Monday, February 23, 2015

Don't Get Scammed Seminar - And What To Do If You Do


Chief Mike Daly reported at the February 17th council meeting that scams targeting the elderly in Fort Thomas are on the rise. He specifically mentioned IRS tax return fraud being the scam of choice right now because of the time of year we are currently in.

In an effort to help combat this crime wave, Fort Thomas Police Officer Adam Noe and Lori Farris of the Kentucky Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection are holding a seminar on "How Not to Be Scammed."

The seminar is Sunday, March 1 at First Presbyterian Church (220 S. Fort Thomas Ave) from 6:30-7:30 PM. It's free and open to the public.

With regard to the IRS scam, Chief Daly said there is no proactive response for the IRS scam, of which there have been several reported in Fort Thomas. His advice if this happens to you is to file a police report and then contact the fraud hotline at the IRS.

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

The IRS will never:

1 - Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

2 - Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3 - Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4 - Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5 - Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

•  If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.

• You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.

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