IF A CALL FEELS WRONG, HANG UP!

SELF DEFENSE, be alert!

Scam calls can be unsettling and are potentially harmful to you if you fall for them. These calls are made by criminals with the intent to get hold of your identity and your money.

After receiving both computer and IRS scam calls I am examining why I answer a call from someone I don't know. This is a question I believe we all earnestly need to ask ourselves.

If a call feels wrong, it likely is - a scam.
By recognizing a call is a scam,
you can without conversation, upset or harm to yourself,

- hang up.

And perhaps save yourself the angst by not answering in the first place!

Computer scam call. 

As a technical professional, I am fully aware if someone calls to tell me I have a problem with my computer and they are going to fix over the internet -- I know the call is a scam and I tell them so. I hang up and "Block this caller" on my phone. 

On the other hand, I knew a person who didn't have this computer knowledge. Instead, not knowing how to end the conversation, she provided the caller with the information requested which was the ability to access her computer. Her information and computer were compromised. This had a malicious outcome for my friend. 

IRS scam call.

If you are not on top of how the IRS operates, this kind of call might make you feel it is real - even if you are a financial professional. The reason is, most people are intimidated by the thought of a call from the IRS and the "scammer" is a professional criminal with well honed scripts. While you are trying to find something credible to establish in the conversation to defend yourself, the longer you allow the "scammer" to talk, the harder it is to stop the conversation because they continue to escalate what they have fabricated as the problem.

The only action to take in your defense is to hang up, and "Block this caller" on your phone.

This is a quote from IRS:

“Taxpayers across the nation face a deluge of these aggressive phone scams. Don’t be fooled by callers pretending to be from the IRS in an attempt to steal your money. We continue to say if you are surprised to be hearing from us, then you’re not hearing from us.”

— IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

Be aware of calls that are invasive without without your request.
They may ask for you to fill out a form or gain access to your computer - beware, their purpose is to steal your identity and get your money. Don't give your social security number or banking info of any kind including credit cards.
Instead, Hang Up!

Then take pro-active steps:

  • report this call to the local police
  • get your number listed on the Do Not Call list
  • help your friends know how to better protect themselves
  • stay vigilant and safe!

THIS IS AN ARTICLE THAT MAY BE A SOURCE OF HELP TO YOU.

I RECEIVED THOSE IRS LAWSUIT CALLS, TOO: SCAMMERS DON'T DISCRIMINATE

Kelly Phillips Erb, FORBES STAFF - Forbes.com

Don't engage or respond with scammers. Here's what to do if you receive a suspicious phone call or message:

  • If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, and you do not owe tax, or if you are immediately aware that it's a scam, don't engage with the scammer and do not give out any information. Just hang up.
  • If you receive a telephone message from someone claiming to be from the IRS, and you do not owe tax, or if you are immediately aware that it's a scam, don't call them back.
  • If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, and you owe tax or think you may owe tax, do not give out any information. Call the IRS back at 1.800.829.1040 to find out more information.
  • You can also contact Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to report scam calls by calling 1.800.366.4484 or by using the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” form on their website. You may also want to report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by using the “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report persons pretending to be from the government; please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

A Note: The forms require you add your SS number and birth date. You might not feel comfortable giving this out. 

An IRS link for more information is here:

https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/phone-scams-continue-to-be-a-serious-threat-remain-on-irs-dirty-dozen-list-of-tax-scams-for-the-2016-filing-season

To register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. 

https://www.ftc.gov