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Lottery Tax Scam Alert, Fake IRS Sites and Census Scams

Thu April 01 2010 7:25 am
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Arlngton Heights police recently received a report of a lottery/tax-related scam. The victim received a call from a man identifying himself as “Bill” who stated that the victim had won $500,000 in an off-shore lottery. Bill turned the phone over to “Truman” who explained that the complainant needed to send $50,000 in taxes before the winnings would be released. The amount quoted dropped from $50,000 to $1,500 during conversation. The victim told “Truman” she felt she was being scammed. He then gave her two numbers to call to verify the information was legitimate. Truman called back and the complainant again told him she thought she was being scammed. He asked her why she was wasting his time and then ended the call. The victim did not send any funds.

Fake IRS
Be alert that scams related to phishing increase during tax season. Some malicious sites posing as an official IRS site function to attempt to get your personal information for identity theft. If you get an email from the IRS, it’s probably a scam. The IRS does NOT usually contact taxpayers via email. Avoid replying or clicking on links that take you to suspicious sites. Some emails may have fake links that refer to websites that look like official IRS sites. If a victim fills out information on an official-looking form on the fake IRS site, the offenders can use the information to steal the victims identity. You should delete these messages.

Census Forms and Census Safety
Questions on the census form are very simple and do not ask for any personal information. Census questions do not ask for your Social Security number, they do not ask for your bank account number, and they do not ask for your driver license number or whether you have been in this country legally or not.

A Census worker will never request to come into a house or residence.

For those who are still concerned or need assistance filling out the form, the Census Bureau has provided a toll free number for questions at 1-866-872-6868. Answers are available in five different languages and phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

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