Police warn of phone ‘phishing’ scams
Over the past few weeks, the Cloquet Police Department (CPD) has received reports from residents of what they believed were scam/phishing theft attempts from scammers and automated "robo-callers."...
Over the past few weeks, the Cloquet Police Department (CPD) has received reports from residents of what they believed were scam/phishing theft attempts from scammers and automated "robo-callers."
According to the CPD, in one scenario, the person received a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. Believing it to be a scam, the person hung up. The number that was used in this particular call was 206-495-9309, but this can vary.
This is a popular scam. The caller, when allowed, tells the person that they owe money to the IRS and all the complications that can come with their situation. Often the caller will attempt to sell the person legal defense services.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has identified this scam and called it the “Largest Ever Phone Fraud Scam Targeting Taxpayers.” The TIGTA advises people who receive these types of calls to do the following:
1. If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
2. If you do not owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
3. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov . Add “IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint (Barnes, 2014).
In the second scenario, a caller received an automated "robo-call" from someone claiming to be from AT&T [wireless phone service] and said the person's account had been “flagged.” The “robo-caller” then requests the last four digits of a person's Social Security number. This is a phishing attempt to obtain people's Social Security numbers and access to their mobile accounts. The phone number used in this case was 800-888-8804.
Similarly, be cautious if you receive a phone call or text message that entices you to claim an AT&T reward by logging into your my AT&T account. This scam directs you to a non-AT&T website that may look like the real thing, but it is a phishing site used to capture your personal information.
Contact AT&T Customer Support if you feel that you and your account has been compromised. (This can be done by dialing 611 from your mobile device.)