Utah Warns Consumers of 6 Scams – 2016

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in | Comments Off on Utah Warns Consumers of 6 Scams – 2016

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    The Provocateur
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    The Utah Division of Consumer Protection is ready for 2016 and has already announced its New Year’s resolution — to squash fraudsters and alert Utahns of the most common scams likely to perpetuate into the new year.

    “While you are busy celebrating 2016, con artists are making resolutions to find new victims to pitch old frauds and steal your hard-earned money,” warned Francine A. Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce, in a statement. “Be aware that these schemes continue to circle the state and remember, an educated consumer is a con artists’ worst nightmare.”

    1. Dubious debt collectors

    This type of scam takes many forms, but can essentially be described as a call or message from someone saying that you owe them money. Some fraudsters claim to be from the government, such as a recent scam claiming to be a Weber County Sheriff’s Office employee requiring debts for missed jury duty, or from a utility company.

    2. Phony IRS phone calls

    This scam circulated throughout the state many times in 2015, attempting to fool its victims into paying owed back taxes or face an arrest warrant. This scam picked up new tactics recently to appear more like an official message from the IRS, but Utah IRS spokesman Bill Brunson says that the agency initiates contact by official mail and never by phone. Additionally, he said the Bill of Rights affords everyone the right to contest taxes owed, so the brazen threat of arrest should always be perceived as a scam.
    3. IT/computer technician calls

    The division says some scammers call pretending to be a computer or software company needing to update one’s personal computer, or fix an alleged problem, in order to load malicious software or retrieve personal information. The agency advises to contact a trusted computer company.

    4. Social media family scams

    Social media helps scammers learn personal information about an individual when calling family members, alerting them with a fake claim that the individual was arrested in a foreign country and needs bail money sent through a money transfer. The division advises to contact family first before responding to anyone with such claims.

    5. Credit card “smart chip” offers

    New regulations mean consumers need “smart chip” cards to shop in stores nationwide. The division said con artists try to fool consumers into paying money for a new card or demand account or personal information via email, text or phone call. The division advises those receiving such communication should contact the card issuer directly.

    6. Alarm company needs to “upgrade” your system

    This predatory practice arises when an alarm company technician comes to your door stating a need to upgrade your equipment — but it’s actually a technician from your company’s competitor and you end up with two alarm contracts. The division advises consumers to call their alarm company to report the visit and verify equipment status.

    Link to original article…

    Utah Warms Consumers of Scams

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