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Consumer Alert: The Latest Scams

Consumer Alert: The Latest Scams

We reported recently on an IRS tax scam that affected businesses. A scammer would contact a business via what appeared to be a legitimate email requesting payroll information for employees. This information was then used to file fraudulent tax returns. Scammers don’t just target businesses, they also target senior citizens, and even younger citizens for fraudulent purposes.  Here are a few of the latest scams and a few tips on how to prevent them. Can You Hear Me Now? This scam has been widely reported by news outlets and social media venues. Here’s how it works: Someone calls claiming to be from the IRS, but may sound garbled or the volume may be too low. The caller will then repeat clearly “Can you hear me now?” When the person being called answers “Yes” the response is recorded. The caller will then hang up, call back and ask the consumer if he or she is aware of money being owed and asking if the consumer plans to repay the debt. The call recording is then manipulated using the previously recorded “yes” response to make it seem as though the consumer owes the caller money. How to protect yourself or your loved ones: With the prevalence of caller ID, many consumers no longer answer a call from an unknown or unrecognized number. A legitimate caller will leave a voicemail message if the matter needs your attention. Don’t say “yes”. While this may take some getting used to, there are plenty of ways to answer in the affirmative without saying yes. Try “I can hear you now” or “you sound fine to me”....