Recently, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has sent out alerts for scams affecting people in the Pacific Northwest:
· Fake Macy’s Delivery Message. People have been receiving emails at a subject line something like: “Macys.com Order #5698 ready for delivery.” If you open the email there is no mention of a delivery, but the email tells you that you have won a prize in the store’s “monthly give-away” program. To collect it, all you have to do is click the link. If you click on the link you will probably receive malware or a request for your personal information to receive your “prize.” BBB: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2016/03/look-out-for-fake-macys-delivery-message/
· Scams Targeting Washington State. Three scams have been highlighted by the BBB:
o Sweepstakes Scam- An Everett woman was notified that she had won $150,000 and that she needed to pay a $1,500 customs fee to receive her winnings. She lost $635 in trying to pay the fees.
o Instagram Scam- A Lakewood man lost $323 after ordering a pair of shoes and a belt from am Instagram user. In talking to the seller over the phone he was told that he would receive a USPS tracking number. He did not receive the number or the merchandise.
o Government Grant Scam- A Seattle area woman was contacted multiple times during a week in March by someone identifying himself as “Gary Watson” from the U.S. Department of Government Grants. He claimed that she would receive a grant check and pressured her to make several deposits to the agency via Western Union. She lost a little more than $3,400. BBB: http://bbbnorthwest.org/2016/04/04/march-scams-roundup/
In mid-March the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert that they have been receiving a steady stream of reports from citizens about receiving calls from IRS scammers. With a couple of weeks to go until the deadline for filing our income taxes, expect a continued onslaught of these calls. The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone that if you receive one of these calls report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/. Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: https://www.facebook.com/SnoCoSheriff/photos/a.318645198209560.75416.179360692138012/1032350253505714/?type=1&theater
Also, the IRS is warning everyone to be wary of anyone claiming to be from the IRS calling to say that they need to verify information on this year’s tax return. They will claim to need to verify the information to continue processing your return. They will ask for, or pressure you to give them your Social Security number and/or bank account numbers or credit card numbers. Remember, the IRS will not call you for information or to get you to pay taxes owed or late fees. Consumerist: https://consumerist.com/2016/03/14/no-the-irs-will-not-call-you-to-verify-your-tax-return-information/