A brief word on scams
It bears repeating: If something sounds too good or too bad to be true, it probably is.By Sam Gazdziak, AAMP Communications Manager
It can happen to the best of us. Despite all the warnings about online scam artists, sometimes you can make a simple mistake and click on the wrong link or believe the wrong phone call. I think we have all come to terms with the fact that our car warranty is not expiring or that a Nigerian prince really doesn't want to share their wealth, but scammers adapt, and we need to stay wary.
The IRS, as a part of its annual “Dirty Dozen” scam warning list, stressed that people are using the COVID-19 pandemic as part of their latest ploys.
"Scammers continue using the pandemic as a device to scare or confuse potential victims into handing over their hard-earned money or personal information,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "I urge everyone to be leery of suspicious calls, texts and emails promising benefits that don't exist.”
For example, scammers may call or email you asking for bank account information or requiring you to click on a link to verify data, in order to receive an Economic Impact Payment. The IRS has stated that it will never initiate contact by phone, email, text or social media asking for Social Security numbers or other personal or financial information related to EIPs.
In other instances, people may try to appeal to your professional affiliations to get past your initial defenses. Recently, a member was emailed a notification of an incoming fax and was provided with a link to click to read it. They thought it might have come from AAMP, so they did the right thing – they contacted us. For the record, AAMP does not communicate by fax. Any official correspondence from us will come from an email with an “@aamp.com” suffix. But trust your intuition. If you get a sketchy email from a name you recognize as an AAMP staff member, check the actual email address. For instance, if you receive an email from “Sam Gazdziak” that indicates you owe us $1,000 in past membership fees, don't assume from the name that it's valid. If the email address is a series of letters and numbers with an email domain from some foreign country, then you are dealing with an imposter. For that matter, we will never solicit you for gift cards on Facebook or DM you for cash if we are stuck in a foreign country.
Unfortunately, there's really nothing that anybody can do to stop imposters and scammers. Email addresses can be suspended and phone numbers blocked, but a dedicated scammer will open up 10 new email addresses and start all over again. The best prevention is to keep a healthy sense of skepticism when dealing with random phone calls or emails. If something seems too good (or too bad) to be true, then it probably is.