Many of you have heard my seminar on Internet Scams and Identity Theft. Just this past week I received two calls, automated calls, purporting to be from the IRS informing me that I have an outstanding balance and the IRS is about to issue a warrant for my arrest if I don’t call now. As I mention in my talk, this is a total scam, the IRS does not call you about outstanding balances. If you were to call the number on the recording you would be asked for your Social Security number and other identifying information that would be used to steal your identity. Just hang up on these calls. They are meant to scare you and they do sound scary but please, just hang up and ignore them. And, please, tell people you know who may be vulnerable to hang up on these calls.
I’ve received calls about having to refinance my mortgage; press 1 to accept the First Alert system that someone bought for me; a Nigerian prince left me money; and a friend is stuck in Istanbul and needs money to avoid jail.
The call I received today was a new one to me: “Hello, Sir. My name is ________. I’m from the International Computer Monitoring service and we’ve received automated reports from your Windows computer that it is not functioning correctly.”
“Really,” I said. “When do you receive this report?”
“Wow. I haven’t had the computer on for a few days.”
“Oh, well, the reports can take up to five days to get to us.”
And on this went until he hung up on me.
Bottom line, total scam. He wanted access to my computer probably to install some sort of malware and to charge me money for the experience.