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PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY: Scam Phone Calls

Yesterday I received a call from a person claiming to be from my credit card company.  The caller identified my bank and said he was calling about my _____Card.  It sounded legitimate since the caller referred to a credit card I actually use.  Supposedly, there was an alert triggered and my account had been placed on hold due to suspected fraudulent activity.  I hung up and called the number on the back of my credit card, which confirmed that this was, in fact, a scam and an attempt to “steal my identity” and access my credit card. I have heard of no less than six similar cases in the last twenty-four (24) hours so it seems that the scammers are stepping up their efforts, so you should too!

scam alert.jpgMillions of fraudulent calls, texts and e-mails go out every day as criminals attempt to gather our personal information.  Scam e-mails may offer huge paydays if you help them get money “released” from some far away land. Some calls try to intimidate individuals by threatening IRS levies or mortgage foreclosure. They may reference the name of a credit card you use. These scenarios are often designed to prey on the elderly, but anyone can fall victim to these scams, and the scammers don’t care whose money they take.

Here are two tips that will help keep you safe from these people.  First, keep in mind that the IRS will never contact you by phone or e-mail.  All correspondence from the IRS comes by mail.  Second, if you receive a message of any sort regarding your credit card or other financial account, do not call the number left on the message.  Instead, call the phone number on the back of your credit card or contact your bank or financial institution directly.  This way, you can ensure that you are speaking with a legitimate representative of the company.

If you are ever uncertain about any correspondence or messages that you receive, do not hesitate to contact us.  We will help you determine if you are being scammed.  On the other hand, if you have a real issue with the IRS or your accounts have been fraudulently accessed, we can also work with you to resolve your tax or other credit problems.  In this day and age, it is a sad statement, but it is always better (and safer) to assume these things are a scam and treat them as such. It is better to take the time to verify the situation than to treat it as valid and lose money to a scammer.

To schedule an appointment to discuss any aspect of tax or financial issues, please contact John J. McAneney, Esquire at 215-540-2635.

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