You Could Be the Next Victim of Phishing

by William Jorden on May 24, 2012

A recent article in the Pennsylvania Lawyer written by Phyllis Horn Epstein warned that scammers often use fake IRS notices or requests as bait in the latest round of phishing, with potentially disastrous results.

Phishing, like “fishing,” involves trolling bait for the purpose of hooking the unwary.  Phishing is the cyber search for personal information.  With information obtained through phishing, criminals can steal your identity, use information to take out bank account loans, apply for benefits, steal your money, or commit any number of crimes.

The sad reality is that as electronic communications have become common place in a significant part of life in America, so has cyber crime.  Criminals intent on scamming the innocent out of their money now have greater means and access to private information than they ever had before. The internet has spawned a hoard of cyber criminals.

For more information, see IRS Publication 4535, “Identity Theft Prevention and Victim Assistance.”  This Publication is posted on the IRS website at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4535.pdf.

If you suspect that you’ve become a victim, you have to act fast because the criminals will be.  Because cyber criminals may use your information to charge on your credit cards or open new cards in your name, you should get a copy of your credit report from one of the major credit bureaus to check on activity.  A free report can be ordered at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Report any unauthorized activity to the credit bureaus and credit card companies.  Report all thefts and scams immediately to law enforcement.  Secure your tax account by reporting the incident to the IRS at 1-800-908-4490 and complete and file Form 14039, the IRS Identify Theft Affidavit.  For identity theft, you should file a complaint with the FDC at www.fdc.gov.  The IRS has created a new IRS identity protection specialized unit available at 1-800-908-4490.  If you have not been successful in your attempts to report a theft, or if you believe cyber criminals may now have your personal information and that you are at risk for identity theft, call the IRS identity protection specialized unit, available at 1-800-908-4490.

Should you need additional help or guidance in protecting your assets, you may call the offices of Jorden & White and ask to speak with either Attorney Bill Jorden or Matt Jorden.  Attorney Bill Jorden and Matt Jorden provide services in the areas of asset protection, special needs trusts, and other wealth preserving measures.

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