Identity Theft Guide
Identity Theft Reference Guide
For more information on Identity Theft or to file a complaint with the Federal Government click the link below.
PLEASE SEE THE BELOW LIST OF RECENT SCAMS
Always remember, if it appears to good to be true or makes you suspicious it probably is a scam.
"Windows Support" Scam:
Consumers receive unsolicited phone calls from individuals posing as Microsoft Windows tech support letting them know their computer has "corrupt" files and needs to be fixed. The caller then walks the consumer through a series of computer commands, allegedly fixing the issue, but actually installing malware or other software that allows the scam artist to remotely control the computer.
IRS Phone Scam:
Individuals saying they represent the IRS are contacting taxpayers via telephone, telling them they owe back taxes and demanding that the victim pay the money immediately with a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. The caller often threatens the victim with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
This scam targets the elderly and usually starts with a phone call – a con artist poses as a grandchild or a person calling on behalf of a relative in trouble and in urgent need of money. But in every case, the caller claims that an emergency has occurred, and requests that money be sent immediately via wire transfer. The scam can also happen by email after access to email accounts has been compromised. In some cases, scammers gather their target information from public records, telemarketer's lists and social networking sites.
National Grid Scam:
Individuals claiming to be from National Grid contact a business owner or a residential customer to demand immediate payment or else the company will shut off the power supply. They require the customer pay with a pre-paid debit card. In some instances, the scammers have been able to provide the customers with detailed information such as last payment date and amount. It is important to remember that while National Grid may contact customers with past due balances by phone to offer payment options, BUT NEVER demands direct payment immediately over the telephone. Anyone who receives a call like this, should hang up and report it to National Grid directly at National Grid's Customer Contact Center at 1-800-322-3223.
"Notice of Appearance in Court" Scam:
In this latest scam, consumers receive emails informing them that they are ordered to appear in court. The fraudulent email with the subject line "Notice of Appearance in Court" is purportedly sent from a "court clerk" with a fictitious name instructing recipients to appear for "illegal software usage." The emails may also include the domain name of a legitimate law firm and contain an attachment, purportedly a copy of the court notice, which may link to a computer virus. The emails request the recipient bring an "identity document" on the specified court date.
International Lottery or Sweepstakes Scam:
Most foreign lottery offers are phony and designed to deceive the consumer into giving monies or personal or credit card information, which could result in credit fraud or identity theft. Playing a foreign lottery is also against federal law. They typically are sent by email notifying the consumer they have won a large sum of money and to collect it, must wire a processing fee using Western Union or Money Gram. Often times, they will ask for money more than once to process your bogus winnings.
Bogus Check/Mystery Shopper Scams:
This scam can work several ways, but typically a scam artist will send an unsolicited letter or email offering you an opportunity to earn money while acting as a “secret” or “mystery” shopper. The scammers will then send you a legitimate-looking check with instructions for you to deposit the check at your bank, then withdraw and send back a portion to them either through a pre-paid debit card or a wire transfer. The check, however, is bogus. You are left responsible for any bank fees associated with the bounced check and out the money you wired to the scam artist.
Phone "phone spoofing" scam:
Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. The scammer poses as a business or company then requests personal information (such as Social Security number), identifies supposed issues and asks for payment to correct these records. Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious. If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency seeking personal information, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request. Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.