Beware of Phone Scams
Just when we think it can’t get any worse, phone scammers come up with new ways to harass us and take advantage of unsuspecting, trusting individuals. That is the worst part of all – they know that the people most likely to fall for these scams are young college students or elderly people. Many young people may have not had enough experience apart from their parents to have had to deal with these kinds of criminals. Elderly folks may not be as aware of such attempts at fraud, perhaps because they aren’t on the internet as much as younger people where you are often informed of such scams. Basically, they prey on the more innocent or naive sector of our population. It is shameful.
We want to inform you of some of these scams so that you can be aware for yourself, as well as for your loved ones. One of the newest scams involves the caller impersonating an employee from the Social Security Administration. This one is obviously targeted at the disabled and the elderly. The caller id on your phone will even say that it is the SSA with an 800 number showing.
The real Social Security Administration will not be calling to offer to increase your benefits and they will NEVER threaten you. If there is a change to your benefits, you will be notified via mail. If you receive one of these calls, please report it. These callers are very difficult to catch, but law enforcement is working diligently, and they do make arrests when the perpetrators are caught. For this particular phone scam, you can report it to SSA’s Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or go to the Federal Trade Commission’s website where you can report such scams.
Another popular scam is one in which the caller says they are calling from Microsoft because you have a virus on the computer and for a fee, they will fix it for you. Your computer did NOT send an alert to Microsoft. When they “fix” your computer, they can cause it to crash, along with charging you a fee. They are not from Microsoft. The Federal Trade Commission is aware of this scam. You can report it to them.
Lastly, there is a phone scam currently taking place in which the caller says they are from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is probably the scariest of the calls. Who doesn’t have a healthy fear of the IRS? It is a recording that gives you a phone number to call (where you will reach a live person), saying that you need to call back because you owe the IRS money, and if you don’t call back, the “cops” (yes, that’s the word they use) will show up at your house. This same scam has been known to have the live person tell the victim that they can pay with Apple I-tunes cards. There are so many things that are crazy about this one, it’s hard to know where to start! The IRS doesn’t make these kinds of calls. If there is a problem with your tax return, you will be notified by mail. Any government entity would not refer to law enforcement as “the cops.” And, no government office accepts gift cards of any kind as payment!
We hope you have found this helpful. Sadly, there are too many scams out there to list in one blog, but hopefully, this has made you more aware of the scams that are out there and the red flags to look for when you receive an unusual call. All of these calls can be reported on the website for the Federal Trade Commission. They want to put a stop to innocent people being taken advantage of, often paying money to these criminals that the victim needs for basic necessities like food or rent.
Something that we will NEVER do at Solar Solutions is try to pull the wool over your eyes. We have been in business for over twenty years because we are a business built on integrity, honesty, and quality. We love serving the people of Vero Beach, Sebastian, Melbourne, Palm Bay, and the surrounding areas. If you are in need of window tinting for your home, vehicle, or commercial building, then look no further than Solar Solutions. We use the highest quality of products, provide you with a free estimate, and do the kind of quality work that you deserve!