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Common Scams and Frauds 2017

IRS Imposter Scams

IRS imposter scams occur when someone contacts you pretending to work for the IRS. The imposter may contact you by phone, email, postal mail, or even a text message.

Charity Scams

Some scammers set up fake organizations, taking advantage of the public¡¯s generosity, especially after a tragedy or disaster.

Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams

Prize scammers try to get your money or personal information through fake lotteries, sweepstakes, or other contests. Many claim that you¡¯ve won a prize but must pay a fee to collect it. Others require you to provide personal information to enter a "contest." These scams may reach you by postal mail, email, phone call, robocall, or text message.

Government Grant Scams

Government grant scammers try to get your money by guaranteeing a free grant to help you pay for college, home repairs, or other expenses. They ask for your checking account information so they can "deposit the grant money into your account" or withdraw a "one-time processing fee."

Family/Friend Emergency Scam

A relative, usually a grandparent or aunt or uncle, receives a call from their "niece," "nephew" or "grandchild." There has been an emergency, and the "grandchild" needs money quickly. The stories vary, but they often involve an arrest or car accident.

Loan Scam

Callers may contact you with loan offers. Again, the only catch is they need you to pay a fee first - and that fee needs to be paid by wire transfer or prepaid debit card. Banks and other finance lenders generally will not charge advance fees for their loan offers.

Tech Support Scam

Supposed “tech support” companies calling and impersonating well know computer software companies. Often they'll tell you your computer has been infected with viruses.

Debt Scam

Scammers will often impersonate attorneys and call you claiming you owe some debt and threatening litigation if you don't pay that same day. Of course, the debt has to be paid by prepaid debit card or wire transfer.

Utility Scam

Scammer will threaten that your electricity or gas is about to be shut off if you don't pay the past due amount on your account that day. As usual, the scammer asks you to pay by prepaid debit card or wire transfer.

Can You Hear Me Scam

You get a call from someone who almost immediately asks "Can you hear me?" Their goal is to get you to answer "Yes". It’s a pre-recorded robocall – even though it sounds like a real person – and it's illegal.