scam official

Scam of the Week: Not So Official

Sandy Botkin
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If you have been reading my posts regularly, you would have known that no government agency will contact you by email or threaten you with arrest or fines via email or text messages. They use snail mail otherwise known as the ordinary post office.

Scammers are getting wise too. They are sending out VERY authentic looking letters trying to either get money out of you or get some important personal information. Here is a recent example that just occurred to a friend.

She got a letter from her bank, which in this case was PNC, noting that someone tried to hack into her account. They needed her to go online to the url noted in the letter or call someone at the number given in the letter in order to change her password. Obviously, this was a hoax in order to get her password so that they can access her account. I also heard a recent story of someone saying that they got a threatening IRS letter, which noted that the person should call them at the number listed in the letter.

If you do get a letter from any government agency or financial institution that you did business with, don’t use the phone number or url given in the letter. Look up the phone number for the organization and call them directly.

Yes, it is sad that we have to be this careful and can’t even rely on letters sent to us. However, an extra bit of caution can save you a HUGE amount of hassle.

(Editors Note: Be sure to exercise this caution when dealing with “official” emails as well.)

Forewarned is forearmed.

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