You may be great at deleting e-mails from Nigerian princes to avoid
online phishing, but fraudsters are coming up with new schemes to get
your private information. While many of the new scams involve hot
topics in the news, they still may be based on old techniques like phone
One such scam involves someone contacting you about
investing in high-yielding certificates of deposit. If you get a call
like this, don't provide any information or send money. It could be a
scammer, posing as a broker. They could even claim to represent a
legitimate firm, even one you already do business with. Caller IDs can
even be rigged to fake a firm's number. Always check the number
independently with the firm's website or your own records and call
directly to verify a caller's identity.
Another area ripe for
fraud is linked to the recent legalization of medical or recreational
marijuana in some states. As with any enterprise making headlines,
so-called "pump-and-dump" artists have begun touting small, thinly
traded companies linked to that industry. In many cases, they hope to
inflate demand and drive up the stock price quickly--the "pump"--and
then dump their vastly inflated shares at a profit, leaving their
victims holding the bag.
Finally, if you receive a phone call
threatening jail time or the loss of your driver's license unless you
pay what you owe the IRS, don't panic, even if they cite part of your
Social Security number. They could even have a scammer call claiming to
be from an official agency to “verify” the claim of the other caller.
Before you do anything, contact the IRS directly and don’t use a number
they gave you, rather look up the number on your own.
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2014.