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Scams

General Scam Information
Read the government’s “Imposter Scams” overview for tips on avoiding a scam.
Click here

IRS Imposters/Scams
Scammers rig caller ID information so that calls look like they are from the IRS or the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA.) Callers cite overdue taxes, and threaten to arrest or deport people, revoke a license, or even shut down a business if not paid immediately. They might make a follow-up call claiming to be the police or the DMV. The scam always includes a demand for money, loaded on a prepaid debit card, sent through a wire transfer, or paid by credit card.

  • To report this scam call 800.366.4484
  • To file a formal complaint about scammer calls with the Federal Trade Commission click here. From the complaint homepage, select “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” In the notes, include “IRS Telephone Scam.”
  • To file a formal complaint about scammer emails click here to go to the IRS website.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links in those emails.
  • If you owe – or think you owe – federal taxes, call the IRS at 800.829.1040 or click here.  IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.

Newspaper Subscription Renewal Scams
Scammers sometimes mail invoices saying a subscription  is about to expire, but that it can be renewed by paying immediately. These fraudulent companies have no relationship with the newspaper publisher or billing department. Here are some tips from the FTC to help avoid newspaper renewal scams:

  • Pay online at the newspaper’s website, or contact the paper’s subscription department by phone. Use the account number on the actual paper or from a previous bill you know is real.
  • Be aware of changes to your bill. If the price or billing period changes, call the paper’s subscription department directly.  Fake invoices are usually much higher than usual, with a subscription period of a year, instead of monthly or quarterly.
  • Check any invoice with the subscription department. If the invoice comes from a company you haven’t heard of, or if it has errors and misspellings, those could be tip-offs to a rip-off.

Post Natural Disasters Scams
Scammers often crop up after natural disasters to take advantage of communities that have been devastated. Search “post disaster scams” online for more specific information. The most common post-disaster scams include home repair frauds, fake charities, and identity theft.

Robocalls
In addition to reporting it, always hang up the phone. Do not press 1 to speak to a live operator and do not press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it will probably just lead to more robocalls.
 
Consider contacting your phone provider and asking them to block the number, asking if they charge for that service. Remember that telemarketers change Caller ID information easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.

Section 8 Housing Waiting List NJ
Individuals and families are being directed to to this fake website, http://section8programs.com/newjersey, which is being falsely identified as a State of NJ website. This is not a State of NJ website. It requests credit card information, and is fraudulent. It never costs anything to be put on a Section 8 housing wait list or any Public Housing wait list. (Developers may require an application fee for apartments, to cover background checks.)

Utility Company Scams
During cold weather, scammers pose as utility company employees and other "energy savers" looking to gain money or valuables or sensitive information for identity theft. Someone who looks and sounds legitimate, claiming to be with a local utility company, may come around during an outage and offer to reconnect service for a cash payment. Tips to avoid utility turn-on scams:

  • Do not pay cash to anyone who comes to a home offering “turn-on” services without notice from the company. Even if the person has a uniform or shows what they claim is an ID from the utility company, they could be a con artist. Employees of legitimate utilities don’t ask for cash. Typically, a company will bill you for services if a charge is applicable.
  • Most legitimate companies do not send someone to a home to provide a service without advising the homeowner first.
  • If someone shows up at your house unexpectedly and claims to work for a utility, call the company and confirm they authorized the person to visit your home.

If you have been contacted by someone claiming to be able to turn on your service for a cash payment, file a complaint with the FTC and your state consumer protection agency.
Click here

AARP also has information about utility scams.
Click here

SPAN's Health Advocacy Manual - The overall goal of SPAN's Health Advocacy Manual project is to develop, disseminate, and help families and people with developmental disabilities use, high quality, relevant, and easy-to-use tools that enhance their capacity to understand and effectively navigate systems of health coverage and health care, including Medicaid managed care, changes Medicaid waiver services, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and primary and specialty care including dental care, through creation and dissemination of an easy-to-use tool kit, in English and Spanish that will help family members and people with DD find the supports they need for their health and health care. To learn more about the tool kit, go to: Click here Individual technical assistance is available for families via our Family to Family Health Information Center and SPAN's warm line 800-654-SPAN.

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