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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Phone Scams

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Tech Lab has a series of blog posts sharing ways to stay protected from cyber criminals.

These are some very common phone call scams Tech Lab has seen:

  1. The IRS calls you.  You owe money on your taxes, and you will go to jail if you do not pay. 
  2. Social Security calls you.  Your identity has been compromised. 
  3. Your utility company calls you.  Your power will be turned off due to non-payment. 

Why this is a scam: The IRS, your utility company, and Social Security do not call you for matters of this nature.  They will send you a physical letter.  There are several letters before you get threatened with problems. 

Hang up immediately with the person who called you!!

How to know this is a scam: Then if you wish you can call the company who claimed to call you with a number that you find on the Internet or in the phonebook or on your billing statements. If you find the number yourself, you will be sure to reach someone at that company who can look up your information. 

What to do: When you have been called, do NOT give your payment information over the phone. Do NOT give any other information to them or verify what they say is correct!

Only when you initiate the call should you give payment information, and be sure that you are calling the number of the company.  If you already gave your payment information over the phone and suspect that it is fraudulent, verify that you did not make a payment to the company expected by calling their number that you have obtained on your own.  Report the transaction to your payment companies as fraudulent, and change your payment information and password.

If you need additional assistance navigating this situation, call Tech Lab at 414-208-4682.

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