A place to turn for up-to-date financial tips and trends.
COVID-19 Opens Doors to Scams
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a windfall for fraudsters as they exploit the global thirst for knowledge on the virus. Fraudsters have launched Coronavirus – themed phishing attacks to deliver malware. The phishing emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO posted an article on its website warning users of this scam.
Do not act out of fear and use your best judgment when accessing links or answering questions over the phone. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission. If you are unsure about a potential scammer that has contacted you, please contact us immediately.
Tax Scams Follow The New Year
- A scare campaign using robocalls claiming that law enforcement is going to suspend or cancel the call recipient’s Social Security number (SSN) in response to taxes owed. This scam often tricks people into calling these numbers back, even though according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a person’s Social Security number will never get suspended. Plus, the IRS only contacts taxpayers through snail mail or in-person.
- Another tax scam involves emails and impersonators that claim to be from the IRS, either reminding you to file your taxes or offering you information about your refund. These emails involve spoofed websites to collect any information you input, facilitating identity theft. They can also infect your computer with malware, allowing fraudsters to steal more data.
- Since many know that the IRS doesn’t ask for money over phone or email, scammers are sending out letters. This letter claims to be from the Bureau of Tax Enforcement and may mention the IRS, demanding immediate payment. While these letters look legit, the Bureau of Tax Enforcement does not exist.
- Scammers are posing as tax professionals; however, they are really ghost tax preparers that will take money to prepare your taxes but won’t sign the return, making it look like you did the work yourself. Ghost preparers often lie on the return to make you qualify for credits you haven’t earned or apply changes that will get you in trouble. Since they don’t sign, you’ll be responsible for any errors. At best, you’ll have to repay the money owed. At worst, you could be looking at an audit.
*This resource was created by CUNA Mutual Group based on our experience in the credit union, insurance, and risk management marketplace. It is intended to be used only as a guide, not as legal advice. Any examples provided have been simplified to give you an overview of the importance of selecting appropriate coverage limits, insuring to value, and implementing loss prevention techniques. No coverage is provided by this resource, nor does it replace any provisions of any insurance policy or bond. Please read the actual policy for specific coverage, terms, conditions, and exclusions.