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Thread: Today's SCAM Alerts

  1. #1

    Today's SCAM Alerts

    IRS Warns Taxpayers of Email Scam Targeting Hotmail Users

    Cyber thieves using fake pages to get personal financial information

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (December 14, 2017) - The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers and tax professionals of a new email scam targeting Hotmail users that is being used to steal personal and financial information.

    The phishing email subject line reads: "Internal Revenue Service Email No. XXXX | We're processing your request soon | TXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX." The email leads taxpayers to sign in to a fake Microsoft page and then asks for personal and financial information.

    "Cyber thieves are always on the hunt to take Maryland taxpayers' money," Comptroller Peter Franchot said. "That's why my staff and agents remain vigilant in alerting consumers to scams like this, particularly at holiday time when people are distracted by the holiday rush."

    The IRS has received more than 900 complaints about this new phishing scheme that seems to exclusively target Hotmail users. The suspect websites associated with this scam have been shut down, but taxpayers should be on the lookout for similar schemes.

    Individuals who receive unsolicited emails claiming to be from the IRS should forward it to phishing@irs.gov and then delete it. It is important to keep in mind the IRS generally does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. For more information, visit the Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts page on IRS.gov.

    The IRS reminds tax professionals to be aware of phishing emails, free offers and other common tricks by scammers. Tax professionals who have data breaches should contact the IRS immediately through their Stakeholder Liaison at the webpage for Data Theft Information for Tax Professionals.
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  2. #2

    Beware of Charity Scams This Holiday Season

    Secretary of State’s Office Warns Marylanders to Beware of Charity Scams This Holiday Season


    ANNAPOLIS – As the holidays approach, Governor Larry Hogan and Secretary of State John Wobensmith warn citizens to beware of scam charities and deceptive practices. Charities in Maryland and beyond rely upon the generosity of citizens to provide programs and services to those in need across the state.

    While the holidays inspire a spirit of generosity among many Marylanders, it is important to be vigilant about scams that are posing as legitimate charitable organizations.

    All charities who solicit money in Maryland are required to register with the Office of the Secretary of State if they collect $25,000 or more in direct public support or use paid solicitors to raise funds for the organization. Marylanders can use the Secretary of State website to confirm if a charity is authorized to raise money in Maryland: http://sos.maryland.gov/Charity/Pages/SearchCharity.aspx.

    The Secretary of State’s Office urges citizens to recognize “red flags” that can help determine if a charity is worthy of support. Ask questions and be suspicious of any charity that won’t provide satisfactory information.
    Examples of “red flags” that should help you question whether a charity is worthy of your support include:


    • Did the organization refuse to send you written material or financial information?
    • Did the solicitor offer to send a person to collect your contribution?
    • Did the charity send you an invoice or statement that indicates a payment due for a contribution you never pledged?
    • Does the organization’s name and logo closely resemble another charity with a similar purpose?


    The Secretary of State’s Office investigates complaints about charity fraud. If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam or to report a potential scam charity, contact the Investigations Unit at 410-260-3879 or 800-825-4510.

    More information about charities can be found on the Secretary of State’s Charity page: http://sos.maryland.gov.
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