January is prime time for fraud to strike. I did not realize that until I read the AARP Bulletin, A Prime Time for Fraudsters, posted 1/1/1012 by Sid Kirchheimer. Not to be paranoid, but take note that the scammers are putting the final touches on their plan of attack. And while our elder neighbors and family members are the easy victims for scammers to target, it can happen to any of us. Here are the highlights from the article:
- January is the month your employer, banks and other financial institutions begin sending out W-2’s, 1099’s, brokerage statements and other highly confidential documents in the MAIL!
- Our New Year’s resolution to lose weight brings out the diet scams selling questionable or imitation weight-loss products.
- IRS does not email you or call you to discuss past problems. To authenticate inquiries, call IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
- Online dating… who would have thought! Your online new love could end up asking for a loan or have you invest in their dream cause. According to Kirchheimer, losses average $10,000!
To be safe in this new year, be alert to year-end statements that you have not received from your employer or bank, eat less and exercise more, be careful with giving our your personal information to anyone, and don’t let Cupid’s arrow cause you to temporarily lose basic common sense.
Happy New Year!