The IRS scam is frustrating, but we would like to inform you about the tax scam season again. It is back, and the scammers are continuously trying new methods. In 2019 the total loss of tax preparers reported to FTC is amounted to $7.3M with a median loss of $518, and the top contact method by scammers is by phone. How do we protect ourselves from the scammers?
We hope you had a wonderful start of 2020! As it is almost February, tellows would like to inform you about the latest phone fraud. Smishing, which is also known as SMS scam, has been raising concern in the US, as many reported that scammers sent endless text messages to trick them. Therefore, tellows also added a new caller type for you to choose from when reporting a spam call – the SMS Spam.
Hello everyone! Today we would like to remind you about the gift card scam. The holiday season has just passed and there are more and more reports regarding gift card scams, which raise concern. Therefore tellows would like to provides some details about it.
As we heard a lot about robocalls in the US last year, measures were taken by the end of the year as President Trump has signed legislation giving authorities to the right to identify and block robocalls.
It has been a long time! tellows hopes you enjoyed the summer. This time we would like to present the latest statistics about phone scams from the past two months. As a reminder, a bill ‘TRACED ACT’ was passed in July and it aims to lower the number of robocalls. However, according to Forbes, robocalls are still prevailing and the number of robocalls in the second quarter this year was 38% higher than last year; the number of imposter phone scams was also 28% higher.
Robocalls have been bothering us a long time and it has recently been becoming more and more unbearable. Last year the number of robocalls reached 26 billion – a 46% increase comparing to the estimated robocalls in 2017. A bill regarding to nuisance calls is passed by the US Senate with 97 to 1 vote in the later of May. The bill, named TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act, will lift the fine to $10,000 per robocall and extend the statute of limitations on robocalls from two to three years.
According to CNN politics, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed that
“There’s very little more annoying to New Yorkers than being woken up in the dead of night by automated calls trying to scam them out of their hard-earned money,”
“The TRACED Act is just what we need to hang up on these nonstop robocalls, and the House should follow the Senate’s lead and pass it ASAP.”
Telecom companies are happy with the result. With this new regulation established, carriers will be able to implement robocall blocking technologies for customers automatically.
The number of phone scams has been soaring in the recent years and scammers have been taking advantages of technology to perform endless phone frauds. As stated by the Federal Communications Commission, half of the calls made in the US in 2019 will be spam calls. Revenue lost due to phone frauds in US peaked $83M in the first quarter of 2019, more then 140K reports received in 4 months according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Phone scam is the most common type of frauds referring to FTC and the median of reported fraud loss is $1000.
Robocalls are the most notorious spam calls nowadays. We have little control for this particular type of phone fraud, as it is generated by computers that dial high volume of random phone numbers in a short period of time. But what about other types of spam calls, like Wangiri scam, IRS scam, telemarketing calls, sweepstakes calls……? Why do these scammers call you and where is the leak? There is always something we can do to lower the chances of receiving spam calls! Lets start with protecting our personal information on the internet!
It has already been a busy year at tellows. Our users have been occupied this year searching among phone numbers as such as those linked to the IRS phone scam targeting us taxpayers, USPS phone and email scam and the Jury duty scam that threatened many of the vulnerable to cough up a penalty fine by making a credit card payment over the phone. Yes, the first half of the year so far has showed us that the scammers are still working hard at it. Now, not all calls here at tellows are deemed to be linked to a scamming operation, however they are more often than not categorised as unwanted and unbeknownst to the caller even with the help of caller ID. This is demonstrably put foward with America’s figures in May.
Number of searches for the month of May per region.
Tax season is here and opportunists are again determined as ever to victimize wage earners, steal their identities and much-anticipated tax refunds.
Your Social security number, name and date of birth – that’s all a scammer needs – as easy and as low risk as that. Once they have a Social Security number in hand, the scammers can file a phony tax return in the victim’s name, claim a large refund and have it sent to a false address.
Last year, the IRS caught more than 1.8 million fake tax returns and prevented more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds. It is estimated that about $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years can even be issued to scammers.