As spring time comes back to many parts of the US, so does many ‘seasonal’ scams. Partly because of tax season and partly because home projects ramp up, and travel ‘springs up’, this is the time of year to be more alert regarding potential scams. Since credit card companies and financial institutions have implemented ‘chip cards’ with card readers, scammers have to be more creative to access card numbers. Here is a list of spring time scams to be aware of:
Facebook Scam- You receive a ‘friend request’ from someone you are already connected to or aren’t sure that you know. As you accept the request, they are suddenly messaging you regarding financial issues, or a need for financial help. Recently, Facebook instant messaging has ‘friends’ that are messaging you, but it really isn’t a connection you truly have; it’s a created profile. Once the conversation switches to you sending them money, drop the connection by ‘unfriending’ them.
Door to Door Repair Services- A service for hire comes to your door ‘working your area’ from anything from driveway paving, to roofing, to painting services, or any other service. Generally, these individuals are not from the area, and many times are asking for payment upfront. Ask for references, business cards, and definitely do not pay them anything until the work is completed.
Tax or IRS Scam- You are called by phone and are ‘notified’ that you have a pending tax court hearing unless you clear up your IRS lean. Other scams involve that you owe money and that you can pay over the phone. Remember that the IRS notifies you by letter, and if you’re expecting a tax return or have a tax professional prepare your taxes, more than likely you do not owe anything.
Spring Break, aka the ‘Grand Parent’ Scam- You receive a call from someone saying that your grandchild is on spring break and is in trouble. As they continue the conversation, they start to ask you to send money that they will ‘give’ to your grandchild. Some stories range from the grandchild being in jail, to the grandchild being unable to talk themselves because they’re sick, etc.
If you feel that a phone call, email message, or someone coming to your door seems ‘out of the norm’ on what you’re hearing from the individual, choose to not interact with them.