Be wary of identity theft (all year long)
- Always be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls that ask you to divulge your Social Security number or other personal information.
- Identity thieves have become increasingly sophisticated and can fool many people into thinking they’re really from a legitimate government agency.
- Contact Coyle Financial or the IRS hotline (800-908-4490) ASAP if you think an identity thief is preying on you or your loved ones.
Remember George C. Parker, the New York City con artist who “sold” the Brooklyn Bridge to numerous victims a century ago? There have always been con artists trying to relieve us of our hard-earned money, especially during the holiday season.
As former president Ronald Reagan once said, “The 9 most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
Fraudsters are even pretending to be IRS agents. Victims get a phone call. The bogus agent on the phone tells victims they owe money and if they don’t pay up right away they’re going to be arrested. Then they instruct victims how to wire the money they owe. Guess where that money goes?
The fraudsters have gone so far as to threaten immigrants with deportation and loss of their driver’s licenses. After the call, they follow up with threatening emails that seem to be coming from the IRS and then make additional hostile phone calls to the victim. Some fraudsters are able to fabricate caller IDs that appear as if they’re coming from the U.S. government.
How to detect IRS scams
Always be wary of phone calls or emails that ask you to divulge your Social Security number or other personal information. Fraudsters can easily abscond with funds and really ruin your financial life. Same goes for the long-running Nigerian phone scam. You send them money, they send more money back to you — or so you think. So it’s very important to report these scams. The real IRS has a hotline for just this purpose — 800-908-4490 — and they will take it from there.
Also you can contact us if you’re not sure what to do. We can direct you or help you walk through the legitimacy of a claim being made by a potential scammer out there. Folks are particularly vulnerable to scams during the holidays.
Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones. Protect your identity. And enjoy your family and the entire holiday season. So until next time, enjoy. Gary
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