Since writing the articles about SCAMS for CV WEEKLY, I have had many of our readers contact me with information on others SCAMS. They have asked that I share these with our CV Weekly readers.
The IRS or BOA Scam:
Unfortunately scammers keep coming up with clever ways to steal your money and your identity. Many of you have received an email that looks “official” from the IRS….or BOA etc. They even have the IRS or BOA logo and email address. The IRS letter will say something like “we have determined that you are eligible to receive a refund of $229.72 as a result of our recent review of your account”.
You will then be advised to submit a tax refund request and asks that you allow them a week or less to process that request. They explain that a refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons such as submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline. They will then sign off with, Best Regards, Tax Refund Department Internal Revenue Service.”
Naturally you would question whether the IRS actually sent this to you? The answer of course is NO! This phishing e-mail is designed to obtain your personal information. They accomplish this by asking you to click on the link. It will then ask for your name, address, and SSN to verify who you are.
A refund is very tempting but you should be aware that the IRS always uses the mail and never contacts taxpayers by email. So be aware and never respond to this type of email.
The Home Energy Scam:
You may get someone who arrives at your door, calls or sends a letter offering you a free or low cost home energy audit……so be cautious. These salesmen use high pressure tactics. If this happens to you REMEMBER that the Fed Trade Commission (FTC) allows a cooling off rule of 3 days to cancel purchases of $25 or more.
You have the right to cancel if you purchased something in your home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of biz…….such as a hotel room, convention, fairground or restaurant pursuant to a sellers “pitch”. By law the salesperson must inform you about your cancellation rights at the time of the sale. You must also be given 2 copies of a cancellation form (one to keep and one to send) and a copy of your contract or receipt. These should all be dated and show all the names in addition to being in same language as their presentation.
To cancel you must mail the notification of the cancellation to the address given for the cancellation. Make sure your envelope is post-marked before midnight of the 3rd biz day after the contract date and remember that Saturday is considered a business day but not Sunday or Federal holidays.
The Business owners Scam:
It starts out with the business receiving a call from someone who is allegedly from So Cal Edison and they are threatening to shut down your power (and your business) for a past due bill of some amount. You are advised by the caller that the only way to take care of this past due bill is to go to Wal-Mart and buy some MONEYPAK cards.
Be sure the alleged Southern Cal Edison employee is wearing an official uniform if they come to your door and always ask to see their ID as well as that of any other person that comes to your door. Ask to see all utility workers ID…….and if you have any doubt you are probably right!