Monday, September 28, 2015

SCAM ROUNDUP– The Latest on Scams That Can Affect You

Here is the latest on some scams going around:

IRS Scam- Last week the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office reported on its Facebook page that a county resident received a call from someone claiming to be a Sheriff’s deputy and telling the resident that the resident needed to purchase a pre-paid credit card to pay for outstanding taxes to the IRS.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that law enforcement agencies will not call you and demand payment for anything. Nor will a law enforcement officer or deputy call and tell you that they are on their way to arrest you because you have missed jury duty, or for any other reason, unless you pay an amount on a pre-paid credit card. The IRS will not call you about federal incomes taxes owed or about penalties owed to the federal government. If it thinks that you owe taxes or penalties it will contact you via “snail mail” with a letter.

While there is little that local law enforcement agencies can do about scams like this, you can report this kind of call (phone numbers that show up on your caller ID and a description of what is said is helpful) to the IRS at

BECU Scam- Earlier this month, Jesse Jones of KIRO TV reported that fraudsters have been calling people or using text messages claiming that BECU is having issues with your BECU issued credit or debit card. They will ask for your account information, or in a text message will ask you to call a number or click a link. The calls often go to non-BECU customers as well as customers of BECU. According to BECU, 20% of their customers are in the Seattle area, so scammers have a one in five chance of finding the right customer. Pretty good odds for a scammer.

The best thing to do if you get a call like this is to hang up. If you get a text claiming to be from BECU, ignore it.


WhatsApp Scam- According to the Better Business Bureau, emails claiming to be from WhatsApp are showing up in people’s inboxes. WhatsApp allows you to send text messages, video and audio via the internet with your smartphone.

The email will have a subject line that reads “Incoming Voice Message” and a timestamp. The text of the email will tell you that you have a “missed voicemail” and will have a button to click on to play a message.

DO NOT click that button! If you do, you will download malware onto your computer or mobile device.

Even though the email uses the WhatsApp colors and logo, making it look legitimate, WhatsApp does not send emails unless it is in response to a customer inquiry.

For more information about how you can protect yourself from App Scams go to:

Better Business Bureau:



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