Scam Letters in This Day and Age? You Betcha
It’s not just online scams out there waiting to pounce. Believe it or not, fake IRS and Medicare letters are hitting people’s literal mailboxes.
Have you ever received a letter from a Nigerian prince offering to leave you your fortune in exchange for your Social Security number, bank account numbers, and other personal information? Yeah, you’re not the only one to receive one of these scam letters.
These scam letters were all the rage during the early days of the Internet, fooling many into believing they were the special ones selected for the opportunity of a lifetime. There’s no shortage of new versions of the original scam letter nowadays, aimed at your wallet.
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One such letter is a beneficiary of will email claiming you will inherit a million or more, requiring you to share your personal financial information. Counterfeit cashier’s checks have also been popular, as well as donation solicitations hoping you’ll fall prey to fake images of hungry children in need. Scams are evolving online daily, and even though a paper letters seem defunct they’ve evolved too and have fooled a large number of people.
Tell-Tale Signs of a Fake Letter
Scam letters have evolved quite a bit since then as some scammers are writing letters claiming to be from the government. One of the most popular examples of the scam letters is fake IRS documents. As we enter tax season, pay close attention to any documentation you might receive, even if it seems legitimate.
Taxpayers have been receiving fake notices that look legitimate enough, asking for personal information that reportedly doesn’t match other records on file. One of these scams is a fake letter that claims to be from the Affordable Care Act law that requires taxpayers without health coverage to pay a penalty, making it seem legitimate.
Many of these letters are coming from an Austin, Texas address and list the letter number in your payment voucher as being 105C. These letters seem legitimate since the IRS has an office that accepts payments in Austin, but beware, they aren’t!
Other Scams to Watch Out For
Unclaimed property scams are also running rampant with letters that grab your attention and claim that the state has hold of your unclaimed property. In some cases, recipients are tricked into believing they are owed thousands of dollars, and all they have to do is pay a fee upfront or provide personal information.
Con artists are also cashing in on the fact that Medicare is sending new cards to beneficiaries with random numerals to prevent identity theft. Some scammers are acting as Medicare agents, telling seniors they must buy a replacement card, which are actually free.
Is That Letter Fishy?
Keep your eyes peeled for any scam letters sent to you, your family and any friends who may have been offered a deal that sounds too good to be true or asks for their personal information, banking details and Social Security number.
If you receive a letter that appears to be from the IRS or Medicare, look up the phone number for these agencies online, give them a call and ask about any penalties or unpaid taxes mentioned in the letter.