Another day, another announcement about a data breach.
As news trickles out about retailers that have been hacked, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. Even if you’re not sure that your accounts have been affected, you can do a few things to protect your accounts, your money, and your credit reputation.
When identity thieves target taxpayers to obtain improper tax refunds, it causes serious consequences for the victim and for the IRS. The IRS is taking steps to make it more difficult for perpetrators to successfully file falsified returns using others’ personal information (prevention) and to make it more costly if caught doing so (deterrence). But as the voice of the taxpayer, my focus is on IRS’s victim assistance to those who find themselves impacted by identity theft.
Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection
Tax ID thieves are ready — are you?
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job, and it’s one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S. You might find out it’s happened when you get a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.
No, not poltergeists. Scammers. And they want your last penny.
We’ve written before about tech support scams — where a caller claims that your computer has a terrible virus and needs immediate attention. The scammer asks for remote access and then charges you for “fixing” a problem that wasn’t there.
Now, they’re working the phones again, and they claim that if you paid for tech support services, they can get you a refund.
If you’ve been following the news this holiday season, you’ve probably heard that Target shoppers may have been affected by the recent data breach. Target notified their customers of the breach via email.
Unfortunately, scammers follow the news, too. Scam artists may send out phony “Target” emails pretending to help, but they actually want to trick you into giving them your personal information. And they are skilled at making the emails look real. If you get an email that says it’s from Target, here’s what to look out for to make sure you don’t get scammed.
Target has announced that any credit or debit card used in a Target store in the U.S. between November 27 and December 15 may have been compromised. According to the announcement, the stolen information includes the customer’s name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV1 (a security code stored on your card's magnetic stripe).
In light of this announcement, the FTC has this advice...
Like helping people avoid scams? Then you might like to know that the FTC has named Jan. 13-17 Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, and will host national events like a webinar and Twitter chat, in English and Spanish, as well as regional events.
If you’ve ever had a virus on your computer, you know what a nightmare it can be — a slow computer that crashes unexpectedly, your contact lists getting messages that you didn’t send, your online accounts vulnerable to hacking.
Perhaps just as frustrating as a virus infecting your computer? Paying someone to get rid of a virus that isn’t there.
When the White House proclaimed October 2004 to be National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Internet looked very different than it does today. Smartphones and social networks are just two of the dramatic changes of the last decade. Americans are communicating more frequently, with more people, and sharing more personal information than ever.
Who doesn’t like to get something for free? That’s what scammers are hoping when they send out messages like this:
You've been selected for a free $1000 giftcard!
Enter the code 'FREE' at yourfavestore.com.shop.biz to get it now.
Only 112 left! Text OUT to stop.
But if you do as the text says, you’ll end up at a website that requires you to give up your personal information to claim your “free” gift. Once you’ve shared your information, the site pushes you to sign up for more than a dozen risky trial offers (which aren’t free) to qualify for the supposedly free gift card they promised you.