Be Alert to Current Scams

Smiling businesswoman and colleagues on background, at office

 

We’ve had a few members report  some common scam attempts lately. Here are a couple typical situations to look out for:

  1. The IRS phone call. Several members have reported getting phone calls coming out of New Hampshire, area code 603. The caller purports to be from the Internal Revenue Service and threatens a lawsuit if the IRS isn’t paid the amount owed immediately. The caller is most helpful and offers to take your credit card as payment. The caller also needs your birthday and Social Security Number for verification. This phone call is just chock full of red flags. First, the IRS doesn’t call taxpayers. They write letters. Second, why would the IRS call someone in Cheyenne from New Hampshire? Regardless of where the call is initiated, be wary of any government agency calling you demanding immediate payment for anything, be it fines for missing jury duty, donations to the Fraternal Order of Law Enforcement, back taxes. Don’t fall for it.Beware any phone call from a stranger, even purporting to be a government official, that asks for private information and demands that you send or pay money. These calls are not just to landline, either. One of our employees got the same call on her cell phone. Any time you get a call that doesn’t sound right, just hang up. Do NOT give out ANY information.
  2. The Quick Buck Scam: This takes a couple different forms. Lately we’re seeing the internet meeting, where a crook, posing as a US Armed Forces service member needing assistance with a money transfer. How it works is the crook gets your account number and routing number and sends a Bill-Pay to your account, for amounts ranging from $3,000 to $14,500. You send specific amounts to various recipients via Western Union or wire transfer. You get to keep $1,000 or more for your trouble. The trouble is, the Bill-Pay is returned as a fraudulent check or ACH. So you, the member, get stuck paying the entire amount back. A couple of red flags to identify: First, be very cautious about giving ANY info of any kind to someone you meet on the internet. Many times these folks are not who they purport to be. Second, there really aren’t any get-rich-quick schemes that are for real. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’re not sure a communique is legitimate, or you get an unexpected check in the mail, give us a call. We keep current on how the bad guys try to steal money. We will tell you if that check is no good and steps to take to protect your accounts.