The 2020 federal income tax filing due date for individuals has been extended from April 15 to May 17, 2021. It’s a good time to remind taxpayers to be vigilant of common IRS impersonation scams frequently targeting the elderly, students, and immigrants that escalate during tax season. 

In IRS agent phone scams, fraudsters provide false names and IDs and spoof Caller ID so their calls appear to come from the IRS. Victims are threatened that they owe the IRS money and must pay up immediately.

Sometimes a fake agent tells the victim she owes delinquent taxes and demands immediate payment by prepaid debit or gift card or wire transfer. The “agent” threatens that nonpayment will result in arrest, deportation, fines, license suspension

An elderly relative phoned me the other day, concerned that she had been the target of an attempted scam. Somebody claiming to be her grandson had called to report that he had had a car accident while driving and was in the hospital, and she needed to send money immediately for his care. My relative told the caller to call his mother, hung up, and immediately made a call herself to the grandson’s mother. She discovered that he was safe at home watching TV (and didn’t drive in any event).

The

By Gille Ann Rabbin, Esq., CIPP/US, CIPP/E

  I was hoping not to write about scams for the second column in a row, but when a victimized relative came to me for advice last week I thought it might be helpful to revisit the area again. The flavor of the month (actually the past six or so months)? Unemployment insurance fraud.

Unemployment insurance fraud can, like most frauds, take several forms (providing false information on an application, saying you’re not working when you are, working off

Today is Thanksgiving, a day traditionally meant for giving thanks for our blessings. For some of us, pausing to reflect on what we’re grateful for this year might be more challenging than it’s been in the past. But one thing we might want to include on our list is the technology, warts and all, that has allowed us to maintain some normalcy in our lives and has made social distancing tolerable. 

What would we do without Zoom and similar applications? Video conferencing platforms have enabled

In an online romance scam, a fraudster seeks to take advantage of a victim looking for love on a dating or social networking website by pretending to want a romantic relationship. The scammer’s goal is to obtain access to the victim’s financial or personal information and steal their money. While this year has been an especially bountiful one for romance scammers, as COVID has enabled them to prey on people’s loneliness and isolation to con them in greater numbers than in previous years, this

 Faith. Joy. Peace. Family and friends. Fraudsters.

Holiday time brings with it the blessings of the season. It also brings a proliferation of scams, some of which are described below. The media and government agencies including the FTC are urging consumers to be cautious when sharing information online and to take precautions to avoid common frauds that increase during the holidays.

Fake charities reach out online and by phone this time of year to take advantage of goodwill (and the rush to

The Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” presents the scary undeniable reality about social media and its impact on society and the world. Why is it so hard to put our phones down, to disengage from our favorite social media sites? Because they have been engineered to be addictive, according to the now remorseful technologists who invented these devices and apps and are interviewed in the film.

According to Dr. Anna Lembke, an addiction specialist interviewed in the documentary, human

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