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Protect yourself from Scams

Scam attempts are prevalent.  Know the signs of potential scams and don't be intimidated into providing funds or personal information to scammers demanding urgent action.

If correspondence claiming to be a tax or enforcement agency reaches you by:
a) a phone call 
b) a prerecorded message 
c) email 
d) text 
It is, with almost absolute certainty, a scam attempt and you should hang up and/or delete the message, email, or text.

Common scams we encounter in this area are:

Tax Scams
This type of scam is most commonly in the form of an automated message asking you to return a phone call because of unpaid taxes, liens, or unpaid debt.  Upon connecting with someone, they are usually forceful in their attempt to convince you to arrange an urgent payment to them using a prepaid debit card from western union or Walmart.  This scam often involves a claim that Law Enforcement is en route to arrest you.  Sometimes scammers have seemingly "personal" information about you but it is usually information that is in the public domain or easily and inexpensively purchased.  The IRS, or any other tax agency, will NEVER contact you and demand immediate payment under the threat of arrest and NEVER by prepaid card.  Multiple Tax Notices over months or years will be sent via US Postal Service before any action to collect will be undertaken by tax agencies. 

Tech Support Scams:

This type of scam generally involves a message or banner you receive on your computer and instructs you to contact some sort of support related representative to help you fix your computer. In addition to seeking personal information for "verification purposes", they may ask you to connect to your computer so they can search for the issue and fix it.  In some cases, they will ask you to login to your bank while they are connected - DO NOT connect to your bank while someone else is connected to your computer.  Hang up and disconnect immediately.

Utility Company Scams:
This type of scam is less common and usually does not threaten law enforcement action, rather, it is usually a threat of disconnect and is generally targeted at small businesses like restaurants or small offices.  This scam also involves urgent payment via prepaid card.

General Information:
If you think it is possible you are being scammed - STOP communicating with the person you suspect may be scamming you.  Call this office, local authorities, or the agency/company being represented by the scammer.  Use only contact information you have acquired independently and not information provided to you by the suspected scammer.

There are other forms of scams involving student loans and, to a larger extent, attempts to acquire your personal information.  

Some scammers are laughably terrible but many are incredibly convincing and effective.  The interaction can be extremely intimidating and you may be convinced the claim is authentic.

Never ever rush to satisfy an immediate demand for payment - especially by prepaid card.

DO NOT PROVIDE PERSONAL INFORMATION to anyone not known to you.

As always, if you suspect you are being scammed, call our office.  We can help you assess the authenticity of the matter.
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