Good Morning Jackson! As Tax season is fast approaching all of us (UGH!), so too is the SCAM SEASON. This is the time of year that fraudsters, thieves and scam artists try their best to separate you from your hard earned money. Sadly, every year people are bilked out of their life savings by falling prey to these nefarious characters. Even worse, it is often our senior citizens that are victimized the most. Not only do they become easy targets for these types of swindles but if they suffer a large loss, they are rarely in a position to
recoup their nest egg. Sometimes these criminals even pose as government IRS agents hoping that the threat of arrest will push you into giving your personal information or money. IRS agents NEVER collect information or payment like this over the phone!!!
In addition to money, a common objective of scammers is your identity. Identity theft is a federal and State crime and occurs when someone uses or obtains your personal information, without your permission or knowledge, for financial or personal gain. This can be accomplished by mail theft, household trash theft, shoulder surfing for passwords or simply snatching your purse or wallet. These type of offenses can be reek havoc on your finances and credit history, taking years to recover. Your first level of protection is awareness! Be mindful of your personal financial information, passwords and personal records. DO NOT give personal information over the phone or e-mail unless you are sure that the recipient is a legitimate organization. Shred personal documents before throwing them in the trash will
help protect you from scams. Lastly, if you think you are the target or the victim of a scam, REPORT THIS TO THE POLICE! We are here to help you. Be Smart, Be Aware and Be Safe!
Some helpful resources of this subject: irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection