OnGuard Online Blog

3 ways to use Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week to help people in your life

Looking for a practical way to help friends, family, and your community? We’ve got one: warn them about tax identity theft and IRS imposters.

This week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week — and a good time to think about what you can do. Here are three ideas to get you started:

IRS Imposters Scams infographic

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Get ready for National Consumer Protection Week!

It’s about that time again. Are you ready?

Every year, National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), encourages people and businesses to learn more about avoiding scams and understanding consumer rights. This year, NCPW takes place March 1-7, 2015. NCPW highlights free resources from government agencies and consumer organizations to help people make smarter buying decisions and spot rip-offs.

Don’t let tax scammers get away with it

Tax season is getting close — and for some people, so is an experience with tax identity theft or IRS imposters. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job. You usually find out something’s wrong after you file your tax return.

Also, IRS imposters work year-round — posing as the IRS when they call and say you owe taxes. They even threaten to arrest you if you don’t put money on a prepaid debit card and tell them the card number. They might know all or part of your Social Security number, and can fake caller ID information to make it look like it really is the IRS calling. But it’s not. Ever.

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week logo

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

For 2015 — resolve to back up your digital life

What’s worse than losing all the photos and important files on your computer? Knowing you could have prevented it.

Back it up

Does that ABC app track your child?

Your young child is playing an educational app with cute cartoon characters. It’s teaching her letters, shapes, and numbers. But did you know that while your child is learning her ABCs, someone else could be learning where your child is?

How NOT to use a gift card

Thinking about giving a fancy new gadget as a holiday gift? Or maybe there’s something on your wish list that Santa forgot to bring? If so, you might be tempted by an ad for high-tech at a low price. But if a merchant other than asks you to pay using an Amazon gift card, it’s probably a scam. In fact, Amazon’s gift card terms don’t allow you to use Amazon gift cards to make payments anywhere besides and a few specific sites.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Refunds for customers crammed by T-Mobile

Some current and former T-Mobile customers are about to get their money back.

As part of a $90 million dollar proposed settlement, T-Mobile is refunding customers who were unfairly billed third-party charges by the company.

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Package delivery scam — delivered to your inbox

Expecting packages shipped to your home this holiday season? You’re not the only one… scammers are, too.

Image of computer

Sony’s ads shouldn’t play games

If a company promises a new and innovative handheld gaming console, you’d expect the features to work as described in their ads, right? According to Sony’s settlement with the FTC, announced today, that wasn’t the case with ads for the PlayStation Vita. And now the company will offer partial refunds to eligible buyers.

handheld gaming device

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

Seen and heard: Diversity Visa Lottery scams

Many people around the world dream of getting a “Green Card” that allows them to live and work in the United States. The U.S. Department of State runs the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery. People from certain countries who apply and are selected in a lottery drawing could qualify to be “Lawful Permanent Residents.” Unfortunately, the FTC has seen websites that claim to be affiliated with the program, but are not.