Stay Safe!

LEOH wants its members to remain vigilant and safe.  Here is some information you might be interested in knowing.

By Toni King Houston Community Newspapers Reader Alert: This week, I received a voicemail call on my personal cell phone from an 800 number robocall claiming to be the IRS. I was told via this call that I owed money to the IRS and was going to be sued if I did not call the number left on my voicemail. Recently, I have been informed that many others have also received this call either on their cell or home phone. Let’s discuss what you, your friends or an elderly family member should do if you receive this call. The Washington Post reported on May 30 that “victims receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. They are told that they will be arrested if they do not make a payment immediately and asked to wire money, using Money Gram, Walmart and other wire services.” More than $26 million has been stolen from innocent, naïve Americans. The IRS will send you a letter regarding your IRS account and will NOT send you an email or text message. Below are 5 tell-tale warning signs to tip you off … is it or isn’t it the IRS calling you? You can view all information regarding IRS phone scam at www.irs.gov/uac/five-easy-ways-to-spot-a-scam-phone-call: 1) Call you to demand immediate payment. We will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill. 2) Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. 3) Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card. 4) Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone. 5) Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. What should you do if you receive a call that you are not completely confident whether it was the IRS? Immediately hang up and call the Senate Aging Committee Fraud Hotline at 1/855-303-9470 if you receive a call from IRS, Social Security or Medicare when you have not called them first to ask them a question or left a message to call you back. Call the IRS at 1/800-829-1040 and discuss your IRS account. Ask if they have called you. Report to the local law authorities that you have received a phone call which is a scam. Recently, Treasury agents caught 5 fraudsters in Florida who had defrauded over $2 million from more than 1500 distraught Americans. Scams against seniors and retirees are growing with financial fraud exploding to over $3 billion being scammed yearly. What is the best response if you receive a fraudulent phone call: hang up on them! Remember, you told your kids not to talk to strangers … well when you grow older, you need to do exactly what you told your kids and grandkids … Do Not Talk To Strangers!