Lt. Alan Piombo
Date: January 21, 2016 10:38 AM
With tax season starting, the following are some recommendations and resources to help avoid scams and becoming a victim of identity theft:
File your tax return as soon as possible.
The IRS does not make telephone calls demanding immediate payment by credit cards, pre-paid cards, or wire-transfers. If you receive a call from a person stating they are from the IRS and demanding immediate payment over the phone, do not provide any information and hang-up. If you want to report these telephone calls, contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
The same advice applies to emails; Do not reply to any unsolicited IRS emails, do not open attachments, do not click onto any links, and do not provide any personal identifying information. If you want to report a suspicious email supposedly from IRS, forward the suspicious emails to email@example.com.
Be vigilant about telephone calls and emails regarding supposedly unpaid taxes, missed jury duty, and outstanding traffic citations. Criminals routinely use the internet to become somewhat knowledgeable about you and your local government offices to sound or appear as a legitimate official. Outstanding tax payments and warrants are not resolved by immediate payment over the phone or internet by providing credit card or pre-paid card information.
Check your mailbox regularly for important documents.
Avoid placing outgoing mail into unlocked curbside mailboxes. If possible, deposit all mail containing financial documents or personal identifying information directly to the Post Office.
If you witness someone searching either you or your neighbor’s mailbox, please call the police immediately to report this activity at (415) 927-5150.
If you would like additional information regarding identity theft, telephone and internet scams, please visit the following websites:
www.identitytheft.gov - Federal Trade Commission
www.irs.gov - Internal Revenue Service
https://oag.ca.gov/idtheft - California Department of Justice
www.annualcreditreport.com - Free Credit Report
www.idtheftcenter.org - Identity Theft Resource Center
www.lifelock.com/identitysmart - Lifelock
Also, if you know of any elderly residents in your neighborhood who do not routinely use the internet, or who do not subscribe to local social media posts such as this, please pass along this information to help them avoid becoming victims of these financial scams.