LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With tax season underway and Valentine's Day coming up, scammers are looking for every opportunity to steal your money and information. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says they are committed to helping consumers steer clear of scams by equipping them with the right knowledge.
Regardless of the season, the BBB wants consumers to always be aware of these 10 scams:
1. CHARITY SCAM | Before donating to a charity, be sure to check give.org to make sure your money is going to a legitimate cause. Many scammers like to cash in by pretending to collect donations for causes like wildfire and earthquake relief efforts.
2. ROMANCE SCAM | You could be dealing with a scammer if your new love interest refuses or postpones meeting in person, requests money, or only wants to communicate through text or e-mail.
3. SHIPPING SCAM | Many consumers have reported unsolicited texts claiming to be from FedEx about a delivery. If you receive one of these texts, be sure not to open any links and delete the message immediately.
4. MICROSOFT SCAM | Though Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7, scammers are calling customers, offering updates. You should simply hang up if you receive a call from someone who claims to be from Microsoft.
5. CENSUS SCAM | While census workers will ask questions that seem personal, they should never request information such as your social security number, account numbers or money. If someone claiming to be a census worker asks for these details, you are dealing with an imposter.
6. UTILITY SCAM | Scammers claiming to be from utility companies have been calling customers and telling them their services will be turned off if they do not make a payment over the phone. If you receive a call like this and believe there may be an issue, hang up and call the company directly.
7. SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM | Hang up if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the social security administration. Scammers may try to tell you they need to verify your social security number because it has been stolen to linked to a crime. You should not give your social security number to anyone you don’t know over the phone.
8. GOVERNMENT GRANT SCAM | If someone calls claiming to offer you a free government grant because you’re a good citizen, you should hang up. Some scammers have told citizens they will receive these grants if they send money to cover fees.
9. PET SCAM | If you are looking for pets online and someone asks for money to “hold” the animal for you, it may be a scam. The BBB was made aware of an instance where a consumer wanted to buy a kitten online. The scammer offered to ship the kitten and asked for money to hold it for the potential buyer.
10. IRS SCAM | If you receive a threatening call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, hang up immediately. The IRS will never call you.
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