspicious links.
4. NEVER open mail from someone you do not know.
5. NEVER open, respond or click on anything in a text message from an unknown number.
6. If you receive a strange text message from a number you do know call that person first to verify someone has not spoofed their number to trick you.
7. Remember that the scammers are always looking for new ways to fool unsuspecting targets.
8. So, if you think a message or offer may be a scam, check the COVID-19 sections of government sites (like the FTC, FCC, FDA, HHS, and FBI), which are updated with the latest scams.
If you suspect a scam, report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline: 1-866-720-5721 or Justice.gov/DisasterComplaintForm
IRS Hostage Negotiators works with individuals, small businesses, CPAs and other tax preparers to ensure the best results from the IRS when requesting tax debt relief. If you have received a notice from the IRS, contact us today for a free consultation.