Concord, NH – Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announces "Slam the Scam" Day on March 5, 2020 as part of the Federal Trade Commission's National Consumer Protection Week which runs March 1-7, 2020.
"Slam the Scam" is an effort to bring awareness to government imposter phone scams, which most often take the form of Social Security-related phone scams targeting the elderly or IRS-related scams which tend to increase during tax season.
In order to protect yourself or your loved ones from common phone or other consumer-targeted scams, the Attorney General recommends taking these steps:
- Hang up the phone immediately if you receive any threatening or demanding calls;
- Refrain from calling the number provided in a voice message or otherwise as it is likely a sophisticated call center designed to deceive the caller into believing it is a governmental office;
- Do not engage with the caller;
- Trust your instincts and treat each unsolicited communication with increased skepticism, specifically calls, emails or other online solicitations asking for personal identification or financial information;
- Never provide personal information to anyone without first verifying the source of the inquiry; and
- Take steps to inform and discuss the dangers of these scams with individuals who may be susceptible to these sophisticated scams.
If you become a victim of tax-related identity theft, you should:
- File a report with your local police;
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.identitytheft.gov or call the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338;
- Contact the IRS and complete IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit;
- Contact one of the major credit bureaus to freeze or place a "fraud alert" on your credit:
Attorney General MacDonald also offers the following advice about how to reduce the risk of identity theft:
- Don't carry your Social Security card or any document with your Social Security Number on it;
- Don't give out your Social Security number just because a business asks for it - only do so when it is absolutely necessary;
- Secure your printed personal information at home by placing it in a locked container or in a bank safe deposit box;
- Check your credit report annually with one of the three free agencies listed above. You are entitled to one free report each year from each of the three agencies;
- Protect your personal computers by using firewalls and anti-spam/virus software. Update your security patches and regularly change your passwords for all accounts, selecting strong password for each account; and
- Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail, or on the Internet unless you have verified who will be receiving that information.
New Hampshire consumers may file a formal complaint at: http://doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm, by calling the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-468-4454 or by email at: DOJ-CPB@doj.nh.gov.
More information and resources available at: https://www.doj.nh.gov/consumer/consumer-alerts.htm.