You May Owe Money to the IRS, April Fools

Since pranks may be in the wind today and people may be less guarded because of April Fool’s Day, a representative of the Better Business Bureau says watch out for scams, in particular, those made via phone calls.

Spokeswoman Shelley Polansky warns everyone to stay vigilant. The three most common scams to be aware of, she says, are the IRS Scam, Computer Support Scam and the Grandparent Imposter Scam. The IRS Scam, she says, ranked as number 1 in the country last year, and is as it sounds – someone calling saying they’re from the IRS demanding payment of back taxes or you’ll be arrested. Lt. Tom Ringley of the Sheridan Police Department says this scam is particularly upsetting to folks in Sheridan.

In the Computer Support Scam, Polansky says the caller claims to be from Microsoft and you must hand over control of your computer for a few minutes because of a virus. Anyone who does, she says, may actually have a virus loaded on, which will then give the scammer access to personal passwords and other information. The Grandparent Imposter Scam has been around for years, she says. That’s the one, she explains, where the caller claims they’re your grandchild who’s in trouble overseas and needs money wired, immediately. The best response to all of these calls, says Polansky, is to hang up. She assures that the Microsoft company does not monitor home computers and the IRS never calls taxpayers. That scammer, she says, can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General.

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