March 20, 2017 Message from the Napa County Chief Information Security Officer:
As the 2017 tax filing season winds down to the April 18 deadline, tax-related scams of various sorts are at their peak. The IRS urges everyone be on guard against suspicious activity because cybercriminals are making use of sophisticated scams to trick people into divulging sensitive data.
The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry are warning of last-minute phishing email scams, especially those requesting last-minute deposit changes for refunds or account updates.
This is also the time of year when taxpayers may see scam emails claiming to be from their tax software provider or others asking them to update online accounts. These ruses generally urge taxpayers to give up sensitive data such as passwords, Social Security numbers and bank account or credit card numbers.
The IRS does not send unsolicited emails or request sensitive data via email. The IRS asks that taxpayers who receive suspicious emails purporting to be from a tax software provider or from the IRS forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember: never open an attachment or link from an unknown or suspicious source. It may infect your computer with malware or steal information.
The IRS also urges taxpayers to be alert for scam phone calls and has provided tips to avoid being a victim: https://www.irs.gov/uac/irs-urges-public-to-stay-alert-for-scam-phone-calls
Lastly, if you have not already done so file your taxes at the state and federal level as quickly as you can, or file for an October 16 extension early, before the bad guys can file a bogus claim using your identity.
Greg BownChief Information Security OfficerNapa County | Information Technology Services
Senior citizens are being warned about a phone scam that aims to capitalize on fraudulent Medicare.
View the Napa Register Article here
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is alerting customers to be aware of a telephone scam demanding immediate payment for allegedly past due electricity bills. This scam appears to specifically target Hispanic business customers.
Mary Luros of the Napa Valley Register has written a great article about how to detect worker's compensation fraud. Check it out!
(NAPA, Calif.--) Several Napa County residents have reported a new telephone scam where individuals call local residents representing themselves as Medicare employees with your new Medicare Card.
View the Napa County Media Release here
(OAKLAND, Calif.--) Better Business Bureau is warning that scammers are making phone calls posing as representatives of the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the registry or ask consumers to verify their info. The callers are really trying to solicit personal information, which opens victims up to identity fraud.
View the Napa Valley Register Article here
(NAPA, Calif.--) Recently a Napa resident received a letter from "Pinnacle Financial Services" notifying the resident they had won the "UK & North America Consumer Reward Promotion Draw." The Scammers stated this was organized for all customers of Wal-Mart, Sears, Home Depot, Safeway and ASDA. The winner was guaranteed a sum of $50,000 (Certified Check). Enclosed was a check for $3,100 for partial payment, intended to offset the Non-British Resident tax payment of $1,950. The letter directed the winner to contact a Claims Representative through a provided telephone number.
(NAPA, Calif.--) Property owners in Napa County are receiving solicitations from private companies offering to provide services for a substantial fee that the Napa County Assessor and Recorder Divisions provide for free or for minimal cost. “I am always distressed when private companies use questionable tactics to obtain fees from unsuspecting property owners,” said John Tuteur, Napa County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, "Residents should call our office before using any of these services, to ensure that they are not being charged for services that we would provide at no cost or at a low cost."