BBB Announces Top Scams in August
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has compiled the top scams affecting Maine, Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont last month.
BBB’s Scam Tracker reported an abundance of tax/debt collection and tech support scams circulating the service area.
Last month in Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the most prevalent scam was debt/tax collection. Consumers reported receiving calls from scammers claiming to be the U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the legal department of the IRS.
One consumer reported that if they didn’t contact the scammer, then they would be taken to court for a Federal offense. Another consumer reported “that the IRS has named [them] in a criminal lawsuit and provided the case number.”
In many reports, scammers claiming to be collecting taxes will threaten with lawsuits, arrests, and jail time if immediate payment is not received. BBB advises consumers to never wire money or send prepaid debit cards to scammers claiming to be from the IRS. The IRS recommends calling them 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is legitimate.
Last month in Maine and Vermont, the most prevalent scam was tech support. Consumers reported receiving calls from scammers claiming to be from Microsoft, Dell Tech Support, and computer security businesses.
One consumer reported that the scammer told them that their computer was interfering with the modems at Microsoft and needed to be cleaned out and then requested access to their computer. Another consumer reported that the caller said “my computer is sending ‘alerts’ and wants to remote into [the] computer to fix the security problem.”
BBB urges consumers who receive unsolicited calls from someone offering help with computer issues to hang up the phone and do not give remote access. Consumers should be sure their anti-virus protection is up-to-date as well.
BBB’s Scam Tracker is absolutely free for consumers and businesses. Stay up-to-date on the latest scams in your area by visiting bbb.org/scamtracker/boston.