Protect Your Money from Scams!

You worked very hard to earn your money.  Do not allow someone to steal it from you using a scam!

What is a scam?

A scam is a lie that con artists use to convince a person to give them personal information or money.  A con artist is a person who tells lies to steal money.

Here are some common scams in North Carolina right now:

1.  A person calls you and tells you that he or she is from Duke Energy.  This person tells you that you have an “unpaid balance”.  He or she tells you that you did not pay for your energy bill this month.  Maybe you paid your bill.  Maybe you did not pay your bill.  This person does not know because this person does not work for Duke Energy.  This person is a con artist who is trying to learn your bank account number or credit card number.

     What can you do to protect yourself from this scam?

If you receive this call, do not give any information to the person who calls you.  Do not call the number that this person provides in a message to you.  Instead, call the Duke Energy number on your monthly energy bill to ask if you owe the company money.

2.  A person calls you and says that he or she is from the IRS.  The IRS, or the Internal Revenue Service, is the name of the government agency that collects our taxes.  Maybe the person tells you that you did not pay your taxes.  Maybe the person tells you that you did not pay your taxes correctly and that you owe a lot of money.  The person asks for personal information.  He or she asks you to pay the bill immediately over the phone.  If you say no, this person may threaten to have you arrested or deported.

     What can you do to protect yourself from this scam?

If you receive this call, do not give any information to this person.

The IRS will never call you and ask you to pay them over the phone immediately.  The IRS will never ask you to pay over the phone.  The IRS will never contact you by email to ask for personal information.

The IRS will always give you an opportunity to question what you owe.  The IRS will never tell you that they are sending to police to your home for not paying.

Here is a link with more information about scams relating to the IRS.

Other Common Scams

1.  A person calls you or sends you an email telling you that you won a lot of money in a contest.  You do not remember entering this contest. The con artist asks you to give him or her your account number so that he or she can deposit money in your account.

     What can you do to protect yourself from this scam?

Do not give this person any personal information!

Do not click on any links inside an email like this.  The link may contain a virus.  A virus is a program that can either damage your computer or steal information from your computer.

2.  You receive an email from your bank asking you to update your information by clicking on a link.  Maybe this is a scam.  Maybe this is not a scam.

     What can you do to protect yourself?

Do not click on the link in the email.  Go to the website that is on your bank statement to check and see if any changes are required.

Do not click on links in emails, unless you know that the email is from someone you know; someone who talked to you in person or over the phone about sending the link.

Sometimes, con artists are able to use a virus to steal the email addresses of friends and send messages from their email to you.  These con artists are called hackers.  They are trying to steal information from your computer or damage your computer by sending you a virus in the form of a link.

3.  There are also a lot of scams for people applying for jobs.  There is a common saying in English: “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  For example, if someone offers you a job that pays you $3,000 every week to stay home and do easy work that requires no training, experience, or education, you should be very suspicious.  Ask questions.  Research companies before applying for a job.  If possible, talk to someone who works there before you apply for the job.

Writing Assignment

Can you think of any other scams that are common in the United States or in your country?  Write about these scams.  What advice would you give someone in the United States or in your country to protect them from these scams?

Click “Leave a Reply” and type your answers in beneath this article.  Remember to type your first name and your email address.  If you do not have an email address, type  You do not need to provide a website.

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