Bishop Police warn of Computer and IRS Scams
submitted by Jessica Scida, Public Information Officer, Bishop Police Department.
Recently, the Bishop Police Department dispatchers have been taking an increased number of calls from residents reporting phone scams. Our area has been the target of two popular and continuous internet and phone scams lately that we would like to warn you about.
COMPUTER TECHNICAL SUPPORT SCAM
Technical support scams are telemarketers impersonating major computer companies. They will call you or send you an email and force you into believing that your computer is riddled with viruses, spyware and other issues. These scammers may even ask you to allow them remote access to your computer in order to fix these problems. After doing so, they will “lock” your computer, and attempt to extort the owner by demanding a large payment, sometimes hundreds of dollars, in order to release the computer back to your control. These cyber crooks may direct you to obtain a cash value gift card or provide a credit card number for payment.
If you receive fraudulent tech support call, you are advised to hang up on the caller, even if they use your name or mention other personal details.
Here is what you need to know to protect yourself:
Microsoft and its partners will never phone a consumer or send a personal email warning about a virus on your computer.
Do not be fooled if a computer hacker posing a computer tech support has your personal information including your name and address or knows the operating system of your computer. This information is obtained by these individuals through public phone directories, and they may be guessing your operating system by suggesting popular ones.
Do not follow directions in an unsolicited phone call or email to download anything onto your computer. Do not click on links listed in messages to websites, provide usernames and passwords, or agree to any kind of security subscription services. Legitimate computer tech support companies will never ask you for passwords, or access to online banking information.
If you believe that you have already been the victim of this type of computer crime, please contact a reputable computer repair company to resolve the issue and remove any program that the computer hackers may have tricked you into installing.
IRS IMPOSTER SCAM
Another scam that is continuing to circulate in the area is the IRS impersonation scam. With this scam, a caller may angrily demand immediate payment over the phone for an outstanding tax bill that you never actually received. The caller will threaten to bring in local police, often mentioning the Bishop Police Department, and claim that you will arrested for not paying the amount owed.
Here is what you need to know, from the IRS website:
The IRS will never call you and demand payment over the phone, and they will not call you about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill to you.
The IRS will never demand that you pay taxes without providing you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount that you owe.
The IRS will never require you to use a specific payment method, like a prepaid cash gift or debit card.
The IRS will never ask you for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you have been target by this scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistant at FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
The Bishop Police Department would like to remind you to be vigilant against phone and email scams. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Bishop Police Department at (760) 873-5866.