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Avoiding Scams

If someone calls you, the most important rule is not to give personal, financial, or other sensitive information to anyone over the phone. It doesn’t matter who they claim to be, if someone asks you for your credit card information or check routing number, simply hang up the phone.

If you get a call from someone claiming to work for a certain company, organization or
government agency, you can always check it by asking for the caller’s name, hanging up, and
then calling the company back on the number listed in the phone book or internet. That way, you can verify if what you were told is correct, or if it is just another scam. Often times a caller will attempt to scare you by saying there is a warrant for your arrest, law enforcement will never call anyone with this information.

The Offer Seems Too Good to be True – you won $50,000 but must pay them money for
processing before you can receive the prize, don’t give them any information – SCAM

They Want Private Information – bank routing number, social security number – SCAM

Request for Access to Your Computer – SCAM

Scammers will often pressure their victims and urge them to pay immediately or lose the
opportunity. A genuine business making a genuine offer will never pressure you to act
immediately.

Scammers prefer payment methods that are untraceable, such as Western Union. Be very
suspicious, as a genuine business will have genuine banking details. Don’t pay anyone advance
fees by any means if you have the slightest suspicion it is a SCAM.

Here are four things that can help you avoid telephone scammers:

1. The IRS will never call to demand immediate payment, nor will the IRS call about taxes you
owe without first mailing you a bill. If you get a live or pre-recorded call claiming to be from the
IRS and demanding payment right away, hang up. If you know you owe taxes or think you might
owe, you can call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040 to explore your options.

2. Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make caller ID look like anyone is calling: the IRS, a
business or government office…even your own phone number. If they tell you to pay money for any reason, or ask for your financial account numbers, hang up. If you think the caller might be
legitimate, call back to a number you know is genuine – not the number the caller gave you.

3. Hang up on robocalls. If you pick up the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch.

4. Talk to someone. Before you give up money or information, talk to someone you trust. Scammers want you to make decisions in a hurry. Slow down, check out the story, search online – or just tell a friend.

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