How to Avoid Being Scammed a Guide for Women pt 3
As we’ve discussed, scams are not limited to robocalls and emails. Scammers can pose as romantic partners, as IRS agents and even as investment opportunities.
A taxing situation
A growing type of scam involves your identity and your taxes. Each year, the IRS is reporting an increased number of cases where someone steals an identity and then files a fraudulent tax return. Why would they do this? In order to claim a “refund,” which they request to be deposited onto a debit card.
The government is pretty good at spotting this, but it can mess with your taxes and cause other challenges as well. And the only way to truly protect yourself is to keep as much of your personal information, passwords, and other information private as possible.
There are other tax scams where the “IRS” calls you and tells you that you owe them money and if you do not pay it immediately, you will go to jail. But the IRS does not contact people in this way.
Stressful times call for scams
Tax time isn’t the only stressful time of year that can lead to scams. In fact, there are a growing number of scams targeted around global crises.
For example, currently there are some “pump and dump” scams related to the corona virus. Here’s how they may work:
- The scammers pick a small or very small stock, that may or may not be a healthcare company, and they buy a lot of shares while the price is extremely low.
- They begin circulating rumors that this company has a “cure” for the virus and that it’s just a matter of time before it’s made available. This information goes “viral” for lack of a better word.
- They choose small companies because less information is publicly known about them and that can make it hard to determine whether or not rumors are true.
- Investors buy the stock in order to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and drive the stock price up.
- The scammers dump their shares at the increased price before the public can realize that the information isn’t true.
- Investors often lose money as the stock drops back to its original value or below.
When it comes to the IRS, remember that they will never:
- Initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text or social media to request personal or financial information
- Call taxpayers with threats of lawsuits or arrests
- Call, email or text to request taxpayers’ Identity Protection PINs*
Additionally, you should never give your birthdate AND place of birth over the phone, text or email. This is 98% of what scammers need to steal your identity.
And when it comes to investment opportunities, remember that Gasber Financial is here to help you analyze—and get advice on—any investment opportunity you may be considering.