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Tips & Tricks for Avoiding Scams

Trick the Scammers & Follow These Tips

In the world today, scammers are around every corner. We have complied these tips and tricks as well as some current local scams that we are aware of to help you avoid being the next victim. 
  • Avoid answering calls from numbers you do not know. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a billing department, hang up and contact the company via one of their customer service lines to verify.
  • Scammers will try to get your personal information. If you are not expecting a request, do not give out any personal information online or over the phone.
  • If you feel pressured to act right away or if you are threatened to give any personal information, hang up immediately. Scammers use fear as a tactic to get information from victims. 
  • A common form of payment that scammers will require is gift cards. You should never have to pay any legitimate bill with gift cards.

Here are some scams that customers have reported in our area. 

  • Too Good to be True - A common practice for scammers is to set up websites with intentions of luring people in by advertising extremely low prices. Search the web to verify the site before you give out personal information. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is! Never click on links or give out personal information to receive special deals or discounts.
  • Unemployment Email Scam - Never click on links from anyone claiming they are from the unemployment department. You need to go directly to the Kansas Department of Labor website if you suspect unemployment fraud.
  • Home Warranty Mail Scam - Scammers are mailing out letters stating your "home warranty that is secured by (insert bank name here) is expiring and you must call us to get your Home Warranty up to date." THIS IS A SCAM! Do not call them. If you question the document call your bank directly. 
  • Amazon Email Scam - If you receive an email saying your Amazon account has been put on hold and all recent purchases will be suspended until you update your information, STOP! Do not click on any links in the email. Call your card company and verify with them if any charges have been added.
  • Misleading Social Media Ads - These ads can be for counterfeit items, items that will never be sent, or even free trials for something you never agreed to. Visit the Better Business Bureau to check out the business and the reviews before you buy. Go to www.bbb.org.

Current Tax Scams

  • 'We recalculated your tax refund and you need to fill out this form'
    This scam email displays the IRS logo and use subject lines such as "Tax Refund Payment" or "Recalculation of your tax refund payment." It asks people to click a link and provide their Social Security numbers, birthday, address, driver's license number and other personal information in order to submit a fake form to allegedly claim their refund.
  • 'This is the Bureau of Tax Enforcement, and we're putting a lien or levy on your assets'
    There is no Bureau of Tax Enforcement. Victims often receive a letter from the fake agency claiming that they have a tax lien or tax levy and that they had better pay the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement” or else. In this scam, scammers often threaten you with legal action or arrest if you don’t pay up immediately. Don’t let yourself be scared into action. The IRS clearly states that it will never call out of the blue; does not ask for a credit card or debit card over the telephone or email; never requests immediate payment over the phone or email; and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. If you get a call or email from someone claiming to be from the IRS, hang up or delete the email immediately.
  • 'We're calling to tell you your identity was stolen; you need to buy some gift cards to fix it'
    In this trick, a criminal calls the victim and poses as an IRS agent. The criminal claims the victim's identity has been stolen and that it was used to open fake bank accounts. The caller then tells the taxpayer to go buy certain gift cards; later, the crook gets back in touch and asks for the gift card access numbers.