Tuesday, January 6, 2015

SCAMS – 2014 Saw Scammers Taking from the Innocent

2014 was a year when we heard many warnings about scams threatening to steal money from unsuspecting victims. Events during the year seemed to attract scammers to Washington State with the Oso landslide and the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting. The AARP Fraud Watch Network has issued a summary about these scams.

IRS Imposter Scam. The year started in March with scammers posing as IRS agents demanding immediate payment for back taxes often threatening arrest, deportation or seizure of property. Payment was to be made by Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid debit cards, a method of payment that the real IRS does not request.

Arrest Warrant Scam. Throughout the year, scammers tried to extort money from citizens by claiming that they were about to be arrested for missing jury duty if they did not pay a fine by using a prepaid debit card (where have we heard this one) immediately. Local law enforcement agencies do not call to tell you that you have a warrant for your arrest!

Charity Scams.  The Washington State Attorney General’s Office as well as local law enforcement agencies warned of scammers trying to take advantage of disasters and tragedies such as the Oso landslide and the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Scammers will call, send email or use internet advertising to claim that they will give donations to victims of these disasters. Of course the scammers take the money and victims see no money.

Medical Alert Scam. Scammers will call claiming “increasing rates of death and injury from falls” offering a “free” medical alert device. And for signing up, you will get thousands of dollars in free coupons. All you have to do is give the scammer your credit card number for shipping and activation. Those who did give their credit card numbers were charged monthly fees for devices that never arrived.

Grandparent Scam. Thousands of grandparents have been victimized by scammers claiming to be grandsons/granddaughters or great nieces or nephews in some sort of trouble with the law or in a bad accident in need of emergency money quick. The scammer appeals to the grandparent’s emotions and caring for a young relative in order to get them give money quickly.

For more on how the grandparent scam works, go to:


While new scams may show up in 2015, these are scams that we all need to be on the watch for and avoid.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:






No comments:

Post a Comment