Even with so many high-tech advancements in our financial world today, fraudulent action is still much too common. With tax season already over, you would think that tax-related scams would be old news, but unfortunately, this is not the case. Fraudulent acts strike through various means, such as the Internet or even over the phone.
Unfortunately, scammers have become very creative in their craft and oftentimes make their cases sound realistic. In this piece, we’ll focus on four fraud-related categories as well as a few tips to help you determine if these encounters are legitimate or should be reported.
Common Fraudulent Acts
Before we delve into the different ways you can take to avoid becoming victim to fraud, let’s first explore four types that are very common in today’s financial field:
- Credit Card Fraud – This involves the unauthorized use of credit and debit cards to illegally obtain funds or property.
- Fraud Against Seniors – Senior citizens should be especially aware of fraud schemes targeting their lifestyles and savings. Fraudsters take advantage of seniors as they are less likely to be familiar with how numerous schemes work.
- Internet Fraud – This involves the use of Internet services or software to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them.
- Investment Fraud – This involves offers using false claims to seek investments or loans to use or trade counterfeit securities.
Keep a Lookout
Although there are many types of fraud to be wary of, the above four are seen far too much. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to remember that the IRS would NEVER:
- Offer payment options (gift cards, debit cards, wire transfers, etc.) other than those directly made to the United States Treasury or through other means listed on the agency’s website.
- Force you to make a tax payment without the opportunity to appeal.
- Threaten you with immediate law enforcement or legal action.
The IRS will typically contact you through mail. The agency may pay taxpayers or businesses a visit if there’s an overdue tax bill, a criminal investigation that needs to be conducted or an audit that needs to be performed. If you do happen to owe taxes, the IRS has very specific instructions on how to make payments.
Making Your Security a Priority
Visit the IRS’s Newsroom page for more information regarding the agency as well as resources to use regarding taxes. Again, keep in mind that there are many other forms of fraud to be aware of other than those we went over, which you can read by clicking here. Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and keep these tips in mind. If you have any questions about financial fraud or our services, then feel free to reach out to our credit union in Brownsville today!