SCAMS IN THE AGE OF COVID 19

The COVID 19 Stay Home Orders are perfect for scammers because we are all home to receive the scam calls which usually suggest it is too good to be true. These phone scammers will say ANYTHING and push any button to get you to say yes. They will threaten, praise, act like the consummate expert or speak like your best pal – whatever it takes They will often say something like: “Give me 1% of your confidence and I will earn the other 99%”.

Some of the scams are:

Coin Scam: “I have a gold coin currently trading at X$ and it will go up 6,000% in the next few years”.

Oil and Gas Scam: “Most of the big boys can throw $150,000 into the fireplace and burn it and it will not bother them. If you play this game you have got to be able to lose money and not think twice about it.”

Con Man Threatening Customer that lost money and stopped sending more money:  Why don’t you pick up the phone? You want me to come over there and burn your home.”

Con Man Talking to Undercover Agent: “Are you stupid? I’m not trying to insult you, but are you mentally ill? I’m going to pass you to my manager because  you are making me sweat and if you were in front of me I would have slapped you by now”

Con man confirming info he says he has but does not yet have? It’s illegal to hang up on verification. Do you understand this? This is the law Pres X passed himself. You can’t hang up. We have your info and just need to verify it.

Con Man states he is with a Consumer Protection Agency or local police or FBI.

IRS Notice: “This is the final notice from the IRS that we are filing a lawsuit for failure to X. To get more info dial on our dept number that they leave that will be answered like the local police, FBI etc/

Medicare Scams: The Federal Government is replacing Medicare cards and have updated the cards to display 11 letters and numbers and no Social Security numbers. There is no cost for it. However, some Scammers call requesting processing fee or to get your information.

Posing as Medicare representatives: They tell beneficiaries they are owed a refund from a transaction on their old card. They ask for your bank account information  to process the reimbursement. Medicare will never call nor will they ask for your Social Security Number.

Numerous fraud schemes involve outstanding tax collection, jury duty, overdue utility bills, and even family member claims of injury etc

If you wire money do so through Western Union or MoneyGram. You should also use reloadable debit cards like MoneyPak. Don’t use gift cards, itunes or amazon, nor send cash.

The most common scam in the Coachella Valley and I have had it happen to me 5 times: phone call showing it is IRS, Sheriff, the courts and grandparents scam

IRS calls; they threaten you with arrest or a lien against your property for failing to pay past tax debts.  Scammers obtain credit card info or instruct suckers to obtain prepaid debit cards for the outstanding tax debt. Note that the IRS does not call about unpaid taxes. If you get a call hang up and call the IRS at 800 829 1040. IRS reps can help with payment questions. If you do not owe taxes fill out the IRS Impersonation Scam form on TIGTA’s website, treasury.gov/tigta, or call TIGTA  800 366 4484. With the Impersonating law enforcement or court call: the “sucker” is told there is an outstanding Bench Warrant for failing to appear for jury duty or for unpaid red light camera traffic tix. The Caller demands payment for the warrant via credit card or Green Dot card. You should know that No Riverside Co Court or Sheriff’s employee will ever contact the public and ask for financial info or payment in lieu of attending court proceedings or to make up for failure to appear for jury duty. 

Grandparent Scam: this is usually to a senior from a young person claiming to be their grandchild.  They ask for money for med expenses , to avoid arrest, post bail or purchase food. The Scammer tells the senior target, not to tell the family members.

If you are over 65, contact the CARE (Curtailing Abuse Related to the Elderly).

Remember the scammer wants you to act fast and not tell anyone.

For more information go to  the FBI website: fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud. You can also contact Crime Prevention Officer Codi Mix 760 324 4511 x 291

 


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