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Scam Alerts


NYS Tax Representative Scam

Scammers Manipulate Caller ID Systems to Pose as NYS Tax Department Representatives 

Con artists trick New Yorkers by placing Tax Department numbers in caller ID systems

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today alerted taxpayers to the latest tactics being used by con artists. Scammers are cloning the Tax Department’s fraud hotline phone numbers so they appear on a taxpayer’s caller ID, giving the impression that these bogus calls are legitimate ones from the agency.

If either of the following Tax Department numbers appears on a caller ID system, it’s an immediate signal that the caller is a scam artist: 518-457-5181 or 518-457-0578. These phone numbers are for taxpayers making incoming calls to the Tax Department. The Tax Department doesn’t use these numbers for outgoing calls.

New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone said, “Many of the imposters who call demand payments on iTunes gift cards and other reloadable debit cards, which are obvious red flags. I urge every New Yorker to remain vigilant for signs that a call could be a scam.”

If you’re unsure a caller claiming to be from the Tax Department is legitimate, contact the Tax Department call center at (518) 457-5434. A live representative will be able to verify any tax issues that you may have.

You can also protect yourself from con artists by creating an Online Services (OLS) account directly with the Tax Department at www.tax.ny.gov. This will allow you to confirm any outstanding tax liabilities and manage your tax matters securely online. If a caller is telling you something that doesn’t match up with your OLS account, this could be a warning sign.

If you believe that you’ve been contacted by someone attempting a scam, or you or a client have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, visit the Tax Department’s Report fraud, scams, and identity theft webpage to learn how to report it. The Tax Department takes this type of illegal activity seriously, promptly reviews each complaint, and takes corrective action when appropriate. 

New Local Phone/Text Scam


Within the past day or two, and as recent as this morning, people are receiving scam text messages regarding bank accounts.

From: 855-379-3328 --- others have been from 201-633-4111

Text message: (specific bank name) Notification. Account Locked. Call 844-266-4604

People receiving these messages often do have an account with that particular bank, but the cell phone number is not associated with that account. And obviously this is not the way banks communicate with customers. 

Please alert clients, family and friends – tell them not to respond if they receive one of these messages. And please make sure any messages are reported.

Lifespan Scam Prevention


Excellus Social Security Number Scam

Criminals are utilizing the recent data breach news coverage regarding Excellus to victimize unsuspecting subscribers.

Excellus has received information that members are receiving calls from individuals saying they are from Excellus, and asking for member' social security numbers.

Please be advised that Excellus is not making calls to solicit social security numbers.  If you receive a call of this nature, please let Excellus know by calling the Excellus Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-8024

ROBOCALL SCAM TARGETS OLDER NEW YORKERS

The New York State Office for Aging has been made aware of a new robocall scam that attempts to lure older New Yorkers into providing their personal information over the phone. The voice on the robocall identifies itself as the New York State Office for the Aging and asks the individual answering the phone to  press a button if someone in the home is over 65 and would be interested in receiving a free Medic Alert pin and $3000 in coupons for food or other items.  

This is a SCAM. The New York State Office for the Aging does not give away items, money or coupons and will NEVER solicit personal information over the phone.

If you receive a similar call, you should HANG UP IMMEDIATELY.  Reports of financial scams should be reported to the Consumer Protection Division of the NYS Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-771-7755, the NYS Department of Financial Services at 1-800-697-1220 or the NYS Department of State (518) 474-8583.

MEDICARE SCAM

Caller pretends to be from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) or another government agency. Caller claims that new Medicare cards are being issued. To get yours, you need to verify information, including your Medicare number.

In reality, Medicare will never call and ask for personal information, such as a Medicare number, over the phone. Nor will Medicare email or visit your home announced to collect information that is already has.

And despite what these callers might suggest, there are no plans to issue new Medicare cards.

Remember - the toll-free number to report allegations of Medicare fraud and abuse is 1-877-678-4697.

PRESS RELEASE         

Date: December 14, 2015

 BEWARE OF IRS TELEPHONE SCAMS

 According to Sheriff Ron Spike, “Individuals posing as IRS agents are calling residents on the telephone making demands for payment for debts alleged owed, and IRS phone calls such as this are scams and you should hang up immediately.”

 The number of fraudulent ID complaints the Sheriff’s Office is receiving from individuals is rising rapidly, especially during this holiday period. The threats are bogus and they seek personal information that could be used for an identity theft crime.

 If the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) deems you owe them money they will communicate via the US mail. Personal information including Social Security numbers and bank account information should never be given to telephone callers. Scammers frequently target senior citizens, and people get scared, and then mail money-grams. The Sheriff said, “We have other cases ongoing where people have sent several thousand dollars by wire transfer to pay taxes on prize winnings which is all bogus.”

Dell Scam

I wanted to alert everyone regarding a phone scam going on where someone, usually with a heavy Pakistani accent, calls the victim claiming to be from Dell.   The caller then proceeds to give you your service tag number (the Dell serial number) and states that there are some errors or viruses, etc. on your computer.

 This is a scam.  Dell does not cold call customers.  Simply hang up on the caller.  The phone call may come through as “restricted” or they also mask their NPA/NXX (area code and first three digits) to look like it’s coming from your local area OR it could be a 1-866 number.  Here is a website to report the scammer if you so desire:  https://marketing.dell.com/reportscams

 The scam is similar to the “Microsoft” cold callers where a caller claims to be from Microsoft (they’re not) and then instructs you to allow them to remote in to your computer.

 These scammers particularly prey upon the elderly which is a real problem.  Their intention is to lock the computer and charge exorbitant fees for unlocking the computer/fake virus removal, etc.