Category Archives: Crimes Against Seniors

Phony State Treasurer’s Inspector Threatens Arrest

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Scammers will sometimes try to frighten you by pretending to be a law enforcement officer or a government employee.  In a recent incident, a man claimed to be an inspector with the State Treasurer’s Office, likely to try to trick someone into giving up their money or personal information.

The scammer was able to manipulate Caller ID to make it look like he was calling from the Treasurer’s Office. He claimed to be inspector “Henry Jordan” and threatened the consumer who answered the call that a warrant would be issued for his wife’s arrest if she didn’t take the call. Fortunately, the man who answered the phone recognized this as a scam and reported it.

Remember:

·         You can’t rely on Caller ID to determine whether or not a call is official.
·         Legitimate law officers and government officials will not call you and threaten to arrest you.
·         If someone calls you and demands money or personal information, hang up and contact the real agency or business at a number you know to be valid.

If you spot a scam, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at ncdoj.gov

Look Out For ID Theft This Tax Season

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Tax time is right around the corner, and unfortunately ID thieves know it. Remember to keep your guard up against tax identity theft this year.

Each year, thousands of Americans’ personal information is stolen by thieves who use it to file tax returns and collect large refunds.  In many cases, victims don’t find out about the fraud until their own legitimate tax returns are rejected by the IRS, which says they’ve already processed a return under the same name and social security number.

To avoid tax return ID theft, protect your personal and financial information:

  • Store your social security card in a safe, secure location.
  • Never carry your social security card in your wallet or purse unless you need it that day.
  • Shred old, unneeded documents that include your SSN.
  • Avoid using your SSN online when possible. If you do need to enter your SSN into a website, look for an “https” at the beginning of the web address to ensure security.
  • Limit the odds that a thief will collect your refund by filing your tax return as soon as possible.
  • If you hire a tax preparation service to file your return this year, make sure the preparer is legitimate.

If the IRS tells you that they’ve received your return already this tax season, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, consider placing a fraud alert on your credit reports, and contact the IRS to learn about filing an Identity Theft Affidavit. Taxpayers are often able to work with the IRS to sort out their tax returns and get their refund.

For more information on making sure filing your taxes goes smoothly, take a look at our tax time tips

Flood of Fake Tax Calls Targets NC Consumers

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Scammers posing as US Treasury officials are calling North Carolinians and demanding that you pay taxes right away or face a lawsuit or arrest. More than 500 consumers have reported these fraudulent calls to our office in the past week, with many of the reports coming from eastern North Carolina.

We’ve warned you about phony tax collector calls before. In the most recent version, the caller usually identifies himself as Steve Martin or David Gray, and many of the calls reported appear to come from the same number:  843-492-4165. The calls often begin with a pre-recorded message that you’re asked to return. Sometimes the caller says there’s an issue with your pension, and other times he says an action has been filed against you by the US Treasury.

Anyone who calls to demand immediate payment for taxes is trying to rip you off. If you get a call like this, remember:

  • Government agencies will not threaten arrest if you don’t pay taxes or fines immediately.
  • Real government employees will never demand immediate payment by credit card, bank account draft, pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
  • Caller ID can be manipulated to make it appear the scammers are calling from the real IRS or a local number, even if they’re located halfway around the world.
  • Never share personal information such as your Social Security Number or bank account number with anyone you don’t know who contacts you, even if they claim to work with a government agency.

If you have been contacted by a phone scammer, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online at ncdoj.gov.
 

“Protect Social Security” scam targets seniors

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Senior citizens in North Carolina are getting a misleading mailing that asks them to vote in a referendum on Social Security—once they’ve made a donation of $22 to cast their ballot.

Seniors and authorities in Cleveland County have reported the scam, which could be happening in other areas of the state. People who get the mailing may feel compelled to give money thinking it will help protect their Social Security benefits, and recipients could easily mistake the mailer as having been sent by their local Senior Center or county government.

If you get a questionable mailing, check it out thoroughly before you respond:

  • Does it appear to come from an organization you know and trust? Check the fine print carefully to see who is really behind the mailing.
  • Ask a knowledgeable friend or family member to review the mailing with you before you agree to send any money. See if they think the request is from a legitimate source.
  • Contact our office or local law enforcement if you have questions about a mailing.

To check out a questionable mailing or report a scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
 

Scammers pretend to be DOJ

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Some North Carolina consumers have reported getting calls from people pretending to be with the North Carolina Department of Justice who demand that they pay a $1,000 fine for unpaid taxes or face immediate arrest. The calls even appear to come from NCDOJ’s main office number, (919) 716-6400.

But the fines aren’t real, and the callers are scammers who have figured out how to manipulate Caller ID technology to make it look like they’re calling from our office. Scammers often use this method to try to convince you that they’re with a government agency, your bank, or some other legitimate organization so you’ll be more likely to fall for their con.

Remember:

  •          You can’t depend on Caller ID to reveal the true identity of who is calling you.
  •          Legitimate government agencies and businesses will not call you and threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay right away.
  •          Don’t respond to phone calls that demand that you send money or provide personal information such as account numbers.

If you spot a scam, report it to the real NCDOJ by calling the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
 

Help Prevent Elder Scams, Fraud and Abuse

A 2010 survey by the nonprofit Investor Protection Trust projects that 1 in 5 seniors are taken advantage of financially. Now, seniors and their families lose billions of dollars each year to fraud, says a Consumer Reports article from October 5th, 2015.

Have you or someone you know been taken advantage of as part of phone, email or internet scam? Senior Resources of Guilford’s SeniorLine provides free presentations to Guilford County churches, community groups and other senior groups on recognizing and protecting yourself from different scams and frauds.

To schedule a Senior Fraud Prevention Presentation, call the SeniorLine at 336-333-6981.

Jury Duty Scammer at it Again

This message brought to you on behalf of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Wake County residents are getting calls from a phony sheriff’s deputy saying they skipped jury duty and a subsequent court date. The caller tells you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest, or soon will be, but you can pay a $900 fine now and avoid being arrested.

Con artists have tried this scam in different locations across North Carolina over the years. They want to exploit your fear of getting on the wrong side of the law, and see if they can squeeze money out of you before you realize it’s a scam.

Reports of this scam are up in North Carolina. More than twice as many North Carolina consumers have reported getting fake jury duty calls this year than in all of 2014.

To protect yourself, remember:

  • Real notices for jury duty arrive by mail.
  • Legitimate public officials won’t call to threaten you with arrest if you don’t show up for jury duty or fail to pay a fine immediately.
  • Hang up on jury duty scammers and other crooks who try to trick you out of your hard-earned money.
  • If you get one of these calls, report it to your local police department and file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or completing the form online at www.ncdoj.gov.