Top 10 Phone Scams of 2014

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Internal Revenue Service

IRS scams account for 5.0 percent of all phone scams.

The IRS phone scam has become a major problem in the past year, prompting multiple official warnings from the IRS. Fraudsters impersonate IRS agents, telling victims that they owe unpaid taxes and penalties. They ask for immediate payment and threaten victims with lawsuits and arrest if they do not pay. Fraudsters ask for payment through pre-loaded debit card, wire transfer, or over the phone. Often fraudsters may try to get personal information from victims as well. Taxpayers should know that the IRS never requests payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. The IRS always makes initial contact with a taxpayer through official correspondence sent through the mail.

Despite data breaches like the Sony hack dominating headlines, phone fraud is still a common way that criminals are lifting personal data from consumers. Each year, thousands of consumers and businesses lose money to scams conducted over the telephone. These scams can cost victims anything from a few dollars to their life savings. Attackers use a variety of social engineering and manipulation techniques to extort money and personal information from consumers over the phone.

Pindrop Security collected and analyzed consumer phone scam complaints during the first nine months of 2014 to understand the types of scams being conducted, their frequency and timing, and the methods and motives of phone fraudsters. This information provides a unique view into the risk facing consumers.

Pindrop Security expects that the trend of online and retail data breaches will only increase the amount of information available for phone scammers to use against victims, and that the number of phone scam complaints will continue to rise.

This slideshow features the top 10 phone scams of 2014, as identified by Pindrop Security. 

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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