Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.
IRS Impostor Scam
As tax filing season rolls on, be on the lookout for the IRS impostor scam. You may get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and saying you owe a specific amount in taxes. They may even threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay immediately. It’s a scam. Know the IRS will never call and demand immediate payment without first sending a notice through the mail. Nor will the IRS ever ask for credit or debit cards over the phone, or threaten you with arrest. If you get a call like this, hang up. If you are concerned that you may owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
Prescription Drug Scam
As the price of prescription drugs continues to rise, you might find yourself searching online for more affordable medications. Beware of bogus companies that take your money and never send you the product, or worse, send you a product that could cause you harm. Also, be sure to read the fine print on prescription drug coupons you find online. You might discover your purchase won’t count toward your deductible, or that the coupon expires after a certain number of refills.
Federal Trade Commission Impostor Scam
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is experiencing a big uptick in complaints that scammers pretending to be the FTC are calling, emailing, texting and faxing. The scammers are claiming that either the targets have won a big prize or that they are in trouble and have to pay delinquent accounts. In fact, the Department of Justice recently announced that two scammers impersonating the FTC were found guilty of bilking victims out of more than $10 million. Know that the FTC does not contact consumers to ask for payment, and it does not run sweepstakes or lotteries. If you experience this scam, report it at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
“my Social Security” Scam
Scammers are now going to the federal Social Security website and setting up a “my Social Security” account of citizens that are of retirement age. They hijack their accounts by setting up the accounts before the Social Security number owner does, and then they apply for funds. The scammers request a lump sum payout be transferred to their own accounts, then they withdraw the money and immediately buy gift cards. Beat scammers to the punch by setting up your own “my Social Security” account today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
IRS Withholding Calculator
The Internal Revenue Service has released an updated withholding calculator on IRS.gov and a new version of Form W-4 to help taxpayers check their 2018 tax withholding following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December. The IRS urges taxpayers to use these tools to make sure they have the right amount of tax taken out of their paychecks. Access it here.